confetti rice bento

8 09 2010

tired work nights call for quick, easy meals; it’s no surprise that fried rice is one of my favorites. this batch has everything but the kitchen sink (leftovers from the last few weeks of summer produce): red and yellow peppers, serrano chiles, mushrooms, kosher hot dogs, spanish onion, kimchi, and zucchini, plus freshly-ground black pepper, soy sauce, gochujang, and a bit of sesame oil for flavor. the boyfriend hates peas and carrots, so i added a few of those, plus some takuwan strips, on top (rather than mixing in, which would mean he couldn’t pick them out) — i think the scattered effect looks a bit like festive confetti.

the rest of the box has steamed broccolini, cucumber sticks sprinkled with black sesame seeds, a fried quail egg, and a grape tomato. for dessert, i have a sidecar with green and champagne grapes, plus beautiful early-fall raspberries from my CSA share, garnished with a bit of mint.  that’s it; no fancy decorations this time (save for one pick), just a quick transformation of leftovers into a reasonably appealing lunch for tomorrow.

i need to take ruby on one more walk tonight, and then i’ll probably fall asleep watching the giants game.  g’night bento pals!





kimchi grilled cheese bento

9 06 2010

late last week i received an awesome housewarming gift from one of my sweet bento pals:  a small, detailed, mouse-shaped cutter.  thanks a million, you-know-who, i love it!  and what better way to use a mouse cutter than in a cheese-filled bento?

inside this box is a yummy kimchi grilled cheese sandwich (inspired by the sandwiches we saw being sold by one of the vendors at last weekend’s renegade craft fair!) cut into thirds, topped by beet mice.  in the top section is a piece of panko-fried chicken, some pencil-thin asparagus wrapped in thinly-sliced turkey, a few tomatoes, a piece of steamed broccoli, and the wedge of cheese those mice are looking for!  i made the cheese by cutting a small wedge of parmesan off the block in my fridge, and then topping it with a piece of american out of which i cut holes with a round cutter and a drinking straw.

kimchi grilled cheese

for each sandwich:

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 slices american cheese (or another yellow cheese of your choice; cheddar would be great)
  • 2 slices monterey jack cheese (or another white cheese of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp. diced kimchi
  • 1 tbsp. each butter and canola oil
  1. cover your cutting board or work surface with saran wrap or tin foil.  butter one slice of bread and place it on your work surface, butter side down (this is why we covered!).
  2. place a slice of yellow cheese and a slice of white cheese on the bread.  spread your diced kimchi evenly over the surface of the cheese.  place another slice of white and then another slice of yellow.
  3. butter your other slice of bread and place it on top of the stack, butter side up.
  4. in a frying pan, heat your oil and then turn the heat to medium-low.  place the sandwich in the pan, and then cover the top of the pan loosely with tin foil.
  5. place another heavy pan (or whatever comes in handy — i used my teapot) over the tinfoil, thereby weighing the sandwich down.  this encourages even heating and compresses the sandwich so that everything melts together more smoothly and the crust gets crustier.
  6. after 2-3 min. (or however it takes on your stovetop for the bottom side to get crusty golden brown), lift up the weight and the foil, flip your sandwich, and replace the weight and foil.  continue cooking for another 2 min. or until the other side is golden brown too.
  7. rest the sandwich on your cutting board for a few minutes — if you cut right away, all the cheese will ooze out.  but maybe you like it that way!




granny choe’s bento

10 11 2009

bento 37
tried a new brand of kimchi tonight – granny choe’s – SO YUMMY!  tangy, stinky, delicious, just like the website said it would be.

used their recipe to make kimchi pajun (pancakes) to welcome my boyfriend home from a business trip to london with some comfort food.  you can see two of them in the bottom right corner of the veggie portion, and there are several more propping the veggies up.

also in the veggie section: 호박 jun (another simple and traditional korean dish; egg-battered zucchini), red farmer’s market carrot skewer, last of my snow peas, yellow wax beans, a twist-cut cucumber, purple cauliflower, a strawberry and a blackberry.

rice section has spicy tofu underneath a layer of simple steamed 밮 (bap – rice), with granny choe’s logo cut from 김 (kim – seaweed)!

[as seen on granny choe’s blog]





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]





mandoo bento

13 09 2009

bento 03

homemade veggie dumplings (tofu, kimchi, mushrooms, onions, cabbage) with carrot sticks, tomato skewer,  takuwan flowers with nori centers, soy sauce (chick bottle) and salad dressing (plain bottle).  apple sidecar has apple and nectarine slices, raspberries, a lemon fruit gel and a basil garnish.

[as seen on granny choe’s blog]