new miffy fork bento

28 07 2010

so, i treated myself and ordered a few things from rakuten… i’ve been slowly working them into my bento repertoire.  the new item i’m featuring today is a melamine miffy fork, it’s so adorable, and it’s not even really child sized, so it’s actually comfortable to eat with.

today’s bento has a cheese, radish, and nori miffy, on top of a mixed rice batch from my cuckoo pressure cooker — i used near east’s lentil rice pilaf, as well as some brown nishiki.  some baby cucumber slices also accent the rice, which is separated from the rest of the food by a strawberry-wax-paper divider.  the top section has baked tofu (recipe below), carrot flowers, steamed corn, a tiny yellow tomato and three tiny sweet peppers (from various brooklyn rooftop gardens), and steamed broccolini (which i love because it has a more delicate look than regular broccoli).

yummy baked tofu

  • 1 package firm tofu or tofu “steak” (i like house foods’ garlic-pepper tofu steak)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic or garlic paste
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  1. preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. cut the block of tofu into 4 pieces, cutting the long way.
  3. line a baking sheet or brownie pan with tin foil, and place the 4 tofu pieces on the foil with at least 1″ of free space around all sides of each tofu piece.
  4. in a small sauce pan, bring glaze ingredients (honey, garlic, soy, sesame oil, pepper flakes) to a simmer so that everything combines.
  5. using a basting brush, evenly coat 5 of the 6 sides of each tofu piece (don’t baste the bottom side right now). bake for 8-10 minutes, then re-baste those same 5 sides, and bake for another 8-10 minutes.  if any water has leached out of the tofu, carefully (e.g. with pot-holders) drain that liquid into your sink — we want a dry roast, not a steam!
  6. flip the tofu so that the un-basted side is on top; baste and bake for 8-10 minutes. re-baste and re-bake.
  7. are you getting the picture?  keep basting and turning, until the tofu has been in the oven for a good 60-70 minutes (we’re using a low heat , so don’t worry about the tofu burning).  once all sides are sufficiently glazed (they should be a deep, sticky brown), the tofu is done.  you may want to run the top side (or top and bottom sides) under the broiler for an additional 30-60 seconds, to get the glaze even darker and bubbly-caramelized.
  8. cut into even slices (the inside will still be pale, gradating out to the lovely brown crust), and if you wish, garnish with sesame seeds or chopped scallion.

has anyone noticed that almost all of my recipes involve soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and pepper flakes?  well, i guess i know what i like…

want to see more fab wednesday lunch bentos, or add a link to your own?  check out “what’s for lunch wednesday” at bento lunch!

[as seen on japanistic blog]


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29 responses

28 07 2010
Lia Chen

Miffy is so cute! Your bento always very nice and makes me happy when I see it. Those sweet peppers will not too spicy for you right?

28 07 2010
gamene

thanks lia! haha, the peppers will be ok if i take small bites at the same time as the tofu… at least, i hope so!!😀

28 07 2010
sheri

Hi Miffy! I like the idea of building your bento around a fork. What a cute concept! And now you have us wondering what else you got in your Rakuten package. Rice looks awesome! Delish all around🙂

28 07 2010
gamene

hi sheri (miffy says hi back too)! building lunch around an accessory is one of my favorite ways to do it — then i have less brainstorming to do!

28 07 2010
Sonoma Bento

Miffy looks just perfect! And you are making me so curious about Rakuten, but after my recent bento shopping spree in SF, I dare not check them out. I have this little thing called rent I have to pay.🙂

28 07 2010
gamene

thanks sonoma bento! tell me about it… i struggle to resist bento shopping spree urges too! rakuten has some pretty cheap (and VERY cute) stuff, but it’s the japan–>US shipping that’ll kill ya!

28 07 2010
Mommyof2Girlz/Steph

I love Miffy and she looks adorable in your bento. Awesome lunch it all looks so delish!

28 07 2010
gamene

thanks steph, almost time to eat this one, i’m pumped!

