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Japanese School lunches


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#121 helenjp

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 09:48 PM

Hmmm...I think the answer is a large pack of chili pepper and some packs of nori in your desk! If it's hidden under a blanket of black nori, it can't bother you, right?

#122 Hiroyuki

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 10:06 PM

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This is my least favorite school lunch that is served at my school. It is yakisoba (which is normally really good, but the school lunch version is terrible), wieners with a watered down ketchup, a hot dog type bun, apple wedge (this is the best part of the lunch, can't ruin fruit), milk (it does a body good, even mine).  Sometimes I put the wieners on the bun, sometimes I put the yakisoba on the bun, sometimes I cry, but every time I die a little inside.  My other kyushokus are normally pretty good, this is the exception.  I would rather make bento, but I am too lazy  :biggrin:

edited to say, I just figured out how to post pictures, this is my first (does celebration dance in the teacher's room, gets wierd looks)

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I remember that my school lunch yakisoba (almost 40 years ago) used to be quite greasy, but I liked it all the same. Why do you think the school lunch version is terrible?

#123 fenyx66

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 10:14 PM

Why do you think the school lunch version is terrible?



I think the noodles are too soggy, and they don't taste like yakisoba noodles, it tastes like soggy spaghetti noodles. I think the students like it because I hear their "oishiso"s (looks delicious) so maybe I think it might just be me, but the other foreign teachers in the other middles schools also don't like the school's yakisoba, it has become kind of our little joke, we compare things to it, or say stuff like "I'd rather eat kyushoku yakisoba" or "I'm so hungry I'd eat kyushoku yakisoba" and then we'd all reply with gagging sounds or "oh my gosh, you must be really hungry", but it 's funny. The flavor isn't good, there is just nothing good about it. I can understand that it is probably hard to mass produce something like yakisoba in the Kyushoku center, so I just keep a stiff upper lip and only complain to my outside of school friends and of course on E-gullet. Of course I shouldn't expect gourmet food for only 200 yen a meal. It's still better and healthier than the American school lunches I ate as a kid. :laugh:

Hmmm...I think the answer is a large pack of chili pepper and some packs of nori in your desk! If it's hidden under a blanket of black nori, it can't bother you, right?



I keep gomashio (black sesame and salt) in my desk, but I don't usually keep anything for this. Nori, eh? It's worth a shot, and some chili powder might work, or maybe I could just look at the monthly menu and bring a natto maki or something as a substitute and just forget it. I will take some pictures of my favorite kyushokus and post them when we come around to them in the monthly cycle.

Edited by fenyx66, 08 February 2006 - 10:24 PM.


#124 helenjp

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 10:50 PM

Joking aside, crumbling up some nori over the yakisoba might help both texture and taste.

There is certainly quite a range in kyuushoku supervisors. When my boys first started elementary school, their kyuushoku were just exemplary - nicely cooked, menus had a nice combination of items and looked attractive, there was a definite seasonal feeling to the menus, etc.

Then came a woman under whose supervision the team turned out adequate food, but the menus were the most unappetizing combinations! I can't remember them now, but I think serving hot-dogs with yakisoba is a good example.

#125 torakris

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:40 PM

Yesterday there was a fire in the kitchen at my daughters' elementary school.
News report and picture
No one was hurt and the kids were let out a little early. The Kitchen was quite damaged though and we will be making bento lunches until further notice...
Apparently they left the oil for tempura to heat while they attended a meeting.

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It turns out we may be making bentos through until June....
I miss my kyushoku!! :sad:

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#126 helenjp

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 05:16 PM

Your loss is our gain - we look forward to seeing you on the Bento thread! :cool:
I'm in for school bento too...

#127 fenyx66

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 08:55 PM

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So this one is ok, just and omelet with ketchup, steamed broccoli, bread and hakusai and bacon stew with milk and green tea.
Not too bad. the other day we had a really good lunch and i forgot to take a picture, it will come around again though.

