My mother left me a copy of my favorite magazine, Esse, during her visit last year, and I finally had time to carefully read, and re-read the recipes included.
This week’s bento includes several ideas gleaned from the magazine. The magazine focused on seasonal ingredients (cabbage, mushrooms) as well as dishes that are good to have that can be used creatively (soboro).
Baked chicken drumette and wingette, seasoned with poultry seasoning and a drizzle of soy sauce, cooked at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.
Multi-grain rice, topped with a turkey soboro, made by braising ground turkey in 1 cup water, 2 tbs shiitake powder, 2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tsp mirin until cooked. I mashed the turkey as it braised, to ensure the pieces didn’t clump up, then cooked over low heat until all the liquid cooked away. I adjusted the flavor at the end with a pinch of salt and sugