Thai Green Curry Chicken bento


The last day of the week brings more Asian flavours in my bento. For me savoury, "exotic" foods are the perfect remedy to forget about the grey and cold weather outside : sunshine in a box :o) And Lord knows, we could use some cheering up on the weather department.

So, for today's bento, I came back to the M4SB, an old time favourite. It holds white basmati rice sprinkled with sesame seeds, thai green curry chicken (with peppers and green beens), a carrot/daikon/edamame salad, with some leftover springrolls and of course the usual fruits. It was the first time I tried packing leftover springrolls and I was quite disappointed that they turned out to be completely soggy by lunchtime. The taste was still OK, but texture left a lot to be desired.

How to Thai Green Curry Chicken :

[Green curry chicken recipe will be added later tonight]

Myspace Weekend Comments

Have a nice weekend and see you back on Monday ! :o)

Chicken Gyoza bento


Today's bento had something special : chicken gyoza. It may not seem that spectacular but for someone like me who never ate these before today, it's big news :o) And now that I have tasted them, I don't know why I never made them before : these are so yummy. I wonder what other delicious foods I have been missing out on. I'll have to make up for lost times soon, maybe even this weekend. And I know for sure that I'm not the only one in this house who likes them, because this box actually holds the second batch I made last night. Somehow, while I was waiting for the bento to cool down before taking my pic, P. went behind my back and ate all the dumplings I had put in the box. I guess that could be considered a compliment :o) I think they could be a bit browner and crunchier on the bottom, but these were fine too.

Anyway, this bento had a few chicken gyoza on a bed of lettuce, more of yesterday's bean sprout/ramiro pepper stirfry, broccoli florets and radishes, edamame and the usual white rice. Dessert consisted of a nice apple which didn't make it to the picture.

Ginger pork bento

Back to bento

Multiple postings on the same day, don't worry ... it won't become a habit. :o) Sukiyaki style bento was my lunch on Monday, no bento on Tuesday (aftermath of the unwanted visit), and today I had this delicious ginger pork at lunchtime.

It was also the first outing of my new purple Bento Color Box, with its tree separate tiers. The box turned out to be a bit smaller than I expected (although it still holds 650 ml), so there wasn't a lot of room of embellishments, which can be an advantage when you're uninspired :o)

The bottom (and largest) tier held white rice with carrot slices for colour, alongside some broccoli and a cherry tomato. The next compartment has a beansprout/ramiro pepper stirfry and the ginger pork giving the bento its name. The top and final tier housed the sweet finish of any good lunch : some fresh fruits.

How to "ginger pork" :

Again a recipe from my new favourite bentobook JustBento. :o)

Ingredients :
* 100g thinly sliced pork
* 1/2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
* 2 tbs soy sauce
* 1 tbs mirin
* 1 tbs sake

Fry the pork in a little bit of oil, until each side is browned. Remove the meat from the pan and wipe the pan with a paper towel. Add the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the reserved meat to the pan, in order to coat it with the sauce.

Show-off of the new bento :

Sukiyaki style beef bento

Sukiyaki style bento - 18.10.2010

A rather straigthforward bento, to get the groove back : sukiyaki style beef on a bed of rice, topped of with some carrots, snowpeas and radishes for that essential dash of colour.  And a little sidecar filled with fruity vitamins.

How to sukiyaki style beef :

I can't take credit for this recipe as I found it in Maki's JustBento book (which is a fab book btw, go out and buy it, you won't be disappointed :o) )

* enoki mushrooms (+/- 90g)
* 10 cm thinly sliced leek (white part)
* 2 fresh shiitake, sliced without stem
* 100g thinly sliced beef
* 1 Tbsp (brown) sugar
* 60ml dashi stock
* 2 Tbsp soy sauce
* 1 Tbsp mirin
* 1 Tbsp saké

Remove the stuck together roots from the enoki and separate them. Heat a bit of oil in a pan and sauté the leek until limp. Add the enoki en shiitake and sauté further for 4 minutes.  Add the beef and sugar and stirfry until the meat starts to brown. Add all the other ingredients and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Done.

As you might (or might not) have noticed, this post features a new box : a foldable (and reusable) bento, I encountered while browsing the website.  They have a lot of different designs for the cover, but I liked the swirly red line this one had. I was a bit weary at first : would it be hard to fold (knowing that my origami skills are quite limited) and more importantly, would this box be leakfree?

My apprehension was totally unjustified: not only did I fold the box in a record time, it is also nicely sized (640ml), microwave safe and didn't leak at all (although I have to add that using common sense, I didn't transport it upside down).  Compared to other boxes, this one is cheap, easy to use and doesn't take up a lot of room in the cupboard (reason to buy more of them? :o) ), so don't hesitate to get one.

Bento as therapy

It has been five long months since this bento blog was last updated.  My silence wasn't supposed to last, a little break, just the time of my holiday, but May brought serious health problems to my sweetheart and dealing with that new important fact in my life made me put quite a few habits on the backburner.  When things were finally looking up by September, we left for 2 weeks of relaxing holidays under the Spanish sun... where I had a close encounter with the gravel of a parking lot. I didn't wish for ripped ligaments as a holiday souvenir but that was what I got, as well as a nice new piece of fashionable footwear i.e. a cast. My planned return to bento had to be postponed.

Last week, finally free of the annoying cast after hobbling about for a month, I immediately started planning my first "back to bento" post this weekend.  I was eager and ready to go. My first bento post after my long absence would be happy and cheerful, and I planned to post it on Monday evening after work.

I seem to have real kharma issues though, or as a friend told me, I'm "really getting the short end of the stick lately". Because I had a nasty surprise when I returned from the office Monday evening : someone had broken into my home and had searched through the whole house.  Needless to say that posting to BentoBliss didn't even cross my mind that night. I was much too shaken, trying to deal with police and making a list of what had disappeared.

Saying that I am over the whole invasion of my privacy aspect, would be a lie. I no longer feel safe in my own home and am torn apart : I'd like to stay home just to make sure they don't come back, but at the same time I don't want to stay, precisely because they could be coming back. The cops said I should try to get on with my life and not become a hostage of my own fears.  Easy thing for them to say of course, but I know they're have a point.

Making a bento is my first step in getting my life back on course.  It's silly really, but it helps me focusing on easy to handle things without getting swept up in a maelstrom of anger, fear and other feelings.  For the time being, bento making will be my therapy.  Hopefully, I'll soon be able to consider bento as I did before : a fun challenge of making happy lunches, without any ulterior motives. Fingers crossed.