Let's Make School Lunch!


In July 2019, Director Alexis and Research Assistant Yoriko held a cooking class in cooperation with the NYU Food Studies Department. The menu was in celebration of Tanabata - a celestial summer festival held in July to mark the meeting of two stars in the night sky and the romantic legend which surrounds it.

The legend centers on the Weaver Star and the Cowherder Star and their once-a-year reunion as they cross the Milky Way for one night together. Needless to say, celestial summery themes abounded in this lunch. The menu included:

“Cow Herder” Rice

“Galatic” Noodle Soup

Yogurt Summer Salad

“Ox Cart Wheel” Lotus Chicken

Photos from the Event


“Cow Herder” Rice
Serving Size: 3 people


1 ⅔ cup of rice

1 ⅔ cup water

3 teaspoons hijiki

1 medium or ½ large carrot

1 ½ chikuwa cut into half-moons

¼ lb thinly sliced Beef, cut small (like ⅓ length)

¼ cup peeled and cooked edamame (frozen is OK!)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sake

2 teaspoons soy sauce

Salt to taste

¾ teaspoon dashi granules



1. Cook the rice according to your preferred method.

2. Mean the rice is cooking, soak the hijiki water in a separate bowl for 15 - 20 min.*

3.  Julien the carrots (cutting into short, thin strips).

4. Slice chikuwa into half-moons – approximately ¼ inch thickness.

5. If you have not already done so, boil the soybeans for 1 minute in boiling water. Cool immediately under cool running water. Shell the beans in a separate bowl and set aside.

6. Make the dashi stock by adding the dashi granuals to 1 ¼ cup warm water. Set aside.

6. In a large, grease deep frying pan or sauté pan with a small amount of vegetable oil. Once the pan is heated, add the beef and sauté on medium. Once the beef is cooked through (no longer red) add the drained hijiki, sliced carrots and sliced chikuwa and cook a few more minutes.

7. Add the dashi and simmer for a few minutes until fragrant. 8. Season with sake, sugar, soy sauce and salt.

9. Carefully scoop the hot, cooked rice into the frying pan and stir until the surface of the rice has incorporated the flavoring.

10. Lastly, add the soy beans.

11. Serve and enjoy!



*(Hijiki becomes ×6 bigger when it is soaked- once it has expanded, remove all water)
*Hijiki contains calcium, iron, and magnesium. According to Japanese folklore, hijiki aids health and beauty, and thick, black, lustrous hair
***Hijiki contains a small amount of arsenic, so please do not eat too much.

Alexis SanbornComment