Shinjuku Dog

February 28th, Thursday:

DSCN4331

  • Vegetable Miso Ramen (Ramen, Pork, Bean Sprouts, Bamboo Shoots, Chinese Cabbage, Carrot, Onion)
  • Milk
  • Fried As You Like
  • Cheese Waffle
  • Kcal:861

It is only a few weeks until graduation, so we tried our best to serve desserts. Today, at the close of February,  we have the calcium rich Cheese Waffle. It’s faintly salty flavour is exquisite!

The Cheese Waffle today was technically called a “Shinjuku Dog”. It was like a hot dog, except the bun was a waffle and the sausage was a stick of cheese. The cheese was indeed slightly salty and the waffle sweet, so it was an interesting combination of flavours. The okonomi-age (Fried As You Like) was pretty popular with my students today. One of them commented it tasted like tako-yaki (savoury octopus donuts) and I feel it is a fairly accurate comparison.

Today was a smaller school, so during lunch the students hosting the lunch radio program usually interview someone, another student or teacher. Today, they interviewed the English teacher, so she answered some of the questions in English and gave a short speech encouraging the soon to be graduating third-years. So I thought it occurred quite nicely.

After lunch, I noticed one of the teachers using a sort of tool at his desk. I asked him about it and it was an electric eraser. He said that when we make a mistake with a pen, normally we use white out to fix it. But we cannot use white out on important documents, so we can use this electric eraser. It works basically by scratching away the thin top layer of a sheet of paper, we have to be careful not accidentally scratch a whole hole through the paper when using it. I thought it exemplified a fastidiousness for which Japan is often renowned.

みそ野菜ラーメン
牛乳
お好み揚げ
チーズワッフル

1024

February 27th, Wednesday:

DSCN4329

  • Bean Curry Rice (Soybeans, Garbanzo Beans, Pork, Carrot, Onion, Mushrooms)
  • Milk
  • Acerola Julee and Milk Jelly (Acerola Julee, Milk Jelly)
  • Neatly Simmered Drumette
  • Kcal: 1042

Chickpeas (Garbanzo) are delicious is simmered dishes and salads too. The word garbanzo is what they are called in Spanish. What a powerful sounding name!

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are called hiyoko-mame in Japanese. This literally means “chick peas”, which makes me think the the name was likely just literally translated into Japanese when they were first introduced into Japan. The name “chick peas” itself is a sort of amalgam between exactly what it sounds like and the Latin term for the plant “cicer”.

ビーンズカレーライス
牛乳
アセロラジュレミルク寒天あえ
手羽元さっぱり煮

Milk Maid

February 26th, Tuesday:

DSCN4320

  • Consomme Soup(Chinese Cabbage, Onion, Carrot, Ham)
  • Cod Roe Spaghetti (Spaghetti, Shrimp, Bell Pepper, Cod Roe)
  • Breaded Bean Patty
  • Milk Make (Chocolate)
  • Butter Bread
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 815

“Milk Make” makes its appearance. Squeeze it into the milk carton through the straw hole, but before you do this, take a sip of the milk first to prevent extra milk from spilling out. Then put in the milk make, mix it well, and drink it up.

Today’s breaded bean patty had a slightly sweet taste. It wasn’t overly popular with the boys. Previously, when we have had cod roe spaghetti, there were more eggs I felt. I don’t know where the name for the chocolate milk syrups comes from: literally it is “Mirumeiku” so I thought that sounded like “milk make”. But I don’t know. It comes in a tube that looks just like the tubes of chocolate you can buy for cake decorating. In fact, I wonder if it isn’t practically the same thing. That said, I can’t drink milk, and thus I gave my milk make away, and didn’t drink it.

Speaking of milk and its derivatives, yesterday I ate a sweet. It looked like it was sweet potato sweet, but actually under the sweet potato was a great deal of whipped cream. I should have just thrown the whole sweet out when I discovered this, but no: I still ate it. So  last night and today I have a very unhappy stomach ache. WHY DO COMPANIES MAKE INEDIBLE CREAM SWEETS SO DELICIOUS LOOKING!!!! ~(>_<~)

Today's Chocolate Milk "Milk Make"

Today’s Chocolate Milk “Milk Make”

Cod Roe Spaghetti

Cod Roe Spaghetti

A picture from where I sat at the foot of the table.

A picture from where I sat at the foot of the table.

