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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.

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