Nori week, nori bento

10 Mar

I’ve been on a kick of sorts – and have included nori, or seaweed, in my daughter’s lunches for the past three days.  Who knew it as so versatile!  Pliable!

Tuesday’s lunch included two gyozas from the weekend’s Gyoza fest.  I reminded my daughter she helped make them, and she nodded solemnly.  “I’m going to eat all of them,” she promised.

Also included:

Blanched sugar snap peas, cut into bite-sized pieces

Roasted Beets

Boiled quail eggs

Rice Ball, wrapped with a nori belt.  No middle – most rice balls, or onigiri include a tasty filling, but I honestly forgot to include one.  However, I included takuan or seasoned daikon pickles, cut out into cat shapes.

Wednesday’s lunch was:

Boiled quail eggs

Roasted beets, sliced

Blanched conventional edamame

Steamed rice – her name is spelled out in English, with little bits of red peppers polka-dotting the surface.  Actually, I had attempted to make a rice ball with a filling – but in my zeal in creating a delicious center of katsuobushi (shaved bonito flakes) seasoned with a little soy sauce, otherwise known as okaka, either I used too much soy sauce, squeezed the rice too hard, or my hands were too wet, and the entire ball disintegrated!! Fortunately, I salvaged my (now seasoned okaka) rice project by packing it into her bento box, and added her name in nori pieces cut into letters.   

Sliced red pepper slices

Needless to say – this lunch was a definite hit!

Today’s lunch included:

Cabbage “slaw” – thinly sliced raw cabbage  and string beans, tossed with a soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, grated ginger dressing.  I made this last night, and drained any excess liquid before packing into her lunch box.

Roasted chicken drumstick pieces, seasoned with Trader Joe’s 21 spice blend

Roasted beets

Boiled quail eggs

Rice ball WITH okaka filling!! I misjudged the width of the rice ball though, and had to use TWO pieces of nori to wrap the ball.  This time the filling stayed inside, and did not escape through the other side.  I reminded myself, I need to go back to the multi-grain rice, but this plain rice is simply addictive…

At breakfast, I shared the cabbage “slaw” with both girls.  The little one gobbled it up, asking for more.  The older one originally didn’t want any (must be a grouchy morning), but after seeing her sister scarfing down the pieces, she decided SHE must have a bit.  Just a tiny bit.  I gave her a small piece of cabbage, and asked whether she liked it.  “…no,” she said, and gave me a sneaky, sideways look out of her left eye to gauge my reaction.  I said, “Well that’s too bad.  Your sister LOVES it!” and proceeded to give my younger one another inch-long cabbage piece, who promptly grabbed the offered bit from my chopsticks, and wedged it sideways into her mouth. 

“No, Mama.  I-liked-it-I-liked-it-I-liked-it!” she panicked. 

I reassured her there was more in her lunch, and gave her some more slaw.  My little one looked entertained, as she thoughtfully crunched on the cabbage piece.  Hopefully today’s will be a home run lunch too.

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