Category Archives: School Lunch Posts

School Lunch in Okinawa October 22-31

Monday October 22 Milk, autumn rice, baked mackerel, cabbage and sesame salad, root vegetable soup Monday’s meal highlights one of the major strengths of Japanese cuisine: seasonal ingredients.  The rice was infused with flavors and vegetables that are ripe in autumn.  Along side the rice was a salad of cabbage, cucumber and other vegetables in sesame dressing, a clear broth soup with root vegetables, and a slice of baked mackerel. Tuesday October 23 Milk, Chinese rice bowl, wakame (seaweed) soup, orange This

School Lunch in Okinawa October 1-4

Monday October 1 Menu: Milk, barley rice, cabbage chanpuru, baked miso fish fillet, clear broth root vegetable soup Review: Its been about three weeks since I’ve had any of these meals.  Normally, I’d have expected two weeks of American food to wash away any true memory of the dishes.  Strangely, this trip I was disappointed by food I ate.  I went and searched out all the foods that had strong memory ties, yet they all felt flat compared to my memories,

School Lunch in Japan for Sept 10-28

Things have been interesting around here for the last few weeks.  My novel is out, we got hit with typhoon 1216 and 1217 and there was a sports festival thrown in.  Why does any of this matter in a School Lunch post?  Well in Japan, or at least on my island, all of this tends to mess with 1. my ability to get a school lunch,  2. My ability to remember to take pictures of them, and 3. My ability to actually

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

School Lunch August 27-31

School is back, and with it we return to our weekly review of lunches in Okinawan Schools.    This week was cut a bit short by Typhoon 1215 and the Kyubon holidays, but we did have two days of school. Tuesday August 28 Milk, barley rice, baked fish fillet, vegetable stir fry, clear soup with root vegetables. Today’s meal is not the one planned for the day.  Although the typhoon was well past by Tuesday, the strong winds created high

The Last School Lunch Before Summer

This is it.  The last week of school lunches before students go to summer break and I go back to eating convenience store bentos (lunch boxes) for the next month.  I’m going to miss the variety and relative healthiness (and standardized portions) of school food.  Since students aren’t in school, I’ll be working at my local Board of Education.  Most other teachers will alternate summer vacation days with work at school.  When they’re in town they’ll likely alternate between bentos, going out

School Lunch in Okinawa for July 9-13

Monday July 9 Milk, wakame rice, shredded vegetable stir fry, skewered meatballs, and mozuku miso soup, miso cookie Today’s meal had a variety of sea plants featured in the cooking.  In the rice, shredded wakame, a type of seaweed, gave a little extra flavor to the usual white rice.  In the soup, another common local seaweed, mozuku, complimented the rich miso flavors.  The stir fry  had a multitude of vegetables, including dried daikon (white radish) and konnyaku (a jelly made

School Lunch in Japan for June 18-22

Monday June 18 Milk, millet rice, minced meat stuffed inari, stir fry vegetables, kenchin soup, apple  This lunch was a somewhat strange mix of flavors.  Inari is a soybean product similar to tofu.  They are little pockets made from bean curd in a slightly sweet sauce.  Usually they are stuffed with sushi rice and served cold.  This version paired the same slightly sweet inari flavor with meat, which was strange for me but quite edible.  The rest of the meal

School Lunch in Japan June 12-15

Tuesday June 12 Milk, a-sa chanhan, fried gyoza, chingensai soup This meal hits a lot of Okinawan flavors. The chahan is a typical Okinawan fried rice flavored with dashi and garlic, but with a-sa, a local sea plant that is also often used in soups. The gyoza are originally from China but are tastily adapted in a variety of ways throughout Japan. With my island being so close to China, it’s no wonder we get unique twists between the two

School Lunch in Japan for June 4-8

Monday June 4 Milk, hijiki rice, sweet and sour chingensai, fatty tofu soup, almonds The main course for this meal was a type of fried rice with hijiki seaweed mixed in.  Hijiki is a small black plant.  The salad was chingensai (a leafy vegetable), ham, and other vegetables in a aemono, or sweet pickling dressing.  The soup was broken tofu and onion. Tuesday June 5 Milk, barley rice, sautéed burdock, fried kibinago, daikon clear soup, purple potato chips This meal

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