Stonehunt Soup

November 19th, Monday:

  • Ishikari Soup (Salmon, Daikon Radish, Tofu, Carrot, Burdock, Chinese Cabbage)
  • Simmered Hijiki and Bean Curd (Hijiki Seaweed, BeanCurd, Carrot, Konnyaku, Green Bean)
  • Shore Fried Chikuwa
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 860

Stonehunt (Ishikari) Soup is a traditional dish of Hokkaido made with salmon. Threeflats (Sanpei) Soup is another Hokkaido dish. The difference is that threeflats soup is a salt based broth and stonehunt soup is a miso based broth.

I like ishikari soup and hijiki so much. They are both very tasty. Yum! Yum! I like chikuwa a lot, but it was a little bit oily today. Speaking of chikuwa, lately I’ve been buying this chikuwa with Furano onions mixed in with the fish and it is extremely delicious, straight or on rice. Besides this, it is very low in fat and pretty cheap comparatively speaking.

By the way, I always mispronounce the word “salmon”. Most people do not pronounce the “l”, but since all my knowledge comes from books, I tend to pronounce the “l”. Anyway, I reading the other day that reason salmon has an l is due to my beloved Latin! The word “salmon” comes from Latin word “Salmo”.


Five Ingredient Kinpira

September 24th, Monday:

  • Miso Soup (Potato, Wakame Seaweed)
  • Five Ingredient Kinpira (Burdock, Carrot, Pork, Konnyaku, Tsuto Surimi)
  • Fried White Fish
  • Rice
  • Milk

The sesame seeds cooked as a part of the five-ingredient kinpira contain sesame lignan, which works get rid of bad stuff from your body. Chew the sesame well to eat the inner parts of it.

Today’s kinpira contained “tsuto” which is a type of very delicious fish cake. I am not sure you can tell from the picture, but it is white with a red spiral pattern in the centre. It looks quite similar to a more commonly known fishcake called “naruto”.  In fact, they look nearly exactly the same. But there is a difference in how they are made: Namely, tsuto is steamed, while naruto is boiled before packaging. So now you know the difference.

Whenever I eat kinpira, I always think of this old Japanese song called “Konpira”. Seriously, I’ve had it stuck in my head since lunch:

  • みそ汁
  • 五目きんぷら
  • 白身魚フライ
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳

Bean Curry and Rice

September 12th, Wednesday:

  • Mame Curry Rice (Soybean, Chickpea, Pork, Edamame, Mushroom, Carrot, Onion)
  • Milk
  • Nata de Coco Mixed Jelly (Pineapple, Peach, Apple, Coconut Milk)
  • Almonds and Fish
  • Kcal: 922

Let’s eat beans! Many people don’t like beans. Beans are the plant for extending the life of the next generation. Because the plants have an abundance of nutrition, they are very good for your body.

Apples were a nice addition to the jelly today. I am not overly fond of the tiny niboshi style fish (are they niboshi?) in the “Almonds and Fish” despite the charming baseball cap its wearing on the front of the package. So I pawned off my package to one of my students. I really like the bean curry. For some reason beyond my comprehension, a lot people don’t seem to like beans. This seems to be true both here and in the West. Really, beans are like miniature potatoes, and who doesn’t like potatoes? But I must confess I have unusual tastes.

  • ビーンズカレーライス
  • 牛乳
  • ナタデココ入りまぜまぜゼリー
  • アーモンドフィッシュ

Spaghetti Napolitan

August 28th, Tuesday:

  • Brown Stew (Pork, Potato, Onion, Carrot, Red Bell Pepper)
  • Spaghetti Napolitan (Fish Sausage, Onion, Bell Pepper, Spaghetti)
  • Pork Patty
  • Side Sliced Bread
  • Milk
  • kcal: 953

When asked about the cultivation of Furano onions, it appears they do not lack for watering through sprinklers. The raising of onions is connected to the weather of the Furano basin.

Tuesday is “foreign foods” day, so all the dishes are in a foreign (usually western) style, like today often written all in katakana, the script often used to indicate a word of foreign origin (cf. below). Brown stew I am familiar with and pork patty (lit. pork hamburg) was a staple in the school lunches of my youth. Spaghetti Napolitan I assumed was some sort of Italian\European dish but upon looking it up, I was wrong. Instead, Spaghetti Napolitan seems to be American. Namely, it is a Nipponized version of military rations circa Occupied Japan. Thinking more about it, this makes sense. Spaghetti Napolitan tastes rather like military rations circa WWII. Yum, Yum?

Speaking of military rations, when I was child I lived for a short time in a refugee camp. We ate military rations everyday. For breakfast and dinner they set up portable stoves inside a tent and cooked these giant tins of food. The one I recall the most was a sort of egg and meat casserole, but I also remember applesauce. I am a fan of applesauce. Everyone would line up with plates and then soldiers would dish out what we wanted. The bad part was we then had to walk to the eating tent. The eating tent was only short distance away but there was a constant wind blowing up dust which quickly coated all the food on your plate. As a kid I didn’t mind so much, but I think it was difficult for some of the adults. For lunch we had MREs, that is Meals-Ready-to-Eat. My favourite was the pound cake. One soldier kindly shared the recipe that if you mix the cheese spread with the cherry juice mix and put it on the pound cake, it tastes like cherry cheese cake. I never managed to refrain from devour the separate ingredients before collecting them all though.

I ate these as a child. Fond memories.


Westcap Broil

June 15th, Friday:

  • White Fish and Tofu Dumpling Soup (White Fish, Tofu, Daikon Radish, Chinese Cabbage, Green Onion, Carrot)
  • Simmered Cabbage and Potatoes (Cabbage, Potato, Carrot, Pork)
  • Westcap Broiled Red Fish
  • Rice
  • Milk

Westcap broil is a dish made by broiling sliced fish that has been thoroughly marinaded in sake, mirin, and a sweet white miso made in Kyoto called “westcap miso”. If you research it, you will be suprised at how far back the history of miso extends.

Today’s lunch was tasty in a homey sort of way. It is the sort of comfortable thing I would like to eat on a rainy day.

Students, in other words, children often say they dislike school lunch or dislike going to school. This was most certainly true in my hometown and I think it is true here in Japan too. However, I think most adults know that is an incrediably spoiled, selfish, and unjustified attitude. The privelage of getting to eat an inexpensive, healthy, high-calorie hot meal full of variety, without even having to prepare it yourself is amazing. Likewise, being able to spend all day at school, just sitting and learning! That is such a precious privelage. When Japan was first opened to the West, the Japanese gained a reputation for diligence. The stories of people like Ninomiya Sontoku, who studied every spare second he could find, and Yoshida Shoin, who used to recite his lessons with his father as they plowed the feilds together, make this reputation well earned. Which is why I feel so sad today when I see one of my students staring blankly, just hoping for class to be over. I can’t help but ask myself: why do students dislike school now? Why has learning become detestable?
I feel if I could figure out the answer to this question, I could help them rediscover how wonderful learning is. I mean, even I, whose main hobby is studying, sometimes felt school was a cage when I was in high school. So I think the answer is related to schooling (and lunch, as well) becoming compulsory. But it is not simply that.

  • 白身魚と豆腐の団子汁
  • キャベツとじゃがいものみそ煮
  • 赤魚西京焼
  • ごはん
  • 牛乳