tomorrow’s lunch is all about kamaboko / fish cake / fish sausage / fish paste — whatever you call it, it tastes good and it’s fun to play with!
my faux mushrooms are made from one slice each of a pink-and-white kamaboko “loaf,” and one slice each from the end of a piece of fish sausage. they have peas for spots on their mushroom caps (using a drinking straw, i dug out a little hole in the kamaboko for each pea to rest in), and their faces consist of sesame sides, nori mouths, and ketchup cheeks. they’re propped up on leftover furikake’d-out-the-wazoo rice from last night’s inarizushi dinner.
in the top part of the box, i have broccoli topped by some takuwan and carrot flowers, pea pods, a few grape tomatoes, a strawberry-and-blackberry skewer, a few cucumber slices (hidden in the back), and some home-made lotus chips.
here’s a close-up of my mushroom friends, and then the lotus chip recipe…
gamene’s spicy lotus chips
- 1/3 pack of pre-sliced lotus root (these will be in the produce or frozen section of your japanese grocer; they are vacuum sealed with liquid in a plastic package)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. garlic powder and 1 tsp. gochu garu (korean red pepper flakes)
- pre-heat your oven to 375. lightly coat a baking sheet (you can use aluminum foil with cooking spray, or a silpat if you have it).
- shake most of the liquid off of your lotus root slices (but you don’t have to go crazy drying them with paper towels or anything). in a bowl, toss the lotus root slices with the oil and spices.
- spread them out on one even layer on your baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes (or until you start to smell them, open the oven, and find they are starting to brown!).
- flip them over one by one and continue baking for about another 8 minutes. when the second side is starting to brown, turn the oven off but leave the chips in there. i find that if i just let them cook with residual heat as the oven cools down, they dry out better and end up crispier. voila — enjoy!
ok bento pals, that’s it for me this week… wishing you all a great weekend, can’t wait to bento with you next week!