flower fried rice (redux!) bento

21 02 2010

i know i did a flower detail on fried rice fairly recently, but for some reason this food and this decorative motif just seem to go together for me.  i think flowers also go particularly well with the round, three-sectioned box, as sheri has proven time and time again.

tomorrow’s lunch consists of leftovers from yesterday morning’s fried rice breakfast (yum, who can say no to fried rice for breakfast?!).  for fresh veggies/fruit, i’ve got grape tomatoes (with leaf food picks), orange and yellow baby carrot sticks, pea pods, broccoli, and blueberries.  and here’s my fried rice recipe, though it’s not really a recipe, since the substitution possibilities are endless (really, just throw together whatever random leftover veggies you have in your fridge, and supplement with ones from your freezer if necessary):

yummy fried rice breakfast goodness (serves two hungry, hungover adults):

  • 1.5 cups leftover rice (should be COLD from the fridge)
  • 1/2 small white onion or about 1/3 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped broccoli or other leftover steamed green vegetables (i added snow peas)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen green vegetables (i used edamame, but peas or carrots are also good options)
  • 4 sliced hot dogs (you could also use soy dogs or fish sausages)
  • 3 tbsp. cooking oil (i use canola)
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 heaping tbsp. gochujang (you could also use sriracha), 1 heaping tbsp. garlic paste or finely minced garlic, and 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 eggs
  1. get a very large saute pan (or even better, a wok) hot and add your cooking oil.  sautee the onion and fresh vegetable (here, broccoli) until cooked through but not browned.  add the frozen vegetable (here, edamame) and continue stirring over high heat until defrosted.
  2. add your meat (here, hot dog slices) and cook everything until slightly browned on edges.
  3. add your rice.  it will be chunky and stuck together from cooling in the fridge, so use the blade of your spatula to break it up and mix it with the vegetables and meat already in the pan.
  4. add your garlic and gochujang (or sriracha).  again, use your spatula to evenly distribute the seasoning throughout the rice, making sure that there no clumps of un-seasoned rice (e.g. big clumps which, if you broke them open, would be pure white inside) remain.
  5. in a small bowl or ramekin, beat two cracked eggs lightly.  you’re really just trying to break the yolks, not make the base of an omelette or anything.  add the egg mixture to the pan and again, using your spatula, evenly distribute, being careful not to let a puddle of eggs burn on the bottom of the mixture.
  6. turn the flame off.  add your soy and sesame (you turn the flame off because you don’t want to burn these, and they don’t really need to cook anyway).  use the spatula to mix everything together one final time.

could that possibly be any easier?  there is no special “technique” here, just adding things in stages and continuing to mix thoroughly.  and like i said, you could substitute almost any of these ingredients, as long as we’re still talking about some kind of rice, mixed with some kind of vegetable and protein.  i love ordering fried rice from thai restaurants because it’s always so buttery and herbal, but i also love making it at home because it’s a great use for odds and ends from my fridge that are about to go bad.





blue elephant bento

17 02 2010

a while ago, i ordered this cute blue elephant cutting board from fred flare, and then i promptly forgot about it.  well, tonight i went out for dinner (with the fab crew of sean, tabor, jesus and jason — hi guys!), which meant resorting to my last-minute, no-leftovers bento gameplan of grilled cheese.  plain old grilled cheese on wheat bread can be pretty boring to look at, so i decided to jazz it up with a blue elephant theme to match the cutting board.

the blue elephant on my sandwich is made from egg sheet (egg white, cornstarch, and 2 drops of blue food coloring), and i modeled him after the blue elephant baran you see in between the two sandwiches.  the grilled cheese has pepper jack and provolone in it, and i cut two mini-sandwiches out of one bigger sandwich, using the crinkle-cutter tool from this set.  the baran is from napa japan, although i don’t see it on their website right now (the cute froggie baran i used yesterday is still available on their site, though.)

to fill up the rest of the box, i added a bit of steamed broccoli, some yellow carrots cut in lia‘s famous style, some steamed sweet potato stars and grape tomatoes, a few baby pear slices, some pea pods, and a few blueberries.  i actually added more blueberries after i took the photo, but i didn’t want to block my elephant sandwich!