Baked Pudding Tart

February 21st, Thursday:
  • 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.


Fox Udon

November 22nd, Thursday:

  • Kitsune Udon (Chicken, Shimeji Mushroom, Daikon Radish, Green Onion, Plum Guten)
  • Milk
  • Rice Cake Stuffed Bean Curd
  • Ironman Apple Cheese Dessert
  • Kcal: 661

Mochi (rice cakes) are made from steamed mochi rice. It is a type of very sticky rice. The rice we normally eat isn’t as sticky and it called “uruchi rice”.

Uruchi rice (medium grain rice) may not be as sticky as mochi rice (short grained rice), but it is far more sticky than the dry long grained rice that most westerners eat (ew!).

As I mentioned yesterday, dishes characterized by the addition of bean curd often use the word “kitsune (fox)”. Today’s kitsune udon is basically udon with a pouch of age (bean curd) in it. It’s so delicious. I love it so much!!

The apple dessert was a sort of whipped cream cheese like mouse with apple bits in it. Being a dessert, it was tasty, but to be honest, I don’t really like the whipped cream texture that characterizes many Western style desserts. It is probably supplemented with iron, which is why it is called “ironman”.

  • きつねうどん
  • 牛乳
  • もち入り味付きあげ
  • 鉄人アップルチーズデザート

Teriyaki Amberjack

October 22nd, Monday:

  • Miso Soup (Plum Gluten, Chinese Cabbage)
  • Aburaage and Sliced Konnyakyu Stirfry (Pork, Konnyaku, Aburaage, Shiitake Mushroom)
  • Teriyaki Amberjack
  • Wakame Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 845

Shiitake is the most commonly used mushroom in Japan. It contains lots of vitamin D, which helps our body absorb calcium.

My favourite dish today was the aburaage stirfry. I like all three of its main ingredients, and it was dressed with sesame seeds, which I really like too. But the amberjack and soup were of course good too. I didn’t think to take a picture of the rice lid open, but it has wakame seaweed mixed in with it. Wakame rice quite popular amoung students, but to be honest, I don’t like it too much. I find it overly salty, and personally, you can’t improve of the sweet, divine, wonderfulness of plain white rice.

I talked to a student today, really one of the best in the school, who said he wanted to become a doctor or dentist. I asked him why, and of course money was one of the reasons, but also, he said, that he wanted to be able to know what was happening when he was sick. For example, if he had cancer he would be able to understand precisely what is wrong and what can be done to treat it. It was an interesting reason, and one I can understand. On the other hand, I talked to another student who wants to be nurse. Surprised he wanted to be a nurse over a doctor I asked him why as well. He felt that nurses could have a closer connection to their patients than doctors, and he wanted that personal relationship. While both students are smart, the difference is interesting. I personally wouldn’t want to be a nurse or even a doctor… dealing with sick people all day: bleh. Now becoming a psychiatrist,  plumbing the depths of insanity  that sounds a lot more fun.

So here is a trailer to a book of insanity and madness by H. P. Lovecraft, one of my favourite authors!

  • みそ汁
  • 油揚げとつきこんにゃくの炒り煮
  • ぶり照焼き
  • わかめごはん
  • 牛乳

October 3rd

October 3rd, Wednesday:

Strangers Rice Bowl (Pork, Egg, Green Onion, Onion, Bamboo Shoot, Shimeji Mushroom)
Miso Soup (Wakame Seaweed, Gluten Croutons, Green Onion)
Salt-Grilled Fatty Mackerel
Kcal: 847

I didn’t eat school lunch today.

  • 他人丼
  • 牛乳
  • みそ汁
  • とろさば塩焼き


August 22nd, Wednesday:

  • Bibimbap Rice Bowl (Pork, Egg, Bean Sprout, Carrot, Japanese Parsley, Osmond Fern, Spinach)
  • Milk
  • Miso Soup (Plum Gluten, Tamogi Mushroom, Trefoil)
  • Cabbage Dumplings
  • Kcal: 919

Bibimbap Rice Bowl uses soybean sprouts. Some types of beansprouts include black mappe sprouts, soybean sprouts, and mung bean sprouts.

