Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May 14th Bento

I feel like out of all the bentos I've made, today's was the most outstanding yet in terms of making the most delcious food while keeping it pretty. Oh man, it was so yummy!

I made tamagoyaki nigiri sushi. This was my first try making nigiri sushi and it was way easier than I thought it would be. I had no trouble at all making the rice balls uniform just using my hands. I made the rice last night and heated it in the microwave this morning, and it turned out nice and fluffy.

I made the omelette last night as well. For enough omelette for two bentos I used three eggs mixed with 1/4 cup chicken broth, 1/2 tsp mirin, 1/2 tsp sake, 1 1/2 tsp sugar and a pinch of salt, and rolled it into longer layers than usual to give it the right shape. I refrigerated it overnight and in the morning I just had to cut it into slices and attach it to the rice with strips of nori.

Under the sushi there is some sesame fried gai lon with dried cranberries. I never had gai lon before (or cooked it!) and I think next time I'll just steam it. The sesame oil was a little too sharp.

Beneath that there are three home made pork shumai, fried in a little canola and pressed with the spatula to flatten after every flip. That was the end of the batch, so I will probably make more this weekend.

At the bottom there is some broccoli hiding a soy sauce bottle, and this amazing little daikon salad. The taste of this salad is so incredibly sharp, so it has the same effect as pickled ginger with sushi. It's tiny but it packs a ton of flavor. To make it, the night before I sliced up some daikon and cut it into flowers with a punch. Sprinkle with salt, and then try to press/knead out the liquid in the daikon. Set the flowers on some paper towel and cover with plastic wrap in the fridge overnight. The paper towel will soak up even more of the liquid, so in the morning you'll have some really thirsty daikon. Also, the night before mix about 1 Tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice and a pinch of julienned orange peel and refrigerate overnight so the flavors mix. In the morning, add the daikon to the vinegar mixture and let it sit for ten minutes to soak it up. Drain the liquid and add to the bento.

There are some sugar snaps, sweet potato butterflies and the first fiddleheads of the season, all steamed. I added some lemon juice to the fiddleheads.

For fruit there is half of a honey tangerine and cherries! This was the first time I've seen cherries at the grocery store all year and they were $12 a pound if you can believe it. So I actually counted out ten cherries at the store (enough for bentos for two days). They were so delicious though, it was totally worth it. Then there are the usually strawberries and blueberrys, and a truffle.


BonzoGal said...

$12 a pound for cherries, holy guacamole! Where do you live? Here in California they're bout $4 a pound, which still seems expensive to me...

BonzoGal said...

Your bento looks deeeeelicous, by the way!

Jacki said...

Wow, I'm jealous :) I'm in Nova Scotia, Canada. Fruit is usually pretty expensive, but this was just unreal!

BonzoGal said...

Your story about picking out just 10 cherries cracked me up- I have to do that with some of my favorites too, like kumquats and key limes. "Yes please, I'd just like these 4 tiny kumquats- can you weigh that?"