Sunday, 27 May 2012

A Uni Student's Food

'What are you  having for lunch?'
Sushi rolls set

Such a typical question in uni. Maybe at many other places as well, but I am talking about uni now.

Lunch for uni students (e.g. me) is really important. The lectures are really draining energy and thus we need good nutrition supply during the 30 minutes or one hour break. In this post I'll be talking about the six types of food that I most often see from uni students (and myself). Please tell me if I miss something.

1. Leftover food

This is the ultimate lunch for uni students I think. Whatever left in the fridge plus some rice, put into the microwave-safe boxes and there it goes. It may not be the freshest food, but a minute or two in the microwave can make it all better.

Leftover food is the best saving-money strategy for me. Yay for leftover food!

2. Simple, self made food

What happens if there's no edible leftover food in the fridge? This is when a preparation is important. I usually prepare my lunch box at night, so I won't be troubled in the morning (i.e. can sleep more). When I reckon there's no food I can bring for tomorrow's class, I'll just chop any veggies and any protein that I can find and stir fry them all with some rice/noodles/vermicelli.

My best stir-fried product so far is the BBT fried rice. It's bacon-basil-tomato. So simple yet so delicious. Slightly salty chopped bacon, plus fragrant holy basil, sour-sweet cherry tomatoes, and an addition of egg if you fancy. You might wanna try this.

BBT fried rice (bacon, basil, tomato)

3. Sandwich

And what if you're too lazy to put the pan on for stir-frying? All you need is a toaster.

George (or Gary?) in Masterchef said that sandwich is one of the most eaten food items in Australia. I think this is correct. Sandwich is certainly very popular, and it can be filled with endless possibilities of fillings, but for me cheese has to be involved. I don't mind any type of the protein, but it's ham in the photo below.

It's really quick to make, and I usually give in a good scrub of butter and dollop of chilli sauce. And I love making the cheese melt.

Ham and cheese sandwich

4. Cheap eat from the university's food court

Q: What's other option if we can't (or too lazy) to cook or made something from home?
A: Easy, eat out.

Q: But that'll gonna put me on a tight budget, I am a student!
A: Well then, you can always rely on the uni food court.

Uni food courts usually have several stands which provide passable food with suitable price tag for student's pocket. In UTS, the food court on the ground level is quite reliable for providing good food in affordable prices. For example, my fav lunch from UTS food court is bento box from the Japanese food stand. It's only $5.2 for a small container box filled with rice and the selection of chilli chicken, chicken teriyaki or beef yakiniku. This probably won't satiate a growing boy, but the portion is perfect for me. The chilli chicken is quite flavorsome as well.

Steamed rice with chilli chicken

5. 'Lightning' meals

Sometimes the break isn't enough to have proper meals. Another common problem for a student. I have experience inadequate break as well, and that sucks big time. I hate eating in haste, as I won't be able to enjoy the flavour and what's the point of having break if we're not relaxed during that time?

So here's my choice of food when the lunch break's too short. 'Lightning' meals; LIGHT and FILLING meals, heheh get it?

There are several Japanese restaurants around my uni so it's easy to just grab a set of sushi and eat it right away. I don't really need a table to savor this bite-sized meal, all I need is the salty soy sauce and chopsticks. They're delicious, fast to eat, and can sustain me at least until the four-hour lecture is over.

Sushi set #2

Banh mi (Vietnamese pork roll) is another favourite of mine. It's perfect for breakfast, but really I don't mind eating this as my lunch.

It's filling because the crusty roll is quite big and filled with many condiments to the edge of being too full. Sure, it can be a bit messy, but the good part is it's doesn't have pungent smell like sushi so you can eat this in the lecture hall without being given weird stares.

Edit (31/05): Another ideas that a reader told me are fries/wedges and pies. They are carb-loaded, quick and tasty. Perfect 'lightning' lunches.

Banh mi (Vietnamese pork roll)

6. Noodle cup

Students, especially international students and those who have to work for their own income, are often struggling to make ends meet. The part time jobs that students usually have sometimes don't provide enough salary, unless you're lucky and have a really good job.

And noodle cup comes to the rescue! They are cheap, and all you need is hot water which is usually provided by uni. I usually but noodle cups from an Asian grocery nearby, because Asian groceries got the craziest arrays of noodle cups. I haven't seen any Pop Mie (Indonesia's noodle cup) there, so the Korean noodle cup, Ramyun, is still my fav.

My problem with noodle cup is that they aren't substantial enough for me. Sometimes, there's a funny feeling in my stomach after eating noodle cup, which is very unpleasant and leave me craving for some rice. But they are cheap for sure.

Noodle cup

Gotta warn you though, this scenario isn't always the case for every uni student. It's just a sum of what I usually do and see from my friends.

So am I missing something? If you're a uni student, what kind of lunch do you usually have? Do tell me if you have your favourite type lunch as a student!


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  1. The sushi set wins hands down! Hehe. Binus is filled with unhealthy food. There's lack of veggies served. Can't even find a decent gado-gado inside =(

    1. Muahahaha I prefer banh mi, honestly! :p
      So what's inside Binus? fast food chains? that's too bad ya :(

  2. Some common uni food for students here, in Perth,I'd like to add..
    Chips / wedges, the cheapest carbs-loaded items sold at uni
    Pies, as they're also quick and handy
    And.. I've seen people having lunch of canned tuna (sometimes even without any bread!)

    There's one Chinese shop nearby uni selling diff kind of chicken rice/noodles, considerably one of the cheapest in Perth (definitely asian style - mountains of rice and only a few small pieces of chicken :D

    1. Hi Silvia!

      Thanks for the input! I definitely agree, chips/wedges, how can I skip that? I don't eat pies much though, but they are indeed a quick and tasty one!

      Thanks for dropping by! :D


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