Chicken Teriyaki Bento

Bento with teriyaki

Finally a bento again!

Quite a simple one, no fancy cutters or cute smiley faces, but a very nice one in taste.

I actually copied this bento from another blogger, Mr Masa (see his blogpost here). Mr Masa is a Japanese chef, sharing his (mostly Japanese) recipes with us. I love his blog, it is so well laid out, the recipes are easy to make, explained step by step with lots of photos and most importantly taste very good!

Some of his recipes are very suitable for Bento and he also gives lots of tips & trips. If you’re interested in cooking Japanese food, check out his blog.

You will also notice that the rice in this Bento is coloured. It is actually black rice, and pre-cooked-shop bought! As you know, I am a bit of a rice snob and also in love with my (Japanese) rice cooker. BUT, variety is good, and sometimes the microwave is very convenient :-).

There are lots of ready cooked microwaveable rice packs/brands on the market, I have no idea whether this one is better than others, actually I am not even sure what black rice is (mixed with white rice it does look purple instead of black) but I really like the taste of this one. The portion is quite generous for a lunch though, so I only packed 3/4 of it.

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My bento box is different than the one Mr Masa is using, plus I made a lot more of his crispy potato/carrot salad (so delicious!), so I packed it slightly different. Other small changes were replacing the umeboshi with a cherry tomato, and using thinly sliced cucumber instead of salad leaves underneath the chicken.

This blog post is part of my attempt to clean up my Blogs I Follow list

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Minion Bento

minion bento

“Wave”, I’m back 🙂

Very busy in the last few weeks, didn’t make any packed lunches at all, but really wanted to make this Minions Bento because of the movie.

I don’t always have time to make kawaii (cute) bento, as they are quite time consuming. But I am always full of admiration of two few bento bloggers I follow who both make kawaii bentos:

  • Little Miss Bento: Shirley Wong has been making bento’s since 2011 and is also a certified instructor in Kazarimakisushi = sushi roll art. Her bentos always look amazingly pretty and cute. She has published a Kawaii bento book and will soon be publishing another book focused on making sushi roll art. I only ever attempted to make Kazarimakisushi myself (see here), but would love to learn more about this so will put her book on my wishlist…
  • Bento Monsters. Ming is a mother to 2 boys and started making bentos in 2008, focusing on character bentos in 2011. I love how her bentos are always so creative and how she manages to make all these amazing looking characters from rice, potato or bread.  She also has some great tutorials, for example the one I followed to make these Hello Kitty steamed buns.

My Minion Bento above is my attempt to recreate this Minion Food Art that Bento Monsters posted a few weeks ago. She actually made several Minions, but I thought these were the easiest to recreate with the ingredients I had at home.

The rice is coloured with cooked egg yolk (I wasn’t quite sure how many eggs I would need as I had never used this mixture before, these are 2 yolks for about 1.5 cup cooked rice), and the details are made with courgette, nori, egg white, radish and parsley.  I don’t have a lot of patience, hence the lumpy legs/arms but still…definitely Minions 🙂

Side dishes are courgette strips, strawberries and some dumplings.

 

This blog post is part of my attempt to clean up my Blogs I Follow list

Kimchi fried rice

Kimchi fried riceMy version of Kimchi fried rice….It’s my version because I didn’t actually follow a recipe..and there are lots of versions around … but basically you just need rice and kimchi!

My version is made with left over rice, a few bits of veggies and of course chopped up kimchi.  All just very quickly pan-fried and topped with some egg strips. Initially I was thinking of going creative with the egg, maybe making a sun or something, but then the yolk broke and well…it got chopped up instead 🙂

The other container has some Doenjang soup (Korean style miso soup) and there is some melon as dessert.  The very eagle eyed among you might notice that it is actually Basmati rice and not my usual Koshikari Japonica rice…Japonica rice will always have my preference – see also my post “are you a rice snob” – and I use that 99 out of 100 times, but we do sometimes eat other rice….

If you want a more authentic recipe for Kimchi Fried rice (Kimchi Bokkeum Bap) check out the two websites below: Maangchi and Crazy Korean Cooking.

  • Maangchi: This wonderful lady has been posting videos and recipes since 2007! She has made Korean cooking very accessible for non Korean speakers, and her website offers a lot of information on ingredients, technique and shops.  She also has a lot of interaction with her readers and viewers, or as she says herself:

    everything on this site has been driven by readers/viewers and their suggestions

  • Crazy Korean Cooking: Grace and Stephanie seem to be two Crazy Korean ladies who love cooking! But underneath their often very hilarious video’s, there is a mine of useful information. I love it that their recipes are very organised and quantities are easy to change in metric/us measurements and also into serving size. Lots of additional information on the website, so definitely worth checking out. And do watch one of their video’s, I think my favourite one is the Kimchi making one where they dress up as two Ahjummas!

When I first started to cook Korean food, I would automatically go to these two websites, but since then I have also discovered lots of other bloggers who share their interest and knowledge of the Korean cuisine. I will try to highlight some of those bloggers in future posts, but meanwhile, please have a look at these two websites 🙂

 

This blog post is part of my attempt to clean up my Blogs I Follow list

Inspired by the Just Bento Cookbook – bento

Just Bento inspired BentoThe Bento blogger who inspired me most is (of course) Just Bento

Following through my intention to (re)visit the Blogs I follow / inspire me (see previous post), I can’t think of a better inspiration than the excellent blog/websites by Makiko Itoh. She is the author Just Bento Practical and fun bento box tips and ideas, healthy bento recipes from Japan and the world – and Just Hungry – authentic Japanese recipes and more! –

Above is my attempt to recreate the Bento which is the cover of her Just Bento Cookbook.

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This photo is owned by Makiko Itoh, author of the Just Bento Cookbook

I think that for me it sort of emphasizes how wonderful her advice is about packing healthy and simple bento’s. I have not been feeling well this week, but creating this bento for myself today was easy, all because I have been following Maki’s advice from since I started Bento making: freezing rice; preparing a stash of Bento staples for fridge/freezer; streamlining the bento making process; you can find it all, and lots more on Just Bento!

My bento above differs slightly from the bento on the cover of her book, but it still looks the same in general.

  • It took 15 minutes to pack;
  • The rice and chicken dish have both been precooked, portioned up and frozen;
  • I only had to defrost & reheat these to pack;
  • Steaming some broccoli only takes a few minutes:
  • Adding the broccoli and cherry tomatoes (standard staples in my fridge) only another few minutes, and the same for sliced cucumber and radish.
  • I don’t often have salad at home, so I used some bento dividers instead of salad leaves; and
  • because my bento box is larger (but more shallow) than hers, I used some more cucumber to fill up the gaps.

If I can pack the above, whilst feeling ill, just based on everything I learned from the Just Bento website….well, what else can I write to recommend that you follow the link and check it out?

Actually lots 🙂

There are so many recipes;  a list of example bentos including time schedules and calorie information; tips on preparing, packing and storing bento and a forum community.

So, if you’re interested in bento making, than this is definitely the no 1 place to go to: Just Bento!

 

This blog post is part of my attempt to clean up my Blogs I Follow list