I’m back! I haven’t been able to post for a while because I haven’t been bringing bento to work. I was undergoing sleep adjustments to a slight change in schedule and thus I haven’t been able to wake up early enough to prepare baon, or even to remember to transfer some of my food stash from the freezer to the fridge to defrost overnight.
Anyway! I’m here with a JustBento-inspired bento. JustBento is a website by the amazing Maki, and is one of my main sources of inspiration and lessons for cooking and bento-making. She’s also the author of JustHungry, which I’ve linked to before for tamagoyaki and soba dipping sauce.
This bento contains three of the recipes found in JustBento and JustHungry.
The star of this bento is the bento-sized cabbage rolls. I like this recipe very much because it’s very easy to make, very tasty and yet healthy, and makes use of a rice cooker. It’s also perfectly sized! As you can see here, one serving (3 rolls) can fit right into a large silicon cup. It also keeps pretty well in the freezer so it can last for some time. The recipe also describes how to properly freeze the cabbage rolls.
Beside my cabbage rolls are two mushipan which I have written about before. My recipe is based mainly from this recipe from JustHungry with the following modifications: 1) I use around 1 cup of sugar more than the recipe calls for, because I like it sweeter, and I’m working my way to find the right mix so The Man can enjoy it too. He has a sweet tooth. 2) I omitted the raisins because I don’t like raisins. 3) I use apple juice instead of brandy, a prescribed substitite. Even though I omitted the raisins, I still put in the apple juice for added flavor. And 4) I cook the mushipan in single-serve silicone cups so it can fit in my bento boxes.
Finally, I get my added veggie fix with this easy carrot kinpira. I used to follow the recipe to the letter, but I had to stop because cooking this kinpira fills the house with the smell of sesame. But then I discovered I can get a similar result by steaming! For a single serving that will fit in a silicone cup, I use just two small carrots, peeled and julienned. I put that in the silicone cup that will go into my bento box for the day, then add a pinch each of dried red pepper flakes and sesame seeds. Then I drizzle a bit of soy sauce, toss it around to coat all the carrots with soy sauce and sesame seeds. I put the silicone cup into the steamer tray of the rice cooker and let it steam while my rice is cooking in the actual pot. It will be done by the time the rice is done cooking.
Here’s another view:
Yes, that’s my keyboard you see in the background. I don’t have a lunch break, so I eat lunch at my workstation. This is also one of the reasons why I bring baon to work.