Today I attempted 2 Bento boxes, one for Missy E for her extra hours in school and one for Curry. I always believed practice and a little talent makes perfect and I kind of wanted to train myself to work faster with preparing lunch boxes in view that Missy E will soon be taking lunch boxes to school everyday and the fact that her box contents will be slightly smaller in size and different in presentation than Curry's ones, makes my prep work start a day earlier and doing 2 different Bento Boxes on a daily basis certainly require some planning and early prep work.
After a few practices with the kids Bento boxes, I suddenly find it difficult to do Curry's Bento. The fact is that I am too smitten with the colors and patterns of Kyaraben and forgotten on how to do a mature and manly Bento! I was so tempted to put in all the girly and frilly stuffs into his box today and I can imagine his face if I did. Like my friend AK commented that making a children's Kyaraben box is like putting a picture jigsaw puzzle together, the more color the better but for an adult's lunch box, substance counts more. And so I made Curry's Bento first before Missy E's Valentine box so that I don't get too distracted.
Curry's Bento box contents:
Deep Fried Tofu pouches (Inari) & Shiitake Mushrooms stuffed with minced meat, prepared & flavored with soy sauce, sugar, pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch. And steamed for 25 mins with gravy poured over in the box to keep moist. Blanched broccoli and cauliflower with carrot, peas and baby tomato. The omelette was rolled up tightly and garnished with peas and served with plain white rice.
I love the tofu pouches as I can substitute any fillings and it holds neatly in the lunch box. Stuffed Shiitake mushroom is a Chinese way of cooking and its natural cup shape holds fillings perfectly too with the help of cornstarch applied to the meat and rim before the steaming process.
Missy E's Bento Box Contents :
Sushi Rice mixed with beet juice and garnished with nori pieces. Turkey ham pieces, punched with mini heart shape cookie cutter and cavity refilled with cut out Monterey Cheese pieces. Blanched carrot flowers and broccoli with fresh strawberry and baby tomato. The omelette is similar to the one in Curry's Bento box which was made from one egg only.
My attempt at making a heart shaped rice was not very successful but I hope the punched out nori pieces complemented and made it looked better. I am not very keen in using food coloring unless absolutely necessary and I find that beet juice is really useful here which gives a tinge of sweetness to the rice. But I am not sure how it turned the white rice into hot pink instead of its original red. Indeed, sushi rice holds any shapes better than jasmine or other types of rice because of its sticky nature. It doesn't dry out after a while at room temperature, holds everything that is put onto it, as in this case the nori pieces. I tried to fill every nook and corner with peas and corn so that everything stays in place, even in the clumsy hands of a little girl.