Friday, October 2, 2009

Bento, Shinkansen (駅弁,新幹線)

Yup, it's a weekend getaway trip, so the site title is temporarily Niigata-focused. There's gonna be a LOT of sushi.

But first I want to mention the delights of eating bento on the train. The selections at Tokyo station are really good; I actually look forward to going on trips so that I can pick up a bento on the way. There's always something kinda interesting going on in them.

Not so much in this one, I guess. Mostly you've got some ball-shaped sushi in the back (and I don't know what this particular form is called, sorry), then boiled vegetables and omelette in the front.  The brown things in the back are inari sushi, which is mildly interesting if you've never seen it - deep fried tofu skin (not yuba, just thin tofu) in a pocket shape, enclosing sweeter-than-usual rice.

This one isn't that interesting either, but at least it's pretty! The three compartments each have their own high points.

Again, I'm sure there's a name for this style of sushi, but I don't know it. It's sort of like chirashi or 'scattered' sushi, whis is basically sashimi on rice. This one is a specific version though - it has the shredded egg, the peas, the shrimp, the pickled lotus root...all signifiers of whatever this style of chirashi is called!

In the middle we have more egg, but this time it's this egg-derived sheet (in the back) wrapping a block of rice that's been cooked with various vegetables. Geez, I'm really lacking on the food terms, aren't I? In front is a 'thick roll' with pickles, mostly.

And in the right compartment, we have some boiled vegetables - carrot, shiitake, tofu mixed with vegetables and fried before boiling. Hiding in the back of this one are yet more types of rice-wrapped-in-stuff, one of which is the aforementioned inari and the other of which is yet another egg preparation.

Well, we're off! Real food coming up as soon as the train pulls in to Niigata.

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