in honor of the chinese new year i made a dim sum bento. well not a great dim sum bento, a lot of my favorite dim sum items were missing. actually, the truth is i didn’t have time to cook dinner so i had a lot of pre-cooked things.
Rice with umeboshi, potstickers, shu mai, egg roll, cherry tomato, hard boiled egg, sesame green beans, and a hot dog.
rice with nori, carrot flowers, and fish cake flowers; green beans ohitashi with simmered carrot flowers and pan fried fish cake flowers; teriyaki chicken wings; sweet simmered shiitake; asian pear for dessert
rice with nori, simmered carrot flowers, and pan fried fish cake flowers; teriyaki chicken wings; corn and green beans stir fried in oil with a bit of salt; cherry tomato; hard boiled egg; asian pear for dessert
fire roasted corn; ground chicken sauteed in sugar, soy sauce, and ginger; chopped spinach; fish cake tubes with mayo; imitation crab with mayo; shiitake mushrooms
rice with takanazuke and dried shrimp; cherry tomato; takoyaki w/ mayo and nori; tamagoyaki with imitation crab; kabocha simmered in soy sauce, dashi, and sugar
teriyaki chicken; rice w/ some teriyaki sauce; fire roasted corn (frozen from trader joe’s); stewed konbu
top: belgian vanilla cream puffs w/ chocolate sauce
bottom, from left: vegetable egg roll, steamed broccoli, cauliflower, plum sauce (in the black container), teriyaki chicken over steamed rice
left, from top: soy-cutash w/ soy sauce, vegetable egg roll, plum sauce, cherry tomato, belgian cream puff w/ chocolate sauce
right: chicken teriyaki over steamed rice
trader joe’s is a great resource for healthy frozen convenience foods. most of their foods are all natural, minimally processed, and very affordable. i usually keep several items in the freezer that i can just heat up quickly when i don’t have time to cook, or am not able to.. (i sprained my thumb at derby practice last night… ooops!).
todays bento are many first time attempts. my first sushi and my first soba noodles. since it’s summertime i’m experimenting with cold dishes (even though it has been a very cold summer here in seattle..)
top: donut peach
bottom: soba noodles with broiled chicken thigh, simmered shiitake, carrot; 2 pieces of crystallized ginger candy (the black container is sauce for the soba noodles)
top: soba noodles with thin sliced tamagoyaki, simmered shiitake, carrot, and broiled chicken thigh
bottom: cucumber roll and cherry tomatoes for garnish
originally i was just going to have the cucumber roll and some of the side dishes i included in the soba, but i had made so much soba for his lunch that i had some leftover! the cucumber roll is a little smooshed because i made them just a little too big. next time i will make them much smaller. not bad for a first sushi!!!
a note about soba noodles — after you boil them be sure to wash them really well. after cooking, drain the noodles, then return them to the pot you boiled them in. fill the pot with cold water and lightly “scrub” the noodles by gently rubbing them together in your hands (careful not to break them) until the surface is no longer sticky (do it for a few minutes). drain the noodles back into the strainer and rinse with cold water. if the surface is sticky you still need to “scrub” them more.
left: sauteed cremini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, cucumber salad with roasted sesame seeds; right: gerard’s gourmet sweet basil and pine nut chicken sausage; dessert: apple sauce
he just had a leftover subway sandwich and i chopped up a kiwi for him.. not very exciting so i didn’t take a picture.
now rather than experimenting with just japanese foods, i’m focusing on integrating other types of food into my bento while still giving it a japanese *feel* as it were. my only criticism of this bento is it could be more colorful. the mushrooms and sausage could have been mixed together and i could have put some orange slices or steamed carrot next to the cherry tomatoes.
no bentos for a few days! i’m headed down to portland for the weekend!!