School Lunch in Japan for June 26-29
Tuesday June 26
Milk, barley rice, goya chanpuru, fried fish, clear soup
Thanks to last week’s Dragon Boat Festival, there was no school for my junior highs on Monday. We started off the shortened week with an Okinawan meal of fried banana fish and goya chanpuru. The fish was covered in a light tempura batter and fried, followed up with a clear soup of komatsuna.
Wednesday June 27
Milk, barley rice, shrimp and vegetable dumplings, vegetable and oyster stir fry, harusame soup
This meal had a strong Chinese influence. The dumplings were mostly processed shrimp meat with a thin green container. The soup had cabbage and mushrooms with harusame (clear bean noodles). The stir fry was mostly vegetables with chicken and an oyster sauce based seasoning.
Thursday June 28
Milk, millet rice, stuffed whole fish, cabbage in sesame dressing, murakumo soup, soft black beans
Thursday’s meal was another very traditional Japanese meal. The baked fish are stuffed with eggs and are meant to be eaten whole. Beside them, was a salad of cabbage, cucumber, carrots and other vegetables in a sesame sauce. The soup was an egg drop with seaweed and tofu. In Japanese ‘kumo’ means cloud, so the name of the soup comes from the cloudy image of the eggs in the soup. Finally, the meal was topped off with dried beans. The beans had been cooked then dried, so it was lucky I had some left over milk to wash them down with.
Friday June 29
Milk, summer vegetable spaghetti, unohana croquet, and one prune.
The only thing that keeps this meal from getting a straight one bowl of rice is the croquet. Unohana (aka okara) is the residue leftover after making tofu. The bean curds were mixed with a bit of seaweed, then breaded and fried. Likely there was some potato mixed in as well. The spaghetti was one of the better ones I’ve seen done for school lunch in Japan. Instead of being dry, there was an ample amount of sauce served separately from the noodles. Included was eggplant, onion, peppers, burdock, carrots, and other vegetables.