Wednesday, November 14, 2012

bento #149

 Bento with leftovers from my Japanese meal on Sunday!  I do love the shape of this two-tier bento; it has polka dots on the lid, and chopsticks built in as well.

- a few slices of teriyaki chicken breast
- red pepper and bean sprout saute
- daikon radish with pickled ginger
- grape skewers and a mushroom
- bok choy, sauteed with chili sesame oil
- rice, soy sauce in the piggie

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

bento #148

Chicken katsu bento!  I hadn't made this in a while... very similar to the schnitzel-type chicken I eat in Slovakia.

- chicken cutlet fried in panko (bulldog sauce in the yellow bear)
- brown rice sprinkled with salmon furikake
- roasted kabocha squash (with sesame chili oil)
- hot dog octopus
- grape skewers (aren't the picks adorable?)
- a few peas, a cherry tomato, and a mango candy

Monday, November 12, 2012

store-bought bento!

I forgot to report that last week I had my first store-bought bento!  I was shopping at One World Market in Indianapolis, and they have a grocery section and a dine-in section (the employees greet you when you walk in the door, just like at Japanese restaurants, so I've read).  I had to run after I shopped, so grabbed a bento on my way out.

I got a kara-age chicken bento: half of it was filled with rice sprinkled with black sesame, one corner with kara-age, one corner with potato salad.  There was a slice of tamagoyaki (much sweeter than what I make, but I liked it that way), a slice of crab, and a few of cucumber and takuan and (one of the reasons I bought the bento was because I wanted to try that before I bought a big piece).  It was delicious, better than I was expecting: good flavoring with the kara-age and crispy breading, slightly-sweet and stringy potato salad, and fresh rice. 

If I'd had my camera with me, I'd have taken a picture, but I didn't, unfortunately.  You can find a picture of the same bento here, though, along with other pictures of the place!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Japanese lunch tomorrow

I'm super excited about the lunch I'm making tomorrow.  I invited my friend Jean over as she's adventurous about eating (I took her a few slices of lotus root the other day and she popped a big chunk in her mouth... I would've taken a timid bite) and she always enjoys my cooking.

My menu:
- teriyaki chicken with a shiitake mushroom on the side (I'll cut an x/cross out of the middle to make it fancy)
- rice, with a sprinkle of black sesame
- miso soup (going to skip the tofu) and put it green onions and enoki mushrooms
- sweet pepper and bean sprout stir-fry, with salt and pepper
- bok choy stir-fried in chili sesame oil
- pickle plate: takuan, pickled cabbage, and ginger (not sure if I should include this because I don't know what it "goes" with)

served with green tea

- hanami dango for dessert (I know it's not spring, but I liked the way they looked.  I put some jello powder in the pink one instead of food coloring).  I made an experiment batch today and they were sooo good!

I concentrated a lot on the menu so that it would have umami, salty, sweet, sour, and bitter flavors, and as many colors as possible.

Okay, so maybe it's not traditionally Japanese, but for me, it's pretty good.  Any comments/criticisms?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

bento #147

More tofu... trying to use it up.

- tofu covered with flour and furikake and pan-fried
- okra and a cherry tomato
- kabocha squash roasted with sesame chili oil
- grapes and a cocktail sausage
- brown rice with a piggy face

Remind me not to take plain rice again-- without soy sauce or some furikake to spice it up!  I don't really like brown rice as it is (just eat it because it's healthy)... I ended up eating it with bites of the tofu and okra.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

bento #146

I'm using a new bento box today-- it's actually a set of three I got from Bento & Co, three nesting Totoro boxes (he's on the lid), but I just used the largest at 400 ml.  This one is much deeper than I'm used to for a bento, so I had a hard time filling it properly.

Left to right:
- chicken katsu and fried tofu
- kambocha squash, roasted with chili sesame oil
- two hot dog flowers, slightly brown
- one cherry tomato and a few pea pods
- grape skewer and a few slices of lotus root

I bought the lotus root last weekend-- when I heard it was similar to water chestnut I didn't think I'd like it, but it's okay.  I simmered it with some water and sugar, but not enough to make it sweet.  I think I'll like it cooked with soy sauce, but I wanted it white for the bento.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

bento #145

Super excited because I'm going to a football game today!  Penn State vs. Purdue, and I'm rooting for PSU-- my dad went to school there.  Have all my PSU gear ready to wear as it looks like it will be cold.

I packed a few snack bentos for along the way.  I'm leaving early so I can go to an Asian grocery and get some bento food.  :)  The larger bento is for my... second lunch?  Well, to eat at some time during the day.  I'll put the smaller one into my pocket to take to the game.

- hard boiled eggs, fish and bear
- babybell cheese
- cocktail sausages (they're shaped like fish in the yellow one, but it's difficult to tell
- pickles and grapes in the yellow bento

We are!

Friday, November 2, 2012

bento #144

Why yes, this does look very similar to yesterday's bento: made them at the same time.

Those dumplings really aren't pretty, take up a lot of room, and are kind of difficult to work around!

- pork gyoza with dipping sauce in the blue strawberry container
- chicken kara-age
- grape skewer, cherry tomato, and a few peas cut in half

Thursday, November 1, 2012

bento #143

I found my paper backgrounds!  Although I thought later that this color didn't go so well with this bento-- at least it matches the brown in the gyoza, lol.

- a few gyoza with dipping sauce in the yellow bear  (the dumplings have some sort of ground pork filling-- leftover Chinese takeout)
- spinach with sesame seeds
- chicken kara-age
- a grape skewer and cherry tomato