  • コンソメスープ
  • たらこスパゲッティ
  • 豆いっぱいフライ
  • ミルメイク(ココア)
  • バターパン
  • 牛乳

Plummy! Simmered Saury

February 25th, Monday:

DSCN4319

  • Scallop Soup (Scallop, Tofu, Carrot, Chinese Cabbage, Burdock)
  • Simmered Dried Sliced Daikon (Dried Sliced Daikon, Satsuma-age, Hijiki Seaweed, Carrot, Green Bean, Sliced Konnyaku)
  • Plum Simmered Saury
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 846

Tofu 「豆腐」 is a food handed down from China.  The character fu 「腐」does not mean “rotten” in China, but means “something gathered from a liquid to make something firm out of something soft”.

To explain what the kyuushoku tayori means by the above, I should say that 腐 means rotten in modern Japanese, so the characters for tofu seem to literally say “rotten beans”, which does not sound the most appealing.

Anyways, the saury fish today is not that beautiful and rather hard to eat, but being plum-simmered gives it a really nice taste. I say this as a very picky eater. So frightening to behold, but delicious. I like hijiki and satsuma-age and konnyaku so much, so I really liked the simmered daikon, but judging from my students plates, the saury was far more popular than the daikon….

Other exciting things today was one of the boys split his entire soup all across his lap and we got to eat ぼっけもんsweets by 風月堂 from Kagoshima prefecture, since the superintendent brought them back as omiyage! I ate it before I could take a picture. I’m sorry.

  • ほたて汁
  • 切り干し大根煮
  • さんまの梅煮
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳

Chinese Food

February 22nd, Friday:

DSCN4313

  • Chinese-style Vegetable Soup (Chicken, Cabbage, Bean Sprouts, Bamboo Shoots, Shiitake Mushroom, Carrot)
  • Bansansu (Cucumbers, Ham, Carrot, Harusame, Egg)
  • Grilled Dumplings
  • Sesame Hijiki
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 778

Bansansu is a thinly cut vegetable, ham, and glass noodle salad. It is dressed in shoyu, vinegar, beet sugar, sesame oil, and mustard paste. It has a Chinese taste.

So today’s lunch is obviously a Chinese style lunch. I tried looking up what Chinese dish “bansansu” originally comes from, but I didn’t easily find an answer. One of the first results though was a recipe for “school lunch basansu“, which the writer recreated from her memories of the bansansu she enjoyed eating in school lunch. I also found the blog of an elementary school which explained that the word “bansansu” comes from Chinese  and means three ingredients (“san”) cut finely (“su”) and mixed together (“su”).

Higashi Miyagino Elementary School's Bansansu Lunch!

Higashi Miyagino Elementary School’s Bansansu Lunch!

Furano's Bansansu Salad!

Furano’s Bansansu Salad!

 

中華味野菜スープ
バンサンスー
焼きギョウザ
ごまひじき
ごはん
牛乳

Baked Pudding Tart

February 21st, Thursday:
DSCN4312
  • Kenchin Udon (Udon, Bamboo Shoot, Spinach, Shimeji Mushrooms, Bean Curd, Carrot, Daikon Radishes, Green Onion, Plum Gluten, Konnyaku)
  • Milk
  • Local Squash and Mincemeat Fry
  • Baked Pudding Tart
  • Kcal: 724
The much anticipated dessert of today, precisely because it is so rare, is Baked Pudding Tart! It is very often requested. Is the secret to its popularity the suitability between the tart shell and the baked pudding?
Udon is pretty much always delicious, which its yummy vegetables, light broth, and fat noodles. Nom, nom, nom. The kabocha squash Fry was rather sweet, so I was surprised to know it had mincemeat in it. It seamed mostly kabocha. And of course, the Baked Pudding Tart was chosen as today’s favourite dish during the student radio program during lunch.
Excepting elementary schools, I visit seven schools. However all these schools are under the same board of education so the school lunch is the same. But normal teachers must change schools every six years or so. I was speaking to one of my teachers about school lunch and she said that she felt the school lunch in this area was rather on the lower end of school lunch quality, she felt the lunches in Asahikawa and other districts were better. So I thought it was interesting to hear her opinion.

けんちんうどん
牛乳
国産カボチャひき肉フライ
焼きプリンタルト

Daikon Leaves! Yah!

