Thursday, November 29, 2012

Emergency bento filler recipe and cute foil wrap for onigiri

There are times when I need a bento in a hurry, but had no chance to plan the day before.  When that happens, there is usually a lot of rice, and whatever veg I can find in the fridge and garden.  Of course it doesn't hurt to fry the veg with bacon!  

white rice, emergency bento filler
and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds

Emergency bento filler

-Some bacon cut up thin (usually one rasher per person - rasher is English for slice when talking about bacon)
-About half a carrot per person
-Other veg. Cabbage, chard stocks, broccoli stems (pealed first of course), peas, or whatever
-Soy-sub (I use the coconut based one for this as it makes a nice glaze, but fish sauce with sake tastes good too) or soy sauce
-Cooking oil (sesame is my favourite)

  • Cut the veg into match sticks
  • Cut up the bacon into match sticks and fry it on medium heat with a few drops of oil.  Be skimpy on the oil as the bacon will make its own as it cooks.  Cook until almost done, but not crunchy
  • Add the veg to the bacon.  If you have a quicker cooking veg like cabbage, then add the carrots first and cook part way before adding cabbage.
  • when the bacon is cooked and the veg are somewhat tender, add the soy-sub.  About a table spoon per person.  Simmer until the sauce is reduced, stirring frequently.  
It will keep up to 3 days in the fridge, maybe longer, but it never lasts more than a few hours in my house.  Should keep well in a bento so long as the weather is not too hot and you have allowed the bento to cool before closing the lid.

Purposely didn't put precise quantities here because I usually make this in a hurry and it depends entirely on what I have in the house.  When I'm in a rush, I don't want to fumble around for the scales and measuring cups.

I don't worry about the bacon fat, in fact I encourage it.  If you are too busy to plan your bento, you will probably need the extra energy to get through the day.

And now, for a cool way to add onigiri (rice ball) to your lunch.

onigiri with wakame furikake (seaweed rice spice)

A friend of mine just came back from Osaka and brought me a few bento toys to play with.  The same products that cost an arm and a leg to get on this side of the Pacific, are sold in the Japanese equivalent of the dollar store there.  Only problem is, most of my friends feel bad about sending such inexpensive gifts.  Thank goodness for my friend Y-.

The foil is a quick way to cute-en up your rice.  You make a circular rice ball (either flat or globe shaped) and then wrap it in the foil.

ume boshi, spicy cucumber pickles, and onigiri
I told you I didn't get a chance to plan ahead. 

And the picture on the outside of the foil is adorable.

Yummy bento lunch shared on:

Bento Lunch

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