Friday, September 19, 2008

September 19th Bento Lunches

I couldn't resist using the new bento boxes today.

Please excuse the picture, I haven't figured out the best angles for these bento boxes yet and I was really rushing to get the pictures done so that the food didn't get cold before I had a chance to close the containers. In the thermal container we have lamb panang curry and rice. The picture was taken before I put the rice in BF's lunch so that you can see that there is in fact curry in there. I put the rice on top rather than on the bottom or mixing it in so that it acts as an insulator, keeping the curry hot a little longer.

I used this recipe, substituting store bought curry paste rather than making my own and adding shallots and sweet potatoes for vegetables, as well as some sliced fresh kaffir lime leaves for flavour. It was good but not great, so I will post a new recipe when I find one that I like better.

Panang curries are meant to be drier than red or green curry, in case you're wondering why it looks like mush rather than soup. I think the fact that I cut the sweet potato slices into pretty flowers was completely lost by how thick the curry turned out.

In the first smaller container there are two gyoza, a few pieces of asparagus, broccoli and sugar snaps all placed in a circle. In the center of the circle are some carrot flowers. all of the vegetables are steamed.

In the second small container are half of a tangerine, a strawberry cut into slices and a couple of blueberries.

I really enjoyed figuring out how to fill the small containers. They're a bit deeper than a regular bento box, so you can stand things like dumplings up on their ends. I think they're really pretty in their simplicity, which is a wonderful thing.

The thermal container did not disappoint!

I made the bentos at 8am this morning and at 1pm this afternoon when I opened it, the curry was a perfect temperature. It wasn't piping hot of course, but it was warm and delicious. I also really enjoyed eating out of the thermal container because it sits in your palm like a rice bowl unlike a regular bento box which I find is better suited to leaving on the table in front of you. Also, because you have to leave about an inch of the container empty for the deep lid, there's lots of room to mix the rice and curry together.

All in all, I'm really happy with this bento box. Everyone should have get a thermal lunch set for the winter!


domifc said...

Now that the cooler weather is setting in, I like yourself, find myself leaning towards warm lunches. I also want something more filling, which now involves rice, but really don't like the idea of storing it in the fridge and then heating it up in the microwave. Microwaved rice is just never the same.

I think a new budget will be put into place...or a donation box for the cupcakes I take to I can afford one of the smaller Zojirushi thermal bentos. I'm thinking I might try and convince my dad to purchase it for me since he's been in love with our Zojirushi rice cooker since the day he bought it.

About a week ago I had a beef green curry and it was soooo yummy! Now I can't get the taste out of my head and I keep wanting more.

Jacki said...

Hi Dom!!

It's so nice to hear from you again!

I think that a thermal lunch box is a fair trade for your cupcakes :) I know there are some less expensive thermal lunch sets out there as well, I think I remember seeing one on Biggie's blog. *jealous of your Zojirushi rice cooker* ....although I do love my Sanyo.

Yeah, curries are definitely where it's at this winter! If you find any awesome recipes, let me know!!

Para i familiaku said...

After reading your blog, it has really inspired me to get a bento box like what you have..