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Sunday, May 13, 2007

simple bento


Bento "lunch box" is amazingly simple and flexible in concept that I love it. While this is a great lunch, I like it for dinner too...

Bento typically consists of rice, maybe fish or chicken, some marinated vegetables and maybe some steamed vegetables with some sauces on the side. Typically ratio is 4:3:2:1 of rice: main meat or fish: vegetables: sauce. But, anything is fine as long as you like it... It is hard to go wrong with this kind of flexibility :)

If packing for lunch, allow to cool, pack and leave in fridge overnight. In this presentation, I simply assemble and serve it on a dinner plate. It is very easy and quick to throw together - about the time it takes rice to finish cooking. Or, if leftover rice is handy, then it takes just about 10 minutes for the vegetables to marinate or steam a bit. Any vegetable (or meat) is good - sometimes I throw in some steamed broccoli, or home-made pickled eggs, or some peppers, or lettuce...

1 tsp white or red miso
4 Tbsp regular plain white vinegar
2 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
red onions, thinly sliced
ginger, julienned
cucumber, thinly sliced
spinach, roughly chopped, steamed, and squeezed dry
pickled asparagus (optional)
plus any other veggies you have handy and like to thrown in...
1 cup jasmine rice (or sushi rice, if preferred)
2 cups water



combine the marinade ingredients, stir well; pour over the sliced onions, ginger, cucumber, and spinach; preferably, keep the veggies separate, even if they are marinating in the same bowl; allow to marinate till rice is cooked

combine the rice and water and cook till well done; spread the rice on a cookie sheet to cool

Dish up the rice on a plate. I used a pancake heart mould just for fun. Arrange the marinated vegetables on top of the rice, serve cool or at room temperature.

The last time I made bento, I made up a smiley face for my wee one, using a round pancake mould, cucumber and spinach for eyes, ginger for nose, red onions for a smiley mouth and pickled asparagus spears for mustache :)

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  • At 12:12 PM, Blogger Sukanya Ramkumar said…

    WOW....Excellent presentation...I love it a lot...Looks Great...

  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger Nandita said…

    Beautiful presentation Sheela...I see you quite like Japanese food right? This also seems like part of the Zen series :)


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