24 October 2012

Bento! #120: Konsai Tempura Soba

367 yen from the school cafeteria, plus 63 yen to go one size larger (i.e.,
larger bowl, more noodles). I actually got 3 pieces of karaage to go with this.
Konsai / 根菜 = "root vegetable." The kon part is the same as that in daikon / 大根 / radish (Japanese white radish). It means root. If you came from the Philippines like myself and you see a daikon, you'll see it's quite big, and it's probably the biggest root vegetable. Carrot of course is also a root vegetable, but it's not called a kon. The sai part is the same as in yasai / 野菜 / vegetables, where the first kanji means "field," though it is often pronounced as no (as in Ueno / 上野, the place in Tokyo, where ue means up, upper or above). You all probably know tempura / 天ぷら is. Soba / そば means noodles, but in most instances, it means Japanese buckwheat noodles. Like, raamen / ラーメン / ramen might actually be considered Chinese-style soba. As a whole, this might be called "Soba with root veggie tempura." Oh, so from the picture, you can see strips of root veggie tempura, almost like french fries. And on the upper right, there's a different-shaped tempura. My friend says it's fish wrapped in nori.

I actually liked this, more than any ramen I've tried. But I did have to eat it with karaage, or I might miss out on my protein needs, and they perfectly complemented each other. I probably won't eat this again, though, because with the karaage, this was almost 600 yen already. Contrast that to my under-400 yen lunch earlier today.

Also, I was surprised to see the soba to be dark-colored (almost like a light brown color) as opposed to the yellowish noodles of ramen, udon, spaghetti, or that of yakisoba. I've only seen similarly colored soba in cold soba dishes that they usually serve on plane flights on Japanese airlines. I asked my friend and he said this darker color is actually the normal color of soba. Cool!

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