School Lunch JAN 26 – FEB 1
It’s Thursday, so that means I’ve enjoyed another week of great school lunches. This week I was at all junior highs so they didn’t over fill my plates. On my island, all the food for elementary and junior high schools are prepared at one central location, then trucked to each school. Every school gets a trolley with sets of containers for each grade. Homeroom teachers’ food is included with their students’, but the rest of us have a separate teachers’ service. They always seem to put in a few extra servings in case people show up, so (usually the male P.E. teachers, but sometimes others) a few people get a bit extra. It seems each group of teachers has a different idea of who needs more food =D.
Milk, Barley Rice, Miso soup with shitake mushrooms, fried egg with Mozuku (a kind of seaweed), stirfry sliced daikon and seaweed, and miso cookies (a present on one of the students’ birthdays… it’s a popular Kumejima treat) You might notice that this one is arranged improperly. The ‘polite’ method would be to have rice on the left and soup on the right, with the other dishes farther away. I give it a pretty solid 5 on the Japan scale… where else are you going to see eggs like that?
Milk, rice millet, fish tempura, cabbage chanpuru, daikon and seaweed soup, shikuasa (sour lime) jelly. This one might just be a 4.5. The shikuasa is a delicious lime variant that is all Okinawa and works great in drinks and desserts. I’m not sure when flour came into use in Japan, but tempura is pretty Japanese. Even this type of chanpuru has more of a Japanese influence than say, goya champuru.
Milk, barley rice, mushroom soup, shrimp and vegetable boiled dumplings, and vegetable oyster stirfry. This one gets a 5… Shrimp dumplings… hmm what do you think?
Milk, Vegetable soup, cream spaghetti with meat and veg, custard filled waffle…. Well, there goes that nice Japanese lunch streak. This one has gaijin written all over it, not that it wasn’t Japanized and tasty. I’m still confused by the waffle desert being paired with pasta. The pasta had a nice cream and cheese sauce. The waffle was maple flavored and cold (but in a good way) from having been frozen. The soup was consomme.
Ok… now you know just how non-Japanese that meal was… I actually knew everything in it without resorting to a dictionary.
Milk, barley rice, stirfry vegetables, “lightly simmered” soup (さわにわん), and Karipori Fish (Karipori is the sound it makes when you eat it, so roughly ‘crunchy small fish’). This one was a challenge to translate to English. The fish dish is one I see on the menu every couple of months. Its mini fishes, whole, with peanuts and a semi sweet glaze binding them together. They’re crunchy, and you eat them bones, head and all. I had to ask a teacher what the soup meant, and then we had to check several dictionaries. It comes down to veggies in a nice light broth that was tasty… No recipe on this one for you. It gets a 5.
My favorite for this week was Friday’s lunch. I’m a sucker for tempura and I’m also a big fan of Shikuwasa. Which one do you think YOU would like LEAST?