Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bento Box - Mini Tutorial - Pic Heavy

Bento Box lunches are so cute and fun to eat! I tried my hand at creating a meal that was pleasing to the eye and the palette. Here is the account of my cooking adventure!

There is a Super H Mart right next to my office, so my first trip was there! Here is a list of what I bought (totaled about $40):

Sushi Rice
Cherry Tomatoes
Purple Yam
Green Beans
Mini Cucumber
Soy Bean Sprouts
Hot Dogs
Thin Pork Cutlets
Pork Dumplings
Tonkatsu Sauce

Shopping for ingredients was lots of fun! Now lets get to the cooking part. Let me start off by saying that making all this was harder and took much longer than I thought it would. But... practice makes perfect, right? ^_^

First thing I did was cook my rice in a rice cooker. I added a dash of the Mirin for flavor.

Next, I took my vegetables and cut them into interesting shapes. I tried to make some smiley faces and bunnies to make my Bento Box kawaii. ;)

After that, I took my purple yam and cut it in half. One half got peeled, boiled, and then mashed with some honey and cream. This mash will be used for your Onigiri (rice balls). The other half got sliced and set aside for tempura.

Next I prepared my green beans, yam slices, and pork for tempura. First, you will dip your food in batter (one cup cold water, one cup flour, one egg). Second, you will roll your food around in the Panko. Lastly, cook in a pan with a few tablespoons of oil until golden brown.

Next you will make your Onigiri. You will need a bowl of warm salt water nearby. Dip your hands in the water and pick up some rice. Make a small pocket and put about a tablespoon of filling in the rice. Close the rice over and shape with your hands into a triangle or any shape you want!

Then, you will sprinkle your Furikake (rice seasoning) on the rice. I used soy sauce to dip my hands in, and then cooked one Onigiri in the pan for a bit to try something different (the middle brown one). Also, you can see the purple yam in the bottom one.

After all this, don't forget to steam your dumplings!
Next it's time to put it all together. I tried to make it look as cute as possible. Be creative and rearrange your Bento Box to your liking!

And finally the finished product! Not too bad for a first time, eh? Ha ha, I had no idea what I was doing, so this took me several hours! It was fun, and the Onigiri was especially good.

I didn't have a real Bento Box, so I just used a divided food storage container. I will be on the look out for some cute Bento Boxes on ebay! :)

Does anyone else have experience with Japanese cooking? Any suggestions or recipes you could share would be super helpful!

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