Here's a quick look at what I had today: hearty udon with fried tofu, squid and sweet potato tempura (!) and a boiled veggies with a sesame dressing. The (!) after tempura is my surprise over the fact that someone went to the trouble of delicately breading and deep frying thousands of pieces of sweet potatoes and squid for public school children.
Cold udon! Come summer in Tokyo and restaurants start asking you "tsumetai?" when you order noodles. That means you can get them cold in a cold broth. Amazing how different temperatures can bring out different flavors. Duh. But still. And I really like the fact that summer heat brings cold noodles. Just a simple nod to the seasons, but nevertheless...mmm. A tiny girl instructed me to properly eat this dish by dipping the tempura in the broth. My heart leapt.
I didn't get the official menu from this particular school, so this is my rough translation based off what 8 year old children told me:
[clockwise from udon]
- cold udon with fried tofu (hiyashi kitsune udon 冷やしきつね うどん)
- squid and Japanese sweet potato tempura (ika satsumaimo tenpura 烏賊甘薯てんぷら)
- boiled vegetables w/ sesame dressing (goma yude yasai ごま ゆで 野菜)
- milk (gyuunuu 牛乳)