Here is another attempt to bring you something interesting from my life in Japan: school lunch. After watching the 22-minute educational video provided by Life Where I’m From, you’ll be shocked to hear that “school lunch” is a recently added institution. Granted, after WW2, there was a lot of “recent activity” going on in the countries that participated. But, I digress.
Upon my arrival to Japan and having school lunch recommended to me brought back childhood horrors of soggy grilled cheeses, plain-bunned hot dogs, and the dreaded Special K cereal. Given a choice between an American lunch and a Japanese one, I’d pick the Japanese one in a heartbeat.
(As I’m writing this, I’m having the funny feeling I’ve talked to you about school lunch before… or at least mentioned it. Anyway!)
Let’s take a minute to exercise your brain and calm your nerves before you freak out and say, “OHMYGOD I am NOT eating THAT!” What do you see? Something white, something kind of brown, and green vegetables and carrots in a broth. Basically, a starch, a protein, vitamins, and minerals.
In the upper, left-hand corner, there’s plain rice. Next to it is a local milk. Below that are potstickers or gyoza (餃子). They look a tad stiff, don’t they? Poor things. They were deep fried before being served. The filling is a simple pork and veg mixture. Next, there is a salad of stirfried bean sprouts with some bacon for flavor. Last, there’s the soup. Green leafy vegetables, carrots and onions make up the bulk of it while quail eggs add a hit of protein.
A lot of my cooking at home resembles this structure.
See you next time!