Sweet simmered Shitake - talk about unintentional alliteration. The recipe comes from a little book, 'Bento Boxes: Japanese Meals on the Go' by Naomi Kijima, as a bento filler. The mushrooms can be prepared on a weekend for packing lunches later in the week as they keep well in the fridge for up to a week.
A couple of the mushrooms went into a bento lunch for AP today, which has beef with ginger and spring onions (leftover from last night's dinner) on rice, grape tomatoes and steamed broccolini. It was packed last night after dinner and placed in the fridge. Since he will be heating it up in the microwave during lunch at work, I used one of my Lock n Lock containers that is microwave-safe.
Another bento from yesterday: onigiri with furikake, grape tomatoes, container of soy sauce, cucumber and Italian sausages. I made a large batch of onigiri a few nights ago to go into my freezer stash (individually wrapped in cling film and then into a sealed ziplock bag). These ones were left in cling film since I packed the bento the night before and kept them in the fridge. Wrapping onigiri in cling film prevents them from drying out in the fridge overnight. Have I mentioned how good it is to have my bento things here again (our boxes shipped from the UK were delivered last week)?
Sweet simmered Shitake mushrooms
8 large dried shitake mushrooms
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sugar
1. Soak the dried shitakie mushrooms in warm water for about 20 minutes. Gently squeeze out excess water and cut off the stalks. Either cut in half or leave whole. Reserve the soaking liquid.
2. Place the mushrooms in a pan and add the mushroom water (discard the gritty bits at the bottom) plus additional water if needed to cover the mushroom. Add the soy sauce, sake and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.
3. Let cool and then store in a container with some of the cooking liquid. It will keep well in the fridge for up to a week.