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Monday, 23 August 2010

A Lunch and a Dinner.

Well as annoyed as I was to not get pictures of the Onigiri I made, they were very nice. I put Soboro in them as I didn't really have anything else and they were delicious, I have however learnt not to leave cooking rice unattended -_-

Right, onto Sunday's food.
This, was beautiful. I hadn't had chicken teriyaki before and oh my days it was heaven. Will definatly be making that again (Have half a jar of sauce still to use!). The rice was just right today rather than yesterday's 'slightly toasted' rice (by accident because I went to let the dog out and didn't realise there wasn't a lot of water left in the pan). Curly Kale, quickly becoming a bento staple for me and blanced bean sprouts which added a nice crunch to the bowl. Tamagoyaki again which I made properly this time, although it doesn't layer like the ones I've seen on the internet, it kind of... spirals. Ah well, it was tasty anyway and looked nice!

On the menu today though I think it might be the leftover meat soboro I've got in the fridge with some rice as I need to use it up rather than making something else.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Onigiri!

Went out today and bought a lot of supplies, which included a huge bottle of Seseme Oil, oyster sauce aaaand a big box of Sushi Rice. Tonight I'm making Meat Soboro, Iri tamogo and Kale and tomorrow morning I'm going to attempt my first Onigiri (which I'm either going to put Kale in or some leftover soboro).

Will post some pictures of tonights Bento in a bit and will definatly do some step by step photos tomorrow for the onigiri!

Wish me luck ^^


Edit: Made the Soboro, Iri Tamogo and Kale and OH.MY.GOD I have never tasted anything so delicious! Soboro is getting a top spot on my food porn list. It's so sweet but savoury at the same time and the Iri tamogo is such a nice accompaniment.

The Iri tamogo was a bit of a disaster though, the pan was just too hot when I started so it just cooked in a thin layer round the sides and then I couldn't get the grains fine enough :( It did however turn out a lot darker in colour than the Just Bento recipe. But it's still tasty as!

Hom.Nom.Nom.

Based on: http://justbento.com/bento-no-18-3-color-soboro-bento

Omitted the Blanched Swiss chard leaves and Swiss chard stalks sautéed in butter for Curly Kale. No rice obviously and no Hijiki or lychees (as I really can't stand those little prickly fruits).

Definatly a keeper this one!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

End of the week Bento

Not much left in the house as it's coming to the end of the week for me and the boy. I did manage to wrangle up the following though which suprisingly was delicious hot and cold. I had this yesterday dinner time and today for lunch at work.

Brown Rice
(Bottom) Blanched Curly Kale
(Top) Red Pepper, Spring Onion and white onion confit
Wiener Fish



Was delightful to be quite fair and I was suprised how nice the Kale was when it was cold. The confit and the kale are quickly becoming staples in my bentos which is nice because I know I'm getting some veg. I do however need to expand a bit and am going to get some sushi rice next shopping day so I can attempt some rice balls.

Lord knows what I'm having tomorrow, there really is nothing in the house now (although just rice and Kale sounds like a plan!)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Basics, a bit better and better than that!

Right, well my kit is pretty simple. I have the usual kitchen staples for Asian cooking, soy sauce, some basic spices, a wide variety of takeout chopsticks that I've kept. I went out and bought a small frying pan to make tamogoyaki and one portion dishes as I have a very nasty habit of making far too much food. This isn't always a bad thing but with my devoted other half not being a vegetable fan (apart from potatoes) there isn't really much point for me to make anything in particularly large quantities.

I also bought two boxes. Both pink (unfortunately) and Hello Kitty themed (also unfortunate!) one is a square small box with a rubber seal lid and the other is a hard plastic hinged lid rectangular box with a snap clasp. Both have a good amount of space for all types of food.

The first bento I made was on Friday afternoon. It was really simple and was just brown rice, a 1 egg tamogoyaki with spring onions, some red Thai chicken (the cooked chicken you can get in packets from Tesco) and some Greek yoghurt and paprika dip. It was quite tasty but I filled the smaller box with rice and the other with the chicken etc and it was just way too much and was overfilling.




