Rainy days on a Friday can be good or bad. The bad is that the kids will run the whole house and indoors down to the ground and the good is I slowly move into the groove of a lazy weekend and loving it!
My kids expect Bento lunches every week and although most of these boxed lunches are eaten at home rather than at school, I don't mind doing it as it is only possible for me to make detailed Bento boxes when I have time and by next year when Miss E has to bring lunch to school everyday, I doubt I can be so creative in so little time in the morning.
When I started buying Bento boxes and tools 2 years ago, I had to use them even before my kids qualify for kindergarten! And so the interest stays on till today and I feel better having put them to use for 2 years now, knowing that my money is well spent!
For today's Bento, it represents the arrival of spring with ladybugs as the theme together with small butterflies and frogs. I am very pleased with the outcome of the Japanese rolled omelette today and indeed 2 eggs are not enough to make a perfect roll. I used 3 eggs instead and pan fried some diced long green beans before starting pouring over the eggs to cover it and making the rolled omelette. After numerous practices on this dish, I finally can do it! Now, I just wonder when will my sushi making be better! For the ladybugs, I used imitation crab sticks, of which I steamed in the microwave for 1 min to get it softened and then using a small parring knife, I sliced through the outer red skin and removed it from the inner white flesh. This is pretty tricky if you have shaky hands! And using a small cutter, I cut out the small oval shapes and placed them on a cut out cheese to make it more stable, as it tears easily if moved too much on the rice. To attach the cheese to the rice balls, I spreaded a little mayo on the rice, this gave it extra flavoring. For the frog and butterfly strips, I just took punches and punched out the shape on the nori wrapper and wrapped it around the rice ball while it is still hot. The side dish is pan fried salmon, marinated beforehand with Japanese sweet seasoning Mirin, pepper and dark soy sauce.
For Curry's Bento, it was easier as I used left over dishes from the fridge. To speed up things, I just boiled some water and poured it over the bok choy and let it cooked with the bowl covered for 7 to 10 mins. That way the Bok Choy will not be overcooked and maintains its crisp texture. I made a large pot of sweet soy beef dish for last Easter weekend and just scooped them into the Bento box. As always, the yellow egg must be present to make the Bento complete and I made chive in omelette. Deep fried tofu is a lovely ingredient especially for warmer days and since it stays dry even after cooking, I didn't have to put them in a separate side container and just slotted them in here and there. I included Dijon mustard for the dip.