15 October 2012

Bento! #105: Shin Sanma Shio Yaki + Mangoo Purin

新さんま塩やき. Shin = "new" = I guess because this is a new offering at the school cafeteria starting this week. Sanma = Pacific saury. Shio = salt. Yaki = grilled. The rough translation would be "grilled Pacific saury seasoned with salt." Only 189 yen!

I got it because, well, it's new, plus it resembled this fish we call locally in the Philippines as "galunggong" or "GG" for short. It turns out to be bigger than the usual sizes of "GG" we have back home, plus it has a pointed head. Well, most fish in the Philippines are small because fishermen tend to fish them younger than in other countries (i.e. there is no minimum size imposed before you can keep what you've caught). But it turned out to taste almost the same as "GG." With soy sauce, I actually liked it a lot! It did come with some crushed radish, which is distinctly Japanese. According to Wikipedia, "the flesh of Pacific saury contains good quality protein, which is easily digested, absorbed, and used by the human body. The flesh is rich in unsaturated fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, "good fats" that aid in the prevention of heart disease." I also felt that sanma had just a little bit more fishbones compared to GG, but I probably felt that way because this one is grilled whereas in the Philippines, we usually eat the fish fried. I think I'd like this better fried, too.

One more Wikipedia fact! Sanma can also be written as 秋刀魚, whose kanji individually mean autumn, knife, and fish, respectively, in reference to its shape and its peak season. Which reminds me; we are in the middle of October already.

For dessert: マンゴープリン. Mangoo = mango. Purin = pudding. 105 yen. As you can see, it's not even a half-filled bowl. Mango and tropical fruits are generally very expensive in Japan.

From the salad bar, I also had half a boiled egg and some corn kernels, plus two kinds of salad; a seaweed salad (with wakame? and a reddish kind of seaweed), plus one with small leafy greens, carrots, and lotus roots. With eru-saizu gohan ("L"-size rice), this was all just 520 yen. For lunch, I only had 360 yen for lunch. I think my stomach has shrunk. :D

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