#128 fenyx66

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 09:24 PM

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This is one of my favorite school lunches, it is a bowl of curry with potatoes, carrots, and beef. Rice, three kinds of pickled vegetables (regular curry rice pickles (I forget what they are called) dill pickles (from costco that I brought to share with the teachers) and pickled hakusai), fruit salad, milk and green tea. And my hundred-yen slinky is there too.

#129 Hiroyuki

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 06:47 PM

I learned today from a TV show that at this school, school lunches are made by hotel restaurant chefs.
http://www.ritsumei....hoollife_1.html
(Japanese only)
The school lunch expense is 95,000 yen per year, which is, according to the TV show, about twice as high as that at normal elementary schools in Japan.

#130 teamboom

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 12:20 PM

Ok there is a restaurant http://www.kyusyokut...syoku/index.htm
in Japan that I really want to go when I visit in January!!

I can't read Japanese so I'm at a loss to find this place.

Can you help?

It's basically japanese school lunch themed restaurant!
It looks so cute.

#131 torakris

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 02:50 PM

Ok there is a restaurant http://www.kyusyokut...syoku/index.htm
in Japan that I really want to go when I visit in January!!

I can't read Japanese so I'm at a loss to find this place.

Can you help?

It's basically japanese school lunch themed restaurant!
It looks so cute.

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The closest staion is Shin-okachimachi on the Oedo line, exit at A3 and it is on your left.

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#132 teamboom

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 11:31 PM

The closest staion is Shin-okachimachi on the Oedo line, exit at A3 and it is on your left.

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Is this in Tokyo?
Thank you!

I have been browsing through the Japan threads, searching for tips and such, but I will probably make a thread of my own later on.

#133 torakris

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 11:49 PM


The closest staion is Shin-okachimachi on the Oedo line, exit at A3 and it is on your left.

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Is this in Tokyo?

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Yes it is.

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#134 Hiroyuki

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 05:39 AM

Let me show you October's lunch menu of my children's elementary school:
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Today (25th) was a special day for the pupils, especially the fifth graders, because it was the day when they had the Koshihikari rice that the fifth graders had planted and harvested. The menu for the day was made by the fifth graders.

Reverse side of the paper:
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Close-up of the illustration of how to combine dishes:
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#135 helenjp

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 05:38 PM

The kid-made menu seems to happen only in elementary schools. It's a great idea, and the children usually create a realistic menu. My sons both enjoyed the menu that their 6th grade classes put together just before they graduated from the school - the whole school gets to eat that menu, which naturally includes many favorites, and it helps to create a mood of celebration right through the school. How can the younger kids *not* love the outgoing 6th graders, when they are responsible for strawberry parfait and fried chicken *on the same day*!

The school also incorporated vegetables from the school vegetable garden in summer, always with much fanfare.

Even at middle school, we get letters from the public school nurse about seasonal foods and healthy eating for each season, as well as basics such as portion/calories and food groups.

Son1's middle school has a catered lunch, with a choice of 2 menus. He just brought home his copy of the choices for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of November. I wanted to know why he'd chosen all the extremely traditional dishes - he says the queues for those menus are always shorter. By traditional, I mean things like dried taro stalks!

The menu offers tofu or beans etc 2x weekly, with fish and meat at least once each.

Son2's middle school has no school lunch, and has several restrictions on what kids can bring in their lunchboxes - no commercial packages, not even cheese or dried fish.

Son1's eating habits vindicated him a while back - another kid booby-trapped the classroom piano with a carton of milk, which spilled all over the keyboard when the piano lid was lowered. The kid tried to blame son1, but son1 said that in 9 years, he had never failed to eat and drink everything on his lunch tray, not to mention lots of stuff from other people's lunch trays...and his classmates apparently agreed that his eating habits were so well-known that it was unthinkable that he wouldn't drink his milk, and voted him innocent!

