- Kenchin Udon (Udon, Bamboo Shoot, Spinach, Shimeji Mushrooms, Bean Curd, Carrot, Daikon Radishes, Green Onion, Plum Gluten, Konnyaku)
- Local Squash and Mincemeat Fry
- Baked Pudding Tart
- Kcal: 724
A Year of Japanese School Lunch
December 29th, Tuesday:
Penne has a diagonally cut mouth, and since this resembles a “pen”, it is called that. The small proves on the outside of the noodle are to help hold the sauce.
Today, I think I accidentally stole Kyoto-Sensei’s lunch. He, of course, was so kind to pretend that it wasn’t so, but I still feel a bit bad about it. Today’s lunch was tasty though! Esp, I liked the western style soup. Although thinking about it, I pretty much love all soups. Penne and Squash are both pretty heavy foods, so I felt so full afterwards. One of the boys at my table today ate over two full school lunches–two milks, two rolls, two croquettes, and a ton of penne–which was amazing. Even his classmates were impressed.
January 17th, Thursday:
“Kashiwa Udon” is udon with chicken meat in it. An udon dish from Nothern Kyuushuu, chicken meat is called “kashiwa” there.
I like udon a lot. It has a delicious fairly light broth and the noodles are wonderfully soft and chewy. It is just a pleasent food to eat. The other day, I was reading a historical recipe that called for うどん粉 or udon flour. Looking at the market, all the flour was marked soft, medium, or hard protein: none of it was marked “udon”. So I turned to that infallible font of knowledge: wikipedia. And here is what I found out.
Soft flour was unknown in Japan before the Meiji period and it wasn’t used much until after the war. Hard flour, on the other hand, was mostly used in ramen making. The most popular wheat flour was medium flour (in haole language we call that “all purpose flour”) and since the most common wheat-using dish was udon, this is called “udon flour”.
Also of interest was the difference between “udon flour” and “meriken flour”. They are both medium flours, but udon flour is grown in Japan and whiter in colour, while merikan flour is an off-white and of course, imported from America.
November 8th, Thursday:
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. 😦
October 11th, Thursday:
Again, “furusato kyuushoku”. Warabi (fernbrake) is more commonly translated as “bracken” in English, but since the term bracken immediately brings up the image of “bracken water”–not a good thing–I feel fernbrake has a more appetising sound. Signorina Mushrooms are “maitake” in Japanese, which means something like twirling mushroom. The cookies were handmade apparently… they skipped the factory.
October 9th, Tuesday:
September 14th, Friday:
Seasonal food is much more delicious. Looking around you, can you feel the plenty of Autumn? Autumn may be the most delicious season of them all.
A strong awareness of the seasons is part of the Japanese national character. The modern incarnation of this includes associating certain activities with the seasons. In the case of Autumn, it is usually associated with eating, sports, and reading. Eating is hardly surprising, given it’s harvest time. Sports can also be logically explained as the cool but not yet cold weather of Autumn is most suitable for physical activity. Reading doesn’t have a particular reason to my knowledge, but if you have passed your Sunday in the park reading while gold and crimson fall gently about you, I think you should be able to understand.
August 21st, Tuesday:
“Pasta” means “dough” in Italian. It is made from a hard wheat flour with lots of protein called Durum Semolina.
July 11th, Wednesday:
Zucchini has a thin long shape like a cucumber, but actually it is related to the kabocha squash. Not only the fruit but also the flower of this vegetable is eaten during the summer season.
There is no English class today, so I didn’t eat school lunch. I’m sorry. But actually, I despise dried sardines (chirimen jako), so maybe I am not that sorry.
By the way, while most haole people don’t associate curry with omelets, it is a very popular combination. In fact, “omukare” or omelet curry and rice is a specialty in my town here. So I stole the above picture from a local restaurant called The Pavilion of Cheerful Comfort (Shoraku-tei).