The second one was a bit better and was a twist on this bento: http://justbento.com/bento-no-42-easygoing-shrimp-bento                                                                From left to right:
Blanched curly Kale fried with Soy Sauce
Sweet yellow chili and ginger prawns (can buy the sauce I used in bottles from the world food items section of Tesco)
Tomato and frozen stir fry veg confit (recipe in link)
Cucumber
Brown rice with spring onion.





It was really nice but I wasn't too fond of the confit. I used way too much cheese so the top was hard to get through and wasn't really that practical. The rice was an improvement, although takes over an hour to cook on the stove top as I don't have a rice cooker (YET!). The prawns were very nice, my boyfriend cooks with the above sauce quite often and it's bought with almost every food shop we do so there was plenty for me to use. I don't think it would go too well with chicken in my opinion but would go very well with some red meat or possibly duck.


After I made the above box (and ate it) I washed up and got set to making my dinner for work. For the record I work at a cinema chain (one of the big ones) and often work evenings so I need to be able to take some food with me.

After a bit of a search round I found http://justbento.com/bento-no-36-spring-vegetable-bento-with-jumping-fish.

Now, at the time I didn't have any asparagus, bamboo shoots, snow peas or anything to that nature so I went for something a bit more simple.
Managed to take a photo while cooking this time. After cutting up some wieners into fishy shapes I fried the little ones up with some paprika and soy sauce and some spring onions.

I had some rice left over (in fact I had a lot of rice left over!) from the box I made for lunch so I popped some in the bottom of the hinge box and popped the little fishes on top.






It turned out looking like this :)

This one made it to work and was really quite delicious. I've never really cooked the hot dog wieners I buy before, I normally have them cold in salads or sliced in sandwiches but they cook up really quite well. The paprika added a really nice smokey kick and the soy sauce brought out all the patterns I'd cut into them.

Overall, very please with this one.



The box I made for my work dinner for Sunday night was a little crudité box.
From Left to Right:
Brown Rice with Paprika
Celery sticks (used as a seperator)
3 leaf green salad (underneath)
Cherry Tomatoes
Yellow pepper sticks
Pizza Express House Dressing (light)
Frijolemole (Tesco do this one but I'm not sure of anywhere else that sells it, it's basically guacamole made with chick peas instead of avocado)
Greek Yoghurt, mint and garlic dip
Red Thai Chicken
Cucumber Sticks

This was much more of a success than the first couple. It was packed full and didn't move around (I didn't fancy swinging the boxes around with that much liquid in there anyway) but it was really colourful, bright and appetising. Took me a while to eat too so I appreciated my food a little bit more.


And that's it for my bento boxes so far. I'm having a western day today as the boy is at home today (day off) so I'm cooking for me and him and he's not a big bento believer yet.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The First.

Well Hello :)

The name is Katy. I'm big on cooking, big on being creative and even bigger myself. I've taken up a little hobby called Bento, Wikipedia puts it as:

"Bento (弁当 bentō) is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacuerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convieniance stores, bento shops (弁当屋 bentō-ya), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.
Bento can be very elaborately arranged in a style called kyaraben or "character bento". Kyaraben is typically decorated to look like popular Japanese cartoon characters (anime), characters from comic books (manga), or video game characters. Another popular bento style is "oekakiben" or "picture bento", which is decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants. Contests are often held where bento arrangers compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.

There are similar forms of boxed lunches in the Philippines (Baon), Korea (Dosirak), Taiwan (Biandang), and India (Tiffin). Also, Hawaiian culture has adopted localized versions of bento featuring local tastes after over a century of Japanese influence in the islands."

I have to say that this kind of this is right up my ally. I adore food (as you would probably notice by looking at me) and have spent most of my life with some kind of artistic flare.

So, needless to say that this is my Bento Blog and I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures with food.