Friday, May 30, 2008

The 11 Minute Snack Bento

A lot of times I sleep in or whatever and think I don't have time to make bento, but really, there's no excuse because bento making takes me as long as I have. If I have 5 minutes, it takes 5 minutes, and if I have 40 minutes, it takes 40. The trick is to multitask. Most mornings I have at least 3 out of 4 burners going on the stove, plus something in the microwave, and I'm chopping something up at the same time.

This morning I had 11 minutes. Here's a snack bento that I put together.
And here's how:

1. Boil some water in a kettle. While it's heating, cut out some flowers out of a slice or two of sweet potato. Heat some canola oil in another frying pan and a little water in another pot or steamer. Pour the water you just boiled into a small pot.

2. Add edamame and sweet potato to the boiling pot of water. Remove and strain after six minutes.

3. While that's going, throw some frozen pork shumai in the pan with oil. Periodically flip and smoosh with a spatula until cooked through.

4. Now you've got two things cooking. Slice up two stalks of asparagus, a couple of broccoli florets and two sugar snaps. Put the asparagus and broccoli in the steamer for 3 minutes. Add the sugar snaps and steam for two more.

5. Now you've got three things going. Heat a frozen onigiri in the microwave, about 20-25 seconds on each side.

6. Pour some tonkatsu sauce (or whatever your favorite dipping sauce is for pork) in a small container.

7. Slice up a strawberry.

8. Everything should be ready by now! Place onigiri in the bottom right of the left compartment. Place shumai above the onigiri and asparagus to fill in the gap on the left. Slice sugar snaps in half and tuck into the gaps. Cover the rice with edamame and position sweet potato flowers on top of it.

9. Place sauce container in the top left of the right hand compartment. Cover it with strawberry slices. Place any remaining edamame below the strawberryt. Place broccoli florets beneath the strawberry, and two cherries below that (on top of the edamame). Fill any gaps with blueberries.

10. Rush out the door!

So that's how I do it. And at 3:30 this afternoon when I was starving because lunch was hours ago, I had something delicious and healthy to snack on. It's a good thing too, because there was an open box of donuts in the office!