School Lunch February 23-29
Thursday February 23
Milk, millet rice, sautéed burdock and carrots, mayo baked salmon, ‘clear’ soup
This one is definitely Japanese (ok so maybe not mayo… but then I’ve only ever seen mayo salmon in Japan). I’ve been wondering what that root dish was for forever… I now know what my second favorite vegetable is… burdock root. SO good.
Friday February 24
Milk, white rice, Japanese style chicken curry (carrots, potatoes, chicken, onion, and green pepper), pickled vegetables (cucumber and daikon)
Curry is always a hit with Japanese school kids. It’s not originally from Japan, but this version is well adapted. The change-up here is with the protein. In Okinawa it’s usually spam or fried pork cutlet. Today we got chicken. The plates were definitely clean…
Monday February 27
Milk, barley rice, fried fish (gurukun), papaya stir fry, mozuku soup
This one is close to 100% Japanese. I’m not sure about papaya though. Its common in Okinawa, but how about up north? I don’t normally associate papaya with Japanese food, but they do some wonderful things with it. In this case, green papaya is used like a vegetable, in a stir fry (irichi-).
Tuesday February 28
Milk, Okinawan Soba (fish paste ‘logs’, pork belly, onions, noodles, broth), pickled vegetables, orange slice
This one again would be 100% Japanese, but it’s just a bit on the Okinawan side. Soba is one of those dishes that always gets a bit of a regional flair. In Okinawa, soba is generally eaten with a hot broth, pork and fish paste. Its delicious! Many Okinawans add hot (pepper infused) oil and other spices as well. At least one teacher always seems to smuggle some in.
This meal was requested by one of the island’s third years. For them there’s only 10 days left until graduation!
Wednesday February 29
Happy Urudoshi! うるう年 is leap year in Japanese.
Milk, ‘Chinese bowl’ (ie a don: quail eggs, shrimp, assorted veggies over white rice), chingensai soup, strawberries
The Chinese bowl had all kinds of good stuff in it all cooked in a semi sweet sauce. The chingensai is a plant very similar to bokchoy . It has wide green leaves and a thick base, but isn’t as long as its cousin. It’s a very easy plant to grow during the winter months and works great in soup. I grow some in my own garden.