28 07 2010
Bentobird/Jenn

Delightful! I also love building a bento around cute bento stuffs! So many sweet details here–the stacked baby peppers are lovely, as are the perfect flower-cut carrots, and of course adorable miffy! A really appealing blend of grains, savory tofu, and bright veggies…YUM.

Rakuten is a universe of wonderful things, but yes, when it comes to shipping–ouch!

28 07 2010
gamene

thanks jenn, you always have such detailed positive feedback for me🙂

…and i was inspired to find those baby peppers after your adorable “cherry” peppers!

28 07 2010
Lyndsey

Cute! How much fun it is to get new things to use in a bento. I love your new Miffy fork, it works so well with everything, and Miffy looks so happy sitting there front and center! I think I’ll make your baked tofu tonight! Thanks for the recipe! I made a red, black, and brown rice pilaf last night, that would of gone great with it!

28 07 2010
gamene

thanks lyndsey! new bento accessories are the best😀

when you have a chance, let me know how the tofu came out for you — i hope you liked it!

28 07 2010
Susan Yuen

Miffy is so cute!!! Beautifully packed bento and I love the lentil rice pilaf. It looks hearty and delish!🙂

30 07 2010
gamene

thanks susan! this WAS a hearty meal, lentils have so much fiber that they really fill me up. yay for healthy full bellies!

28 07 2010
Jenn

Miffy is so adorable!! WHat a great lunch😀

29 07 2010
gamene

thanks jenn😀

29 07 2010
Shannon

This is so cute! I love Miffy. I remember the books from when I was little (I grew up in Canada, so we had different things than the US, I think), and F&I used to watch the show when she was a toddler.

Thanks for linking up this week! :o)

29 07 2010
gamene

thanks shannon, i didn’t have miffy when i was a kid, so i have to catch up now😉 and thanks for hosting the weekly event, glad i finally caught one!!

29 07 2010
KidsDreamWork

Lovely Miffy and cute Miffy fork tot! And I always admire your cutting of the carrot flowers, so nicely done.

29 07 2010
gamene

thanks kidsdreamwork! the carrot flowers are sooo easy🙂

29 07 2010
mils

I love the Miffy! You’re really good at building your bentos around one element…it’s always so entertaining and visually pleasing to view your bentos

Thanks for the baked tofu recipe, I’ve always wondered how it’s made (think it’s available in a package from Traders’ Joe but obviously not here over the atlantic!). And the wax paper? Adorable!

29 07 2010
gamene

thanks mils! yeah, building around one element makes my creative process much easier, that’s just the way my brain works. hope the recipe works well for you!

30 07 2010
TataBonita

You arranged this bento very neatly Megan. Hemmm… badly want to eat your yummy tofu, thanks for the recipe. Btw, it’s fun to imagine you eating with that cute spoon fork hehehehe ^^v

30 07 2010
gamene

thanks ta! haha i love eating with that cute spork. let me know when you make the tofu, i hope you think it’s yummy for you too!

31 07 2010
Debra

Ah! I’ve been wanting to try ordering from Rakuten but have been hesitant until now. Maybe I’ll give them a try as they do have some cute things.

Miffy is adorable and that fork! Squee!!!!

2 08 2010
gamene

oops, don’t know why i didn’t see this comment til now, sorry about that and thanks debra! my advice re: rakuten is beware that different items are from different shops, try to find a shop that has multiple items that you want (instead of ordering one item each from a bunch of shops) — then you can save a bit on shipping😉

5 09 2010
tatabonita

Hooolllaaaaaaaa Megaaaaaan….. Your Indonesian friend misses you and your bento post a lot😀

10 11 2010
Miffy Bento – Bento Central

[…] busting out a few kawaii bentos once in a while… check out her latest, a Miffy bento, over at bento zen! Share and […]

15 08 2012
new miffy fork bento | Bento Boxes

[…] details at bento zen! […]

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