Thursday, 25 June 2009

Basic rice bento

Rice is a staple for traditional Japanese bento. Although I pack all sorts of carbs such as bread, pasta, potatoes and couscous, I do pack rice quite often since I could make use of leftovers from dinners quite easily and it also makes for easier planning in terms of side dishes and portion sizes. An ideal Japense bento proportion is 3:1:2. That refers to 3 parts rice (or similar carbohydrates), 1 part protein (e.g. chicken, beef, eggs, fish), and 2 part vegetables and/or fruit. In the following lunches, you can see how I have used the same Lock & Lock container to pack according to those guidelines. Half the container is filled with rice and the other half with meat and vegetables (I try to pack more of the latter).

This container held a beef stir fry with sugar snaps, mushrooms, peas and sweetcorn (basically an all-in-one), short grain rice and a (big!) cherry tomato.


A friend gave me a much-treasured jar of sambal belacan (Indonesian condiment made with chilli and shrimp paste) and I used it in a spicy stir fry of okra (lady's finger) and peppers. Leftovers became lunch: rice, chicken cakes and okra and peppers in sambal belacan. Hot stuff! (Note: The grass dividers need to be removed prior to reheating in the microwave.)


I was going to cook more chicken to go with this next bento but having made extra chicken cakes a few days ago, I decided to use them instead. Today's lunch is chicken rice (rice cooked in chicken broth, minced garlic, ginger and pandan/screwpine leaves), chicken cakes, cherry tomato, pork and chive pan-fried dumplings and bak choy in oyster sauce. The chicken rice and bak choy were leftover from dinner. I just added the chicken cakes and dumplings from my frozen stash.


I have been working from home most days for this month and I have found that a bento works really well even at home. It saves me time from thinking about what to eat for lunch and putting things together. Being able to just have my lunch and then get back to work (just like in the office) also improves my work flow. I highly recommended it.


Mrs Ergül said...

I have started packing my own lunch for about a month plus now. 90% of which are rice based too!

katiedid said...

What size box is that? It looks a lot like one of my Lock-n-Lock boxes but mine is super small. I love the boxes, but I end up using two for my lunch (the top one usually gets filled with fruit).

Post a Comment