Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Happy eggs bento and mushroom rice

It's back to bento proper after a two-week break. I think the eggs were happy too.

AP's lunch was mushroom rice on one tier, and edamame, cherry tomatoes and hard boiled egg with nori face on the top tier. This photos looks different from the next as I packed this the night before (given that he goes out before I get up in the mornings). He warmed up the rice in the microwave in the morning before taking it into work. The rice was taken out and placed in a microwave-safe container after the photo. A little troublesome but it saved my bento containers from untimely demise and also allowed me to measure out the right portion.

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My lunch was similar, but with cherry tomatoes, blueberries and edamame in pods. Packed in the morning, thus the different lighting. A much 'gentler' photo, don't you think?

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For the mushroom rice, I followed this previous recipe, which used different types of fresh mushrooms. Fresh shitake, enoki and other Oriental varieties can be expensive outside of Asia so dried shitake mushrooms is a good option as I have done here. Soak the shitake in warm water for 15 minutes to reconstitute. Reserve the soaking liquid (discard any grit at the bottom) and add to the rice, topping up with the appropriate amount of water for the amount of rice. Slice the mushrooms thinly and place on top of the rice with sliced aburage (fried tofu).

Using dried shitake and the soaking liquid makes this dish taste and smell even more 'mushroomy' than using the fresh varieties, although the latter has its own textures with different mushrooms and more delicate flavours.

This was AP's lunch for today: onigiri, edamame and container of soy sauce for the onigiri on bottom tier, and cocktail sausages on more edamame and cherry tomatoes on the top tier.

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My lunch was similar again but with less food and my onigiri had furikake on top. The onigiri may look small but they are very filling. Even AP is full with 2 or 3 onigiri as they are very densely packed rice.

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16 comments:

noble pig said...

These bento boxes are the cutest dang things out there. I love the egg face, that would just make my day if I opened my lunch and an egg was smiling at me.

VeggieGirl said...

Such adorable, clever bento box lunches!!

Anne said...

Clearly, I need to get a bento box of my own, even if my lunches tend not to be gorgeous like yours.

Steph said...

Where do you get your bento boxes?

Brilynn said...

Those are almost too cute to eat, almost!

didally said...

I wish I go out to work so that I can make bento like this. I like the smiling egg face. It will make my day when I opened up the bento for lunch.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Hahahah cute! This reminds me of the obento's my mom used to pack for me.

daphne said...

so nice!

hmm.. all bento boxes are not microwavable?

Holler said...

What a lovely lunch! You have a lot of patience to make such a nice lunch! Mines is always made in a hurry!

Lori said...

That mushroom rice looks really good. I also love shitake and always have a package of dried mushrooms in my pantry. And I love that mushroomy soaking liquid too! :)

Maya said...

You lunches are making me hungry..That mushroom rice has inspired me to make nasi goreng today! Just lovely.

michelle @ TNS said...

that is a near-lethal level of cuteness. will you pack my lunches for me?

Nilmandra said...

Noble pig: Thanks! I think they make our colleagues smile too, not just us, hehe.

Veggiegirl: Thank you :)

Anne: Bring a healthy lunch is a good thing, whether it's cute or not! And you can put all kinds of cheese in it too ;)

Steph: They are from a variety of shops and online sellers, some from eBay. I have written about them here.

Brilynn: That's never a problem when we get so hungry by lunch time!

Didally: They are great for picnics or train/plane journeys too. I also know of people who would pack bento even when they work from home, so that they have lunch ready instead of having to put something together then and there.

Marc: You're a lucky one to have grown up with bento packed for you :)

Daphne: Some of them are, usually with the rubber/soft plastic lids off, but I tend not to put them in the microwave since I'm never too sure. Most of those cute Japanese bento boxes that you see are not suitable for use in microwave, since traditional Japanese bento are meant to be eaten at room temperature. And if the food is oily or has tomato sauce it may damage the container with staining and the like. But the Laptop Lunches and Lock n Lock containers that I also use are perfectly safe, just not as pretty haha...

Holler: I had to practice a lot to get them done in decently quick time! It took me ages to put them together when I first started.

Lori: Agree. To think that I used to pour away the soaking liquid before knowing that I could use them in stocks/cooking etc... Shocking! ;)

Maya: Ooh thanks for reminding me. The husband has been wanting nasi goreng for a while... I better get to it soon!

Nilmandra said...

Michelle: If you think that's lethally cute, you should see this! (Click on the months on the top frame)

diva said...

awww!! looking at that makes me feel happy!

cakewardrobe said...

What a thoughtful lunchpacker you are!!! Soooo adorable!

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