February 20th, Wednesday:
DSCN4311
  • Pork Kim Chee Bowl (Pork, Egg, Chinese Cabbage, Carrot, Green Onion)
  • Milk
  • Miso Soup (Daikon Radish, Tofu, Daikon Leaves)
  • Potato Wrap
  • Kcal: 853

Potato Wrap is potato wrapped in a tea linen, flavored with butter, and steam baked in an egg cup. It is finished when it has a very simple and light taste. 

To be honest, I didn’t feel that today’s potato wrap was all the popular with the students at my school today. I of course didn’t have a problem with it but it did have bit of a ‘frozen food’ feel to it. However the kim chee was very popular, all the left overs being eaten.
I can’t recall having daikon leaves in lunch before. This doesn’t mean we haven’t, since I on a whole do not have a good sense of time and thus memory, but at least we haven’t had them very often. They tasted good though and it is nice to know that we are using more parts of the plant not just throwing out the perfectly good tops of the daikon radish.

豚キムチ丼
牛乳
みそ汁
じゃがいも茶巾包み

Soy milk!!!

February 19th, Tuesday:
DSCN4309
  • Cream Stew (Chicken, Potatoes, Carrot, Onion, Trumpet Mushroom, Parsley)
  • Pork Chop (Pork, Onion, Shiitake Mushroom, Carrot)
  • Sweet Potato
  • Top Slit Bread
  • Soymilk
  • Kcal: 859

Today, I was thinking about the wasted food of school lunch left overs. At my small schools, the schools really make an effort to eat all of the food given. At the big schools, although there are campaigns to encourage students to eat everything on their plate, there is a fair amount of food that either remains unserved or is put back uneaten. The main issue I think is serving the correct amount of food to each school. I guess this is so difficult because the ‘correct’ amount varied depending on the person. I often feel there is too much food served but another foreigner I work with feels there is not enough food served food. I have heard wildly varying opinions from Japanese teachers too. In the end though, I really feel like there should be a scientific way of resolving  this problem. But we will never be able to make everyone satisfied.

  • クリームシチュー
  • ポークチャップ
  • スイートポテト
  • 背割りパン
  • 豆ぴよ

Suiton Soup

February 18th, Monday:

DSCN4307

  • Suiton Soup (Wheat Dumplings, Chicken, Bean Curd, Naruto Surimi, Carrot, Daikon Radish, Green Onion)
  • Five Ingredient Kinpira (Burdock, Carrot, Pork, Satsuma-age, Sliced Konnyaku, Green Bean)
  • Natural Teriyaki Amberjack
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 871

So, suiton (水団) are sort of hand formed soup dumplings made of wheat flour. As you know, I love dumplings, so I liked today’s soup. It was also full of other things I love like abura-age, naruto, and carrots. Also, the five ingredient kinpira seemed a little different than before.

I’m tired today… I was so busy last weekend.

Because who doesn't want to see a close up of this awesome suiton soup?!

Because who doesn’t want to see a close up of this awesome suiton soup?!

Pork and Tofu

February 15th, Friday:

DSCN4300

  • Miso Soup (Wakame Seaweed, Daikon Radish, Carrot)
  • Pork and Tofu (Grilled Tofu, Pork, Shimeji Mushroom, Green Onion, Sliced Konnyaku)
  • Veggies Dressed in Sesame
  • Wakame Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 817

The spiciness of daikon changes depending on how it is cut up. If eaten sliced into sticks, it is sweet, but if grated, it is spicy, due to the effect of breaking the spiciness cell things.

Today’s Pork and Tofu brings up a slight but interesting difference between Japanese and Western culture. In the West, tofu is largely thought of as vegetarian health food, eaten not for its own sake, but as a meat substitute. Therefore, to have tofu and meat in the same dish seems a little strange to Americans and other Westerners I think. But in Japan tofu is of course its own food with all of its own characteristics, so adding it into a meat dish is quite natural.

Surimi (ie: imitation crab) is another Japanese food which has a similar reputation. Surimi is used in all sorts of dishes (yah for snack chikuwa!) but in the West it is almost entirely known as a crab imitation.

Anyway, I liked today’s vegetables too. They had a very healthy and delicious taste to them. As their name implies they were dressed in ground sesame: not a mayonnaise-sesame salad dressing, but just sesame. This was nice because while mayonnaise immediately has an appealing taste, it leaves a yucky feeling in the mouth after eating it.

Pork and Tofu

Pork and Tofu

みそ汁
肉豆腐
野菜のごま和え
わかめごはん
牛乳