flowered kimbap bento

4 04 2011

i made dinner with my bestie tonight, and then we drank cocktails together on my couch while commenting on a hot episode of intervention… what can i say, i’m a girl of extremely refined tastes!

needless to say, two vodka-cranberries in, i couldn’t be too ambitious in my bento-making.  pre-made kimbap (from yesterday’s grocery run to flushing’s H-mart) to the rescue!  i quickly packed the kimbap slices in my skinny pink bento with some fruits and veggies from the fridge — two halved, steamed brussels sprouts; 4 takuwan slices; some pea pods and bamboo leaves, clementine sections and two mini strawberries — plus vegetarian chicken tenders for protein a few pink fish sausage blossoms for a pretty accent.   done and done!

in other bento news, thanks to help from sheri and mils i was able to add the “like on facebook” bento4japan badge.  are you a fan yet?  the bento4japan auctions are still going strong… i’ve got my eye on a certain newspaper-printed furoshiki, but there are lots of lovely items up for grabs, so head on over to ebay and help us continue raising money for relief in japan!

jalapeno kimbap bento

23 09 2010

last night’s meet-up at seoul garden was super fun!  we ordered the mixed BBQ platter and a bunch of jigaes, and then hit koryodong cafe for lattes and shakes.

there weren’t a ton of leftovers from dinner (in fact, i gobbled up my entire portion, leaving nothing for a doggie bag).  but fear not, bento pals — this intrepid blogger took the opportunity to stop at H-mart for some korean groceries, as well as at e-mo for some jalapeno kimbap to go!

i didn’t get home until almost midnight and was too tired to bento, so i threw a quick one together before work this morning, adding just a few broccolini florets, a juicy tomato, and two steamed sweet potato leaves (i lightly incised some “veins” with a toothpick) for some extra color and fall-inspired decoration.

tomorrow i have a lunch date, so i’ll see you all next week — happy bento-ing and have a great weekend!

“before and after” bento

26 04 2010

one night last week, i was tweeting with some bento pals when debra of hapa bento showed us the first bento she had photographed and posted online, a full year ago. we all dug up our first bento posts, and remarked on how fun it was to see the evolution of our bentos. then debra had the great idea of us all doing a “before and after” post, to show how we would use the same ingredients from our first bento in a different way.

my first bento was pretty simple — some homemade kimbap rolls (with tofu, carrot, egg and spinach in them) laid over a leaf, with a separate tier of kiwi slices and a checkered apple and takuwan flowers. the checkered pattern was one of the first decorative techniques i learned, and the soy sauce bottle and flower cutters the extent of my bento equipment! here’s a picture of that bento:

to revamp the same ingredients this time around, i chose a similar box (unfortunately my original box suffered an unfortunate dishwasher incident; this one is also slender and pink, though), and filled it with slices of a simplified kimbap roll (just egg inside) over some shiso leaves. modifying an idea from hawai`i’s bento box cookbook (“hotdog sushi bear,” p. 35), i used the eggy centers of the slices as the bear’s muzzle, and added nori details for eyes, nose and mouth. then i cut takuwan ears and attached them with toothpick ends.

instead of a checkered apple, this time i have some apple “coins” with teddy paw-prints carved into them. to use the other ingredients that were inside the kimbap roll in my first bento, i breaded and fried two tofu chunks, and topped them with steamed carrot flowers and washi-tape flag picks. i filled the empty spaces in the box with some more takuwan, and my final original ingredient, kiwi (this time in wedges instead of slices).

what do you think? nori, rice, egg, carrot, tofu, takuwan, apple, kiwi, and leaves — all there. my arrangements have gotten slightly neater and more character-focused, but i would like to think my bento “style” hasn’t changed that much.

check out some other great “before and after” bentos from some of my favorite bento artists:

if you ask me, these ladies were just as talented then as they are now, and their “before” bentos show how accessible this hobby/art form really is… if you are just starting out, you don’t need a ton of fancy tools to develop your own signature style, just some practice and imagination!

kimbap bee bento

15 04 2010

tomorrow’s lunch is leftover kimbap from tonight’s dinner… mmm, i LOVE me some kimbap!  my boyfriend is great at rolling it, and it’s such a tasty and healthy treat, especially on warmer days/nights.  my kimbap is vegetarian, with egg strips, takuwan, sesame spinach, and spicy tofu.  the kimbap slices are separated from the rest of my food by a zig-zag-cut carrot strip baran, an idea from one of lia’s awesome bentos.

i’ve also got some steamed broccoli, purple potato flowers, a big fat strawberry, some grape tomatoes, two vegetarian chicken nuggets, and a few pea pods.  hovering over the broccoli, about to collect pollen from the potato flowers, is a cute bumble bee.  i’ve seen a bunch of cute bees lately, from akinoichigo’s to lucky sundae’s to mombento’s, and this is my take on the theme:  a turmeric-dyed quail egg with nori strips and facial features, and white soy paper wings.

tomorrow’s friday — i’m hoping for an apartment-hunt-free weekend for myself (still waiting to dot the last Is and cross the last Ts on the apartment i found), and a fun and sunny weekend for all my bento pals!

three rolls bento

19 10 2009

bento 22three different kinds of rolls for lunch.  main box, from left to right:  slices of kim mari (glass noodles wrapped in nori and deep fried) with takuwan flowers, row of tomatoes, slices of egg-and-frank rolls, carrot and pickled radish sticks, slices of veggie kimbap. apple-shaped sidecar (top), clockwise from top left:  mango fan and apple fan, purple cauliflower, sliced grapes, raspberries.

anpanman tofu bento

7 10 2009

bento 31
bottom tier, clockwise from top left: kimchi in silicone cup, takuwan flowers on kimbap roll (store bought), anpanman tofu (simmered in dashi broth) on a bed of broccoli, a few extra kimbap pieces and another broccoli floret

top tier, clockwise from top left: granny smith apple bunnies, concord grapes, golden raspberries in a silicon cup, slices of prickly pear (first time i have seen/used this; it has smooth outer skin and BRIGHT magenta, juicy inner flesh), orange grape tomatoes, and a bottle of dipping sauce for the tofu that’s in the other tier.

[as seen on the sfgate.com blog]

tamagoyaki bento

17 09 2009

bento 06top tier:  wasabi peas in a food cup, tamagoyaki with nori inside, 3 slices of kimbap.  bottom tier:  plum with leaf cutting technique, fig halves, pear fan, grape halves, and orange fruit gel.

beginner’s bento…

10 09 2009

bento 01

my first attempt at a bento box.  homemade kimbap rolls with carrot, takuwan, spicy tofu, sesame spinach, and egg strips; checkered apple with kiwi and takuwan flowers; almond pocky sticks.  in a tomo tomo multi-tiered bento box.