School Lunch April 19-25
Thursday April 19
Milk, barley rice, meat balls, gourd stir-fry, miso soup, apple jelly
This week had a delicious stir-fry with combu and kanpyou (dried gourd shavings). The miso soup had enoki (long white mushrooms with small caps), and seaweed. The meatballs were Japanese-style with a slightly sweet sauce.
Friday April 24
Milk, Okinawa Soba, Chingensai and beansprout salad, orange
Here’s an Okinawan classic. Soba are buckwheat noodles, in Okinawa they usually served in a bowl with a thick slice of bacon, one or two fish paste slices, onions, and a hearty broth.
Monday April 23
Milk, bibinba, seaweed soup, cheese and small fish
Bibinba is actually a Korean dish popular in Japan. Like many Japanese ‘don’ it is a rice bowl topped with thinly sliced fried egg, meat and vegetables. In this school friendly version, the hot sauce was left out, but the meat (very nice beef) was well seasoned. The soup was Wakame or ‘brown seaweed’ with tofu.
Tuesday April 24
Milk, barley rice, small fried fish, lotus root kinpira, ‘strained’ soup, brown sugar cake.
This one got mixed reactions among the elementary school students, mostly for the lotus root rather than the fish heads. I actually liked the kinpira (cut vegetables) which were mostly root vegetables cooked in a broth but served separately. The soup had daikon (giant white radish), mushrooms, and chingensai, in a clear broth.
Wednesday April 25
Milk, Kobe bread, cabbage cream stew, burdock root salad, marmalade jam
This was my favorite meal of the week, and it was made more fun since I ate with a group of third grade elementary students. Most of them thought the marmalade was too sweet, which is common since most Japanese sweets don’t use as much sugar as their western versions. The stew was full of potatoes carrots, chicken, and cabbage, among other things. I’m pretty sure burdock is something I never had before coming to Japan, but it is a favorite of mine now, especially in dishes that mix it with carrot.