One of son2's teachers occasionally checks lunchbox contents in various sneaky ways - the other day he claimed that he was too hungry to continue teaching, and had son2 hand over his lunch, exclaiming over the contents so enthusiastically that the entire class rushed up the front to see what the fuss was about. He then returned it to son2, saying that a good sniff was enough to see him through to lunchtime, thank you...

#136 Hiroyuki

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 09:57 PM

Slightly off-topic, but I have to post a picture of the Shiozawa Koshihikari rice made by the fifth graders:
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They had a cultural festival today at my children's elementary school, and the fifth graders sold one hundred 3-gou bags for 300 yen per bag. They literally sold like hot cakes.

The leaflet says

Made by the fifth graders!!
World's best, Uonuma Koshihikari

Edit: Corrected some silly errors.

Edited by Hiroyuki, 28 October 2006 - 12:50 AM.


#137 helenjp

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 12:12 AM

That's pretty special. I bet those kids will have a changed view of rice for the rest of their lives.

#138 Hiroyuki

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 02:13 AM

That's pretty special. I bet those kids will have a changed view of rice for the rest of their lives.

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Traditionally, it's the job of the fifth graders to take care of the school rice paddies at the seven elementary schools here in the Shiozawa area. :smile:

#139 torakris

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 03:57 PM

My oldest daughter is a 5th grader and she also has spent the past year harvesting a rice field.
pictures can be seen here, on her school's website. The page doesn't load directly so look for where it says みたけ米 on the left.

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#140 Hiroyuki

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 05:54 PM

My oldest daughter is a 5th grader and she also has spent the past year harvesting a rice field.
pictures can be seen here, on her school's website. The page doesn't load directly so look for where it says みたけ米 on the left.

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So, it seems that rice plantation is the job of the fifth graders throughout Japan. That makes sense, because the sixth graders are busy with other matters.

I had the Koshihikarice rice this morning. I found it really tasty. :wub: I had two and a half bowls (o-chawan) of it with little okazu (side dish).

#141 sk_ward

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 08:22 PM

My oldest daughter is a 5th grader and she also has spent the past year harvesting a rice field.
pictures can be seen here, on her school's website. The page doesn't load directly so look for where it says ???? on the left.

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Wow, your 10,000th post!!!! Cool! :cool: :biggrin: :cool: I think that deserves a congratulations!

#142 Hiroyuki

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 09:29 PM

My oldest daughter is a 5th grader and she also has spent the past year harvesting a rice field.
pictures can be seen here, on her school's website. The page doesn't load directly so look for where it says ???? on the left.

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Wow, your 10,000th post!!!! Cool! :cool: :biggrin: :cool: I think that deserves a congratulations!

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After I read your post, I thought about conguratulating Kritin too, but I had to check first if that post of hers was really her 10,000th post (Detective Hiroyuki :cool: ), and I found that it was actually this post in the takikomi gohan thread.
Congratulations, Kris, anyway! Why not celebrate this with Shiozawa Koshihikari rice?! :biggrin:

#143 Hiroyuki

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 05:40 AM

Lunch menu for next week at my kids' elementary school:
Nov. 6: Curry pilaf, wakame soup, potato salad, meat balls dressed in ketchup
670 kcal
7: Rice, soy milk soup, kirizai (local dish of natto, pickles, sesame seeds, etc.), potato corokke, mikan
659
8: Sweet potato rice, whisked-egg soup, kamikami (chew-chew) salad, grilled hokke (Atka mackerel)
This menu, "kamikami kondate", is meant to teach the pupils to chew well.
562
9: Rice, satoimo soup, goma ae (dish dressed in sesame sauce), mackerel simmered with miso, Japanese pear
628
10: Barley noodles, chicken soup, boiled spinach, gobo daigaku (coated with syrup?)
644

The rice is Shiozawa Koshihikari rice, of course. I envy my kids...

