kamaboko “mushrooms” bento

28 01 2010

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)
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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!).
  4. 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!

[as seen on makers of the cutest food on the planet and carnet diaphane: the japanese tradition of bento]


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15 responses

28 01 2010
sheri

Aw, great idea! The kamaboko does indeed look like mushrooms! I like the double berry skewer, and omg the spicy renkon chips sound awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe for crispy crunchy spicy –the best combo ever :)
Have a great weekend megan!!

28 01 2010
bentobird/Jenn

Mmmm, can’t wait to try your lotus chips recipe! I’m with sherimiya re crispy crunchy spicy–the best como! These sweet-faced mushroom buddies are adorable and I love the pretty shades of pink going on in this ensemble, from the neon-pink tipped kamaboko to the deep pink doily–reminds me of the tantalizing shades in your recent awesome Japanese candy souvenir. Have a great weekend, megan!

28 01 2010
Susan Yuen

Kamaboko magical mushrooms!!! (Of course I didn’t say magic mushrooms- people would get the wrong idea! ;D ) They are so cute and I love all of the detail with the cut strawberry and blackberry pick, the flowers, and the yummy looking renkon. I’m gonna have to try that tonight…I have a bag of those right in my freezer!!!!

28 01 2010
gamene

thanks sheri, jenn and susan!! hope you all try and LOVE the lotus chips recipe, and that you have a relaxing and fun weekend!

29 01 2010
Tata Bonita

Your pinky mushroom are indeed cuties. Away from the internet only for a few days indeed makes me miss some of your great bento posts :'(. Anyway, thanks for your fun mushroom idea, do love it! :D

29 01 2010
ehmeelu

Hey, thanks a million for sharing the lotus chip recipe! I just bought some today so I will definitely try this!

29 01 2010
gamene

thanks tata and amy!! i love to share my ideas and recipes with you ladies :-)

29 01 2010
notabrownbag

that’s just too adorable….what a simple but great idea!

29 01 2010
Lia Chen

Megan, I love the color of the fish sausage that make your cute mushrooms even cuter. Lotus chip will be great … thanks for sharing the recipe and idea in this bento box (^.^)

29 01 2010
gamene

thanks notabrownbag and lia! lia you are very welcome for the recipe :-) hope both of you have a great weekend!

29 01 2010
Lil'chan

Those mushroom are so cute ^-^
Really nice idea ;) It looks everything delicious. Especially the lotus chips. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

29 01 2010
gamene

you’re very welcome lil’chan, and thanks for your sweet comment!

29 01 2010
Kitchen Butterfly

OMWWWWWWWWWWWW. I am STUNNED. Now I desperately want to take a Bento course – you are so creative. If my lunch box was anything like that, I WOULD probably lose weight – it looks so balanced and colourful. In awe.

2 02 2010
gamene

thanks so much for your lovely comment kitchen butterfly! i’m not sure why it got caught in my spam filter, but i didn’t see it until now!

30 01 2010
Tweets that mention kamaboko “mushrooms” bento « bento zen -- Topsy.com

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by sherimiya, Susan Yuen and gamene, BentoBox. BentoBox said: These Mushrooms from @bentozen are just TOO CUTE!!! love love love it http://bentozen.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/kamaboko-mushrooms-bento/ [...]

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