Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April 1st Bentos

I was a bit rushed with the bentos this morning. BF had to leave for work really early for a course, so I wanted to make sure they were ready in time.

On the bottom we have stir fried somen noodles with lamb, asparagus, red pepper, carrots and water chestnuts. This was made the night before and is super easy. Boil noodles for about three minutes. Fry lamb with a few mint leaves in a little canola oil until browned and then drain most of the liquid. Add veggies (I julienned the carrot and red pepper, cut the water chestnuts into slivers, asparagus into bite size chunks), and saute for a few minutes until crispy. Then add in noodles, a splash of sake, about 2 tsp of soy sauce and a splash of teryaki marinade. Saute for a few more minutes until everything is nice and hot.

To store over night, I seal it in tupperware and refridgerate while still warm. That keeps it from drying out. Then in the morning, just microwave covered for a few minutes, stirring every 45 seconds. Fast!!

On the top we have a stack of apple slices (BF had the other half of the apple for breakfast), some happy cheese flowers, blueberries, strawberries, sesame-miso spinach, half a mini Babybel, some boiled and salted edamame, a gooseberry for BF, and a little Japanese cake.

To make the spinach (any dark leafy greens will do), last night I made a mixture of 1 tsp white miso paste, 1Tbsp ground black sesame seeds, 1Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp of mirin and sake (note that this made about 5 times as much paste as I needed for these bentos so feel free to cut down the quantities). It tasted wicked strong and bitter. In the morning I blanched two cups of spinach (I'm always amazed at how much you can compress spinach!), rinsed in cold water, squeezed out all the water and chopped into tiny chunks. With trepidation, I mixed in about 1/2 tsp of the miso mixture. It turned out delicious, the blandness of the spinach just sucked up all the bitter out of the paste, so it was more salty than anything. I think next time I would use more paste in fact.

Everything was still tasty by lunch!