In contrast with last weeks “relatively quick bento”, this bento took me a very long time, I think 2 or 3 hours…can’t remember as I made this bento for a picnic some time ago to share with friends. I wasn’t quite sure what food I was going to bring to the picnic, except that it was going to be rice based, and that it couldn’t contain any raw ingredients.
So I cooked some rice and divided it into 2 portions. One portion I mixed with sushi vinegar to make sushi sandwiches. I had recently seen a tutorial on Masa’s cooking blog (you can find it here),and thought it was a fun idea to try out.
The sandwiches are filled with egg, cucumber and I used tinned salmon (instead of crab and prawns as in the recipe). They were easy to make, but tricky to slice, and I think they need great care whilst eating because they fall apart very easily. Maybe I should have added some mayo as per the recipe, which acts a bit as a glue I suppose, but I’ve never been a big fan of mayo in sushi… To help with eating, I added some extra divider sheets..
There was some left over sushi rice, so I also made a quick vegetable maki roll, and decoration in the form of vegetable food picks to fill the top container. I also added some hard boiled eggs which had been molded into a car and a fish.
The left over rice I used to shape spicy salmon onigiri. Some were shaped into bunnies :-) and others decorated with nori faces. The spicy salmon filling is very simple, I use it quite often, just a mixture of tinned salmon with wasabi and a splash of soy sauce. I find that the easiest way to shape onigiri is to have a bowl with salted water ready and by wearing thin plastic gloves. I dip my gloved hands into the salty water, scoop up a small handful of still hot rice, form a small patty in the palm of my hand, add the filling, and fold over the rice until the filling is all enclosed. I then shape the rice into the desired form. (The salt helps to preserve the onigiri, plastic gloves protect my hands against the heat and it’s also H&S and so).
This bento is not very balanced in ingredients, there is way too much rice in it and not enough veggies. But it doesn’t matter that much because this is a bento to share with others.
It was also a great opportunity to use my lovely Bento & Co bento box, which has been sitting on my shelf for some time now. When I saw this box on their website I just knew I had to have it, because it’s so pretty. It has all these cute little containers in the bottom layer, I only used them for the round onigiri as they were just a little too small for my bunny ones (or my bunnies were too large…). The top compartment is divided in 3 parts, plus the insert lid (not shown) has room for chopsticks.
Because it is so large, it’s not very practical to use for a work lunch. For sharing it’s great though! :-P
Please note that I have not been paid or asked to review this Bento box, the above is my own opinion.