The second trimester of school has started again and I got to eat school lunch again after a long while.  My diet at home, as I have mentioned, consists almost entirely of white rice and soymilk. While such a mild diet prevents stomach pain and makes me happy, it is somewhat lacking in vitamins. So the bibimbap–with its multitude of interesting vegetables–and miso soup–with the distinct flavour of trefoil and its soft mushrooms–were a much needed repast.

School resumed on Monday, but I hadn’t any class because I had the fortune to present at a certain meeting for foreign teachers. It was held at the lovely Akarenga, built the twenty-first year of Meiji and more formally called the 北海道庁旧本庁舎. The Akarenga is built, as its name implies, of red brick, and in an American new baroque fashion. Baroque has a connotation of overwhelming decadence, but that is not the feeling the Akarenga displays. She is elegant, but simple. She was built beautifully, but only for the purpose of encouraging good and pure thoughts in men endeavoring to shape the future for the better. Abiding in such a charming building, especially for such a short time, truly reminds me how sad and lifeless modern architecture is.

Unrelatedly, while I generally considered myself a rather unfashionable person, I received so many compliments on my charming clothing during my stay there, I am beginning to think I ought to be more arrogant.

Photographs fails to capture the subtle splendour of such a building like this.


Chop Suey

July 13th, Friday:

  • Miso Soup (Onion, Cabbage, Pearl Crouton)
  • Chop Suey (Pork, Shrimp, Squid, Bell Pepper, Chinese Cabbage, Cloud Ear Mushroom, Bamboo Shoort, Carrot, Quail Egg)
  • Deep-Fried Tofu
  • Rice
  • Milk

Chop Suey (lit. Eight Treasures of Ingredients) is a chinese dish made by frying many types of meat, fish, and vegetables and then thickening it with potato starch. If you put sauce from the chop suey on top of today’s tofu, it tastes delicious.

  • みそ汁
  • 八宝菜
  • 揚げだし豆腐
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳

Teriyaki Salmon

June 1st, Friday:

  • Miso Soup (Wakame Seaweed, Rice and Gluten Crouton, Carrot)
  • Twice Cooked Pork (Pork, Cabbage, Red and Green Peppers, Green Onion)
  • Teriyaki Salmon
  • Rice
  • Milk

Twice Cooked Pork is apparently some sort of Sichuan Chinese cooking, but I can’t say I like Chinese food. I have never been to China, so maybe real Chinese food is different. But while I find the taste ok, the food’s texture greasy and slimy. On the other hand, Japanese fish is so tasty. Today’s salmon was in fact so tasty, adorned in it’s shiny silver skin, that I couldn’t help but bring to mind the riddle Gollum tells Sam while crossing the Dead Marshes:

Alive without breath
As cold as death
Never thirsting, ever drinking
Clad in mail, never clinking.
Drowns on dry land
Thinks an island
Is a mountain,
Thinks a fountain
Is a puff of air
So sleek, so fair!
What a joy to meet!
We only wish
To catch a fish,
So juicy-sweet!

Yum! Yum!

Simmered Seaweed and Fried Tofu

May 11th, Friday:

  • Miso Soup (Plum Gluten, Tamogi Mushroom, Trefoil)
  • Simmered Seaweed and Fried Tofu (Hijiki Seaweed, Fried Tofu, Carrot, Konnyaku, Green Bean)
  • Wine Dried Herring
  • Sardine and Herb Rice
  • Milk

Atsuage is thickly cut tofu fried in oil. It is an ingredient that combines the virtues of tofu (lots of protein and calcium) and frying (giving body to the food).

Kitsune Udon

April 26th, Thursday:

  • Fox Udon (Udon Noodles, Wakame Seaweed, Daikon Radish, Green Onion, Plum Crouton, Chicken)
  • Milk
  • Bean Curd Filled with Rice Cake
  • Orange Jelly

Note: The plum blossom shaped ingredient in the soup is a food called “fu” made of wheat flour. Originally, it was invented by monks who did not eat meat.


April 13th, Friday:

  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Miso Soup (Wakame Seaweed, Croutons, Onion)
  • Five Ingredient Kinpira (Burdock, Carrot, Pork, Tsuto Surimi , Ribbon Konnyaku)
  • Country Hamburger

Notes: Rice lack the amino acid called “lysine”, but miso soup makes up for it with protein from soy beans. “Rice and miso soup” are the best combination.