Monday, July 21, 2008

July Bento Days (2)

Curry must be very happy today. His Bento is super healthy and he still complains it has too much contents in it! Huh... men... spoiled!

Firstly, I extend my thanks to a new Blogger acquiantance that I have recently met here, Bento Pet for extending an invitation to me to join her Bento competition. I am very happy that my creations and blog has joined those who were already out there way ahead of me and needless to say, better than mine a million times. I agree with Bento Pet that every Bento is special and should be recognised. To me, a Bento box is a container full of my ideas, channelled into food form and presented to the person whom it is made for with love and appreciation of their health and well being. So, to all Bento Packers out there of whom I am yet to get to know, you are all doing a great job!

For today's Bento, I tried something new. The Vietnamese are so brilliant to have invented their rice spring rolls wrapper which needs no cooking nor prop at all and yet it yields one of the most simple and healthy food to enjoy. I will never give the fresh rice rolls a miss when I am in a Vietnamese restaurant and dipping these into those thick peanut sauce makes it extra good! I substituted the fillings with cold seaweed which comes in a bundled dried form, washed and soaked prior to cooking it the same way as the vermicelli. It yields a dark green color and as it comes from the sea, the sea smell does linger a bit after the cooking. Imitation crab meat was also used by shredding 2 chunks into strands, scalded in hot water and mixed into the seaweed noodles itself. I made a dressing by mixing sesame oil with some Ponzu citrus juice and rice vinegar, both of Japanese origin. Drizzled into the cooked seaweed and left marinated for 1 hour or overnight, the sea smell dissipated almost completely as the sesame oil is more pungent. I also threw in some toasted white sesame seeds to give the subtle bite when the rolls are bite into. As the rolls tend to dry up after a certain period, I refrigerated the noodles mixture overnight before wrapping it in the morning. The moisture that is released by the noodles as it warms up to room temperature in the container before lunch time kept the rolls moist.

I also made mini pork burgers, seasoned with minced ginger and scallion with salt and mild chilli powder mixture. The pan frying of these took 5 minutes on each side on medium low heat. As with all serious Bento packers, I prepped the burgers the night before so as to save time and energy in the morning. The choice of condiment sauce for these burgers was the French Dijon mustard.

The blueberries and raspberries were in full swing and we managed to get 2 lbs of each from the picking yesterday. I love the colors of both, although I prefer the taste of blueberry over raspberry. Curry will never let me get away without any greens and so I julienned some red leaf lettuce and chucked in some small carrots to complete the beautiful colors! On the side, I bottled some Ranch dressing.

Despite his little complaint of too much food, he finished the whole box. To me, I think this is the right amount of lunch items and varieties to get a grown up man like Curry going till dinner time. Mind you, he complains and yet he eats more than me in every mealtime! Well, as long as he enjoys whatever I pack for him, he can make all the petty complaints that he wants and just be sure not to overdo it or else the Bento box for him will be the plain bologna sandwich and banana!


Ling said...

You've done a good job - the bento box is healthy and aesthetically pretty. Don't know what Curry has to complain about!
It's not too much - I can easily finish it myself! Besides, Curry is too thin and needs to eat more. If he can't finish it for lunch, he can save some for tea. And I'm sure his colleagues will be more than happy to "help" him out!

Anonymous said...

I really admire your dedication. Curry is so lucky! He shouldn't complain at all. I'll never pack these sort of beautiful lunch boxes, not even for my daughter G!. I'd love to but find it too much hassle.