Rising and rising.... the temperature ! That is a sure sign that old man winter is leaving soon and I am so ready for some warm around here. And longing to see those plant and flower buds popping out in anticipation of spring.
For today's Bento boxes, I aimed to do something of a spring nature with lots of bright colors and especially green. The more I do these Bento dishes, the more I realise that there are indeed so many wonderful ingredients and food that can be put together and the aesthetic side of it is endless. I like the idea that I can create the Bento only once and if I had to do the same pattern again the next time, I will never be able to create an exact replica. Everytime is different and sometimes the ingredients may all be the same and yet the patterns are all different. Flexibility of ingredients and constant creativity are the main features of preparing Bento boxes and I am enjoying this form of food crafting.
Curry's Bento box was easier to prepare as I used left over taro duck and blanched some Baby Bok Choi with crimini mushroom. As the taro duck was already soft in texture and impossible to be re-crisped , I used the left over sauce and added in more ginger and cornstarch to thicken it as to give a thick coating over the taro duck. The Taro absorbed the sauce with its gingery taste and I included a mini bottle of dark soy sauce for the blanched vegetables. If anyone knows the way to refill the little sauce bottles with soy sauce, tell me as I find it impossible to pour in that 2 mm sized hole without wasting! Curry was excited about that little bottle! Of all the things, he never fails to surprise me with his weird and technical mind of his!
Contents of Curry's Bento Box
Taro Duck, re-steamed & poured over with ginger sauce; Blanched Baby Bok Choi and crimini mushrooms served with black soy sauce; Plain white rice with nori strips and baby tomatoes.
Fruit boxes of strawberries and grapes
For the kids' Bento boxes, I attempted the character of Ladybugs in view of St. Valentine's day and ladybug is the LOVEBUG with its passionate red and playful black dots! Maybe not as bright & chivalrous as the real thing, these food crafted ones are not bad either. It took longer time to prepare this one as I had to handle the face part which was made up of cut out cheese slice and punched out nori shapes. And I thought tweezers were made for my eyebrows only until I discovered Kyaraben! The fillers were all the same with blanched cauliflower, steamed pork siu mai, carrot & peas. The ladybugs were placed on top of sushi rice.The body of the bugs were cut out from Turkey Ham and the antennae were food picks.
For Missy E's box, I made the face more girlie with heart shaped eyes and eyebrows included! The antennae were red food pick. For Prince D's one, I snipped punched out nori rounds on the side to make a more pleasant smiling eyes, without eyebrows. Indeed I had his face in my mind when I made it and it does look like him... big eyes and round face! The antennae were blue.
Strawberries is just naturally beautiful and its red is very striking wherever I put them and I always like the combination of white & red together. The cauliflower has a milky white and should be blanched for a short period only to retain its crunchiness so that the kids will love it.