In the meantime I’ve been really into bento and checking out bento blogs and sites such as Adventures in Bentomaking: Bento Lunches by Pikko, AnnaTheRed’s Bento Factory, Just Bento, and Lunch in a Box: Building a Better Bento for inspiration. If any of you know of other great bento blogs please comment and let me know below. I’m always looking for more ideas and good photos/reads 🙂
Last night I rewatched a few videos from one of my absolute favorite You Tube channels called cookingwithdog. If you love Japanese food and cooking tutorials you really need to go on over and check out their channel. The host’s name is Francis and the chef’s name is…actually, I’m not sure. I think she just goes by “Chef”.
Here are a few videos to get you started, and the videos that I rewatched last night.
How to Make Bento (Japanese Boxed Lunch)
How to Make Korokke Pan (Croquette Bun)
How to Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls)
For dinner I made the korokke (croquette) minus the pan (a.k.a. bread). I have this phobia of deep-frying and getting splashed with hot oil so I shallow-fried my korokke in a skillet and served them with some Bull Dog brand tonkatsu sauce drizzled on top.
I followed their recipe for the soy-glazed onigiri (rice ball) and filled it with the tuna-mayo mixture. I really liked this combo, especially the part that involves cooking the onigiri in the skillet. It adds a delicious toasty, nutty flavor to the rice. In the photo at the top it’s the round rice ball.
The triangular onigiri is also filled with the tuna-mayo mixture and the outside of the ball was rolled in some of the furikake that my mom sent to me in one of her packages from Taiwan. The onigiri definitely needed more furikake but I couldn’t get any more to stick on it despite how much I rolled and pressed the furikake onto the rice 😦
As a side note I’m really impressed by people who can make rice balls because that rice is HOT. I let it cool off a little bit but still…ouch. I guess I just have to do it some more and build up a heat tolerance in my hands.
The maki sushi (makizushi, sushi rolls, kimbap) is where I started messing around and went a little crazy. I was going to make tamagoyaki but left the pan unattended and the egg overcooked, so I ended up with a flat piece of fried egg. I decided to slice it thinly into strips and put it into my sushi roll. I was going to add cucumber next and I could’ve sworn I had one in the fridge but it turned out to be a zucchini. FAIL. I didn’t have any danmuji either. The closest thing I had was sweet bread & butter pickles. I thought, why not. They’re salty, sweet and sour like danmuji. So I sliced them up and added them to my sushi roll with the egg. And then this is the kookiest part, I decided to use chicken in my roll but not regular chicken…some frozen chicken nuggets I had in the freezer. I microwaved 4 of them for 2 minutes, then minced them up and combined them with a little bit of mayo (like I would if I were making California rolls with shrimp). I added my nugget-mayo mix to my crazy kimbap and then rolled, and sliced everything. I’m sure some of you are thinking, “that’s blasphemy. That is NOT sushi.” There’s nothing traditional about it but it tasted good, like a chicken sandwich with pickles and a little nori on the side 😛
ETA: I did end up packing it away in a cute little lunch box that I have.