#144 Hiroyuki

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 05:38 PM

If you live in Japan and have children attending to elementary school, this is something you have to do as their gurdian after it is their turn to serve lunches for one week.
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Washing and ironing the kyushoku gi (garments), hats, and bags. (I have two children, so I sometimes have to wash and iron two of them.)
Children bring the kyushoku gi from school on Friday and their guardians wash and iron them, and the children take them back to school on Monday.

#145 jean_genie

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 10:01 PM

I sometimes wish I taught at a shougakkou or even a chuugakkou for the kyuushoku (as a JET participant, I don't get to choose my placement). Fellow JETs who visit elementary and junior high often tell me how good and cheap the kyuushoku are. Of course, there are also those less open-minded ones who complain about the fish, tofu, etc, but they're just plain fussy.

Edited by jean_genie, 21 July 2007 - 10:02 PM.


#146 Pouncy

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 03:41 AM

As a junior high teacher in Yokohama, I switch between two schools, and the lunches are different at each one. I don't speak any Japanese really, so this is my untutored American explanation.

At my favorite school, which is in a less affluent area, there are 4 selections:
A lunch: Rotates through fairly standard sorts of main dishes, such as fish, korokke, noodles, braised veggies, with sides of salad or pickles and sea weed. comes with its own box of rice on the side.
B lunch: Salt-roast salmon with rotating pickle/salad/seaweed sides.
C lunch: Curry rice.
D lunch: Veggie sushi type rolls n a bed of rice, often with tamago.

The teachers usually get A or B lunch - I started off on B lunch and switched to A lunch when I was assured that natto was never a main dish. Every time natto comes as a side dish, we're guaranteed to find at least a dozen servings dumped in the bushes outside the main classroom building, so it's not often an option. Pretty much everyone brings a bento or gets school lunch - I consistently get school lunch, though sometimes I forget to sign up in time in the morning and have to run to the conbini for a sandwich.

At my other school, in a very affluent area, there are many more options, from curry rice to tonkatsu to onigiri - easily ten options/day to the other school's 4. Also, as a teacher, sometimes the staff room orders from a very good local restaurant, or I'll walk to McDonald's a block away on my lunch and use the wifi on my laptop to call my family and check email. I've also hit the grocery store nearby for little salads and what-have-you to try new things.

I'm never entirely sure what I'm eating with school lunch, just usually that I like it, and the kids get a kick out of seeing the crazy American teacher eat Japanese food with chopsticks (which I'm pretty decent at). Except for umeboshi and natto. I'll pass on those! Also, my adult cooking students are very impressed that I eat school lunch, and I'm not sure why. All in all, I like it. It's convenient, good, and one less thing I have to haul on the train for 2 hours every morning!

#147 MomOfLittleFoodies

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 12:46 PM

Every time natto comes as a side dish, we're guaranteed to find at least a dozen servings dumped in the bushes outside the main classroom building, so it's not often an option. 


This reminds me of those lovely green "salads" that they used to serve with school lunches when I was in grade school. Very few kids actually ate them (they were just lettuce dressed in oil and vinegar), and the garbage cans always looked like a greasy head of lettuce exploded in there.
Cheryl

#148 torakris

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 06:14 PM

Our school has implemented an English program from this year and I am currently volunteering a couples days a month to help out. The principal says that they can't pay me but they will give me a school lunch every day I am at the school. This works out just fine for me! Next week I get to finally try the bibimbap, which apparently was voted #1 of all the lunches by the kids.
If I remember I'll try to add some pictures of my meals.

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#149 helenjp

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:49 PM

It's 3 years since my kids were at a school with a lunch program, so I'll be very interested to hear what the latest and greatest menus are!

Fascinated by the number of options for school lunches...our local JHS only ever had A lunch and B lunch. Not an affluent area, but not rock bottom (for Chiba, anyway).

#150 GlorifiedRice

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:08 PM

Im so sad for my country after reading this post and this one http://forums.egulle...e-school-lunch/


Even after Jamie Oliver TRIED it still went back to crap
Wawa Sizzli FTW!