Monday, September 15, 2008

September 15th Bento Lunch

I managed to get up at a reasonable hour this morning, so I had time to put together this bento lunch.
The main dishes are the onigiri and pieces of honey glazed roasted duck leg, both of which I made yesterday. The onigiri are filled with a mixture of bonito flakes and soy sauce and wrapped with little nori strips.

The recipe I used for the duck is from the book Into the Vietnamese Kitchen (in the carousel on the left side of this blog). It's time consuming to make, but it's such an amazing recipe that I don't mind taking the time once in a while.

The duck is first marinated for 15 minutes in a mixture of sake, salt and ginger juice. I then added the marinated to the water in my steamer and steamed the duck leg for 25 minutes, to make it soft and juicy inside.

The glaze is made from a combination of ginger, garlic, sherry, Chinese 5-spice powder, honey, salt and soy sauce that is heated to boiling and then and pressed through a sieve to remove the garlic pieces and make it smooth.

The duck is roasted in the oven at 425 degrees for a further 35 minutes in order to crisp up the outside. The glaze is brushed on and then it is roasted another 5 minutes, followed by another coat of glaze and another 5 minutes of roasting time.

The dipping sauce is made by reheating the leftover glaze and mixing in some hoisin sauce for added thickness and sweetness. (There's a container of dipping sauce hidden under the kumquat slices).

I also made lotus root kinpara this morning by peeling and slicing about 2" of lotus root which is then soaked in cold water. Drain and saute in a bit of canola oil for a couple of minutes. Add a mixture of 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp mirin and cook for three more minutes, then drain.

I like the sweet crunch of this dish. I think lotus root goes well with a small serving of rice like the one in this bento, because with the lotus root's starchy, potato-like texture, the two foods together make up the main carb component of the lunch.

I included two gyoza with a bottle of dipping sauce tucked underneath. For veggies, there are steamed asparagus, broccoli, sugar snaps and snow peas. For fruit, I included some honey kiwi flowers and of course, blueberries.



Domestic Goddess said...

hi Jacki, I love all your bento creations and I am a big fan of your blog! I like to know if you keep your bento, like the one you made today with the duck in the fridge when you get to work and do you heat it up at lunchtime or eat it cold? THanks!

Jacki said...

Hi Domestic Goddess!

I'm happy to hear you like my blog!

I like to keep things simple, so I don't refrigerate the bento after it's made and I don't reheat it at lunch. I try to only include foods that are delicious at room temperature. The best way I've found to do this is to season things strongly, avoid heavy sauces, cook vegetables only slightly (they should still have a bit of crunch) and to enhance the natural flavors of the food rather than masking them with other flavours.

Holly said...

That looks delicious. I'll have to try your lotus root method, too--I just picked some up, and I've been looking for interesting ways to prepare it.

nobu said...

Oh,It's a gorgeous bento!.
I like that bite size onigiri. It is easy to eat. We often put shaved dried bonito in onigiri.
Kinpira is my favorite, it's not only delicious but also healthy.
It is pity that duck meat isn't sold in supermarket or meat store, here in Japan.
By the way, I think Your bento is always Healthy!!

Jacki said...

Hi Holly!
This is definitely one of my favorite way to eat lotus root. This recipe is pretty yummy too.

Hi Nobu!
I love bite size onigiri because you can use your chopsticks so your hands don't get sticky at all. And they're so cute! Duck meat is hard to get here too. I can only find it frozen at a specialty grocery store.