School Lunch in Japan September 3-7

Monday September 3

Milk, pork curry rice with pickled vegetable, fruit salad with beans

Although we had school last week and lunch to go with it, the official start of the second semester began with September.  It’s common to begin and end with favorites, so today we had curry rice with thinly sliced pork worked in and a side of fruit cocktail and beans for extra protein.  It may be hard to see, but there were also a bit of pickled vegetables at the top of the curry.  These tsukemono are a common addition to curry and come in different flavors.  These add a sweet/briny crunch to the dish.

Tuesday September 4

Milk, yakisoba, pumpkin croquet, vegetable soup

This meal is all about summer foods.  Yakisoba is fried noodles with vegetables, meat, and a sauce.  On the side we had a mashed pumpkin (kabocha) croquet and a soup with vegetables.  It was tasty, but the foods are definitely influenced by non-traditional sources so only 2 bowls on the Japan scale.

Wednesday September 5

Milk, bread, baked fish, papaya and cucumber salad, clear broth soup, marmalade

Why three bowls when there’s bread on the tray?  Mostly the soup.  This soup is all Japanese.  With tofu, mozuku, and leeks in a dashi broth its traditional and delicious.  There was also a bit of baked fish, but with a tomato and herb sauce on top.  The salad was a mayonnaise infused (yes its quite common here) papaya and cucumber salad.  Here the papaya is used as a vegetable instead of fruit.  Checkout my papaya irichi recipe if you’re unconvinced about how delicious green papaya can be.

There was also a package of sweet marmalade to spread on the bread.  I went ahead and made a fish sandwich with half, and then saved the other half for desert.

Thursday September 6

Milk, barley rice, fried egg, stir fry, orange

The orange is the only thing keeping this from a completely Japanese meal.  A sea plant was mixed in with the egg before it was fried, folded and cut into the common Japanese style.  The center of the meal was a delicious mix of root vegetables and tofu and meat in a savory stew reduction.

Friday September 7

Milk, barley rice, noodle stir fry, mushroom soup, sweetened mini fish

Today’s meal has a heavy Okinawan influence to it.  The soup contains shitake, meat, and processed root vegetables.  The main dish was a stir fry of thick noodles and vegetables.  The final item is a mix of crunchy whole fish with peanuts in a sweet, almost, candy coating.  The fish are very small, but still cleaned and fried, though the heads are still attached.  The coating keeps everything together, though you have to be a bit careful when chewing not to impale the top of your mouth with a sharp fish tail!

Thanks for reading!