It has been quite some time since I last woke up this early to do the Bento box for Curry. I guess summer really takes my mind off things and can make one lazy me. This year's summer has been alright, not too hot and sometimes rainy that makes me wanna just sleep in a bit longer.
Recently, I have realised the sudden growth of interests everywhere in the packed Bento lunch boxes idea. The numbers of whimsical gadgets, tools and different shapes and qualities of boxes available in the market is just countless. For a grown up like myself, I am drawn to all those lock features that adorn those glass containers while my kids always remind me that I can be childish too and go splurge on all those cute pink and blue charactered boxes with all those condiment bottles of animal shapes and adorable dividers and smaller containers that fits in the Bento boxes itself. One can really go nuts buying these things and I am glad that those inexpensive and ever so popular Japanese and Asian stores that sell all these things are not in the neck of my woods or else, I will go bankrupt amassing everything! But I do envy those who have access to it though.
Cooking for a Bento box is not that difficult as everything comes in a smaller portion and some part of it can be well prepared the night before the morning rush hours. During my school years, I never had a proper lunch box partly due to the fact that we only had 20 minutes break which was miserably slotted in between 10 periods of classes at 40 minutes each and Malaysian schools were small and they had to accomodate 2 separate sessions per day for different ages and grades. Hence no one really brings a proper lunch box to school unless there were extra curricular activities that stretch out throughout the day. Yes, Malaysian students have a hard life. And now, I am engrossed with every little idea that makes a good Bento and I do feel the need to try out all those Japanese cooking magazines that I have splurged on for years! And of course to make Curry and the kids happy when come lunch time, imagine opening up to a box filled up nicely and neatly and having them all to yourself. I would feel special too!
For today's Bento, I used the imitation crab meat, stir fried with the wheat gluten, carrot sticks and scallion. As the weather is still hot, I concocted a white sauce by mixing cornflour with water and adding sesame oil with a dash of salt and pepper. As the canned wheat gluten is already sweetened with a bit of sugar, I didn't bother to add anything more. To me, I always like the lighter tastes of things and not soaked nor drenched with other condiments. I threw in a bit of the kimchi to the toasted sesame rice. Shredded lettuce, celery sticks and freshly picked blueberries and black raspberries fit into the other smaller salad and fruit box.
My friend Ling had just sent me a Bento box book and it surely revitalizes my interests to explore further with the Bento craze. Thank you Ling!