What kind of food is this?
Hideo : This is a "makunouchi bento." I bought the extra‑special version for you.
Nathaniel : That's very nice of you. It looks delicious. There are many kinds of food in it.
Hideo : That's the nice thing about it.
Nathaniel : What's this gray jelly?
Hideo : It's "konnyaku." A food made from powdered konnyaku tuber.
Nathaniel : It's a bit harder than jelly. What about this fried stuff?
Hideo : That's what we call "ebifurai," or deep-fried prawn. Fried food is called "agemono" in Japanese.
David : What about this red bean?
Hideo : It's an "umeboshi," or a plum pickled in salted‑water. It's a very popular preserved food in Japan.
David : It's so sour.
Hideo : I didn't like sour stuff like this when I was growing up.
Nathaniel : The sourness slows down the rice from getting bad.
Hideo : You're pretty smart!
Konnyaku Often prepared and cooked in Japanese-style casseroles and stews such as "oden", "nimono", and "tonjiru". It's also served skewered with soybean paste on top. Stringed konnyaku is called "itokonnyaku," and "shirataki" is cooked in sukiyaki.