asian pantry bento

20 02 2012

today was the end of a leisurely, three-day weekend, thanks to the president’s day public holiday.  because of the extra day, i finally got to shoot a bento in sunlight, something i rarely get to do as i typically make my lunches at night.  what a treat!  this bento is comprised primarily from asian ingredients i stock in my pantry.  calorie info and recipes (if they can be called that) below.

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ruby stretching bento

15 05 2011

hey everybody, how are things in bento land?  the past couple weeks have been crazy for me — i got a sort of promotion (i think?) and have been traveling a lot more for work, which is wreaking havoc with my meal planning schedule.  then this past week i started feeling myself getting sick.  i tried to head that off at the pass, but i currently have a terrible case of laryngitis… i am mostly resting today, trying to get my voice back in time for an important meeting tomorrow.

i hope you all have been well, and i can’t wait to catch up on bento posts and tweets!

tomorrow is a day where i know i will actually be at my desk for lunch, so i layered some of my favorite spicy tofu from the korean market under brown-and-white rice sprinkled with furikake.  the back section has a tomato, steamed broccolini, some tangerine slices, two steamed brussels sprout halves, and a piece of simmered lotus root (also pre-prepared from the korean market).  for a sweet treat i have a cup of vanilla yogurt with kiwi.

on top of the rice is an egg sheet version of our dog, ruby.  whenever i put her harness on her to take her out for a walk, she does this leisurely stretch, with all four legs splayed out — so cute.  akinoichigo’s new book (which is now available on yesasia for free shipping to the US) has a similar pattern for a cat, and as soon as i saw it i knew i wanted to use it for silly ruby.

not sure when i’ll be bentoing again, so in case i’m not back here for a while, hope you all have a great week!

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]

twin flower onigiri bento

3 12 2009

a quick bento tonight with leftovers from the fridge.  the stars of the box: twin brown rice onigiri, filled with pickled garlic (sooo yummy, breath be damned!), wrapped with strips of nori, and topped with a takuwan-carrot-purple carrot blossom each.  they’re sitting in my pretty “lace” food cups from ichiban kan.

top left corner: cherries, pom seeds, and slices of starfruit.  bottom right corner:  slices of lotus root, the last of my shimeji mushrooms, and snow peas.  center:  lettuce-wrapped spicy korean tofu.

like the doily and chopsticks?  i’m really feeling pikko’s prop styling lately…