Stranger’s Dish

January 23rd, Wednesday:


  • Stranger’s Dish (Pork, Egg, Onion, Green Onion, Bamboo Shoot, Shimeji Mushroom)
  • Milk
  • Miso Soup (Chinese Cabbage, Carrot, Bean Curd)
  • Sweet Wine-Dried Herring
  • Kcal: 835

Everyone, are you careful about using your chopsticks? Chopsticks (hashi) are a bridge (hashi) between ourselves and food, so using chopsticks well is fundamental to good table manners. Let’s be careful about correctly holding our chopsticks.

Today’s miso soup was really lovely. It had a mild taste with the neutral tasting cabbage and carrots, with lots of bean curd to make it taste delicious. As I’ve mentioned before, Stranger’s Dish is in contrast to Mother and Child Dish (Oyakodon) It has the same ingredients, except it uses pork instead of chicken. Pork, unlike chicken, is no “mother” to egg.

Today, I had a sort of interview test with my students. Especially at the school I went to today, the students are really very sweet, but also quite shy and don’t talk so much. So getting to talk to the students one on one in a structured setting like that was nice. But actually, such interview tests are only recently becoming common.

Japan is a land of tests. Most tests in Japan test not only material of a certain subject, but also one’s ability to study. This is because most tests use only material from a published study guide. Unlike American tests such as the GRE or SAT or FSOT, if you devote the proper amount of time to studying the study guide, there will be no surprises on such a test in Japan. Japanese tests are sometimes criticized as being unrealistic because of this, but actually, I rather prefer it. I suspect it is the only way to make a truly fair test. This Friday, I will take the Kanji Kantei, a sort of test about chinese characters. Because I studied the study guide a lot, I feel confident I will pass. Although actually, I am only taking Level 6, which is still Elementary School level. (・x ・)

  • 他人丼
  • 牛乳
  • みそ汁
  • にしんみりん干し

Miso Oden Yum! Yum!

December 18th, Friday:


  • Miso Soup (Winter Mushroom, Tofu, Green Onion)
  • Curry Miso Oden (Squid Surimi, Quail Egg, Daikon, Konnyaku, Carrot)
  • Salt-Broiled Dull Mackerel
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 860

Oden is a type of simmered dish. The ingredients differ depening on the place and household, but include daikon, bamboo surimi, and boiled eggs. What do you like in your oden?

Francois Launet is a french artist whose internet name is “Goomi” (塵), whose Cthulhian art I’ve been a fan of since high school. Here is a comic of his I always bringing to mind when eating. Unfortunately, only



But I really honestly do love miso oden.


Okome de Christmas Cake! (#^_^#)

December 21st, Friday:

  • Wakame Soup (Green Onion, Onion, Wakame Seaweed)
  • Sauteed Veggies and Bacon (Egg, Cabbage, Spinach, Carrot, Bacon)
  • Pine Spicy Chicken
  • Okome de Christmas Cake
  • Kcal: 800

The last school lunch of 2012 is the Christmas Menu. This year’s Christmas cake doesn’t use eggs, milk, or wheat, so those with allergies can feel safe to eat it.

Japan has whole-heartedly embraced the commercial Christmas celebration as sold by America. I can’t really approve with sickeningly sweet distortion of a holiday it has become here or there, but Japan means well. Two “Japanese” Christmas traditions are to eat chicken (ie, Kentucky fried) and cake, and you can see this reflected in this lunch menu.

Cool thing about the cake this year is it is ‘okome’ which as I have explained before means it is made with rice flour and other local ingredients. Merry Christmas!


Petit Chou

December 13th, Thursday:


  • Konbu Udon (Chicken, Konbu Seaweed, Naruto Surimi, Onion, Bean Curd, Carrot, Green Onion)
  • Milk
  • Mince Meat Dumpling
  • Petit Chou
  • Kcal: 830

During the cold season, Seven Spice (Shichimi Tougarashi) is a condiment which is required for noodle dishes. The flavour will warm up our bodies. It is a characteristically Japanese mixed spice.

Petit chou are mini creampuffs, Beard Papa being the most popular brand in my hometown. But I hate chou cream, especially in cream puffs. Why? you ask. They taste decent, are fairly expensive, and full of elegant French class so there are occasions when they are served to me as a treat. But the yicky milk chou cream make me terribly sick. Yet I feel obligated to eat this specially expensive treat the host so thoughtful bought for me.


Salt Broiled Rockfish

December 12th, Wednesday:


  • Chicken and Egg Bowl (Chicken, Onion, Egg, Green Onion, Shimeji Mushroom)
  • Milk
  • Miso Soup (Potato, Carrot)
  • Salt Broiled Rockfish

December 12th is “Kanji no hi (Chinese Character Day)”. The kanji for the rockfish is “目張”. Just as the kanji show, rockfish is characterized by its eyes (目) which are very big and stick out (張) in front of it.


Ginger Fry

December 10th, Monday:


  • Miso Soup (Daikon Radish, Tofu, Green Onion)
  • Vegetable Ginger Stirfry (Pork, Onion, Cabbage, Carrot, Shrimp, Ginger)
  • Breaded Shrimp
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 849

Do you know what miso is made from? Miso is made from soy beans. Soy beans can be made into many foods besides miso such as natto, tofu, and shoyu.

My students were so nice to me today. Knowing I don’t like meat, they did their best to serve me only the vegetables of the Ginger Stirfry


Suki Pork

December 3rd, Monday:

Miso Soup (Cabbage, Carrot)
Suki-style Pork Simmer (Pork, Shirataki Konnyaku, Tofu, Green Onion, Enoki Mushroom)
Thick Fried Egg
Kcal: 862

As the staple food of the Japanese, rice is a food we cannot do without. Of course when eating Japanese dishes, but it also goes well with Western style side dishes. When you chew it well, the sweetness of it increases.


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


November 16th, Friday:

  • Miso Soup (Carrot, Chinese Cabbage, Wakame Seaweed)
  • Mabudofu (Tofu, Pork, Green Onion, Shiitake)
  • Pork Dumpling
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Kcal: 782

Mabudofu and dumplings (shuumai) are both a type of Chinese dim sum (tenshin). Dim sum are foods that accompany the soup and main dish. Sweets, snacks and various light dishes are also called dim sum.

I was sick. 😦 I like this style Chinese food, at least in school lunch. Last month, I bought some mabudofu at the convenience store. It was so spicy, I felt unwell for two days after eating it.


Chestnut Squash

November 8th, Thursday:

  • Wakame Udon (Chicken, Wakame Seaweed, Naruto Surimi, Onion, Bean Curd, Carrot, Green Onion)
  • Milk
  • Fried Chestnut Squash Roll
  • Orange Jelly
  • Kcal: 734

This the first time we’ve had Chestnut Squash Roll. Using chestnut squash that we can enjoy the sweetness of kabocha with, it is then wrapped with surimi and fried.

I wanted to eat Chestnut  Squash Roll, but instead I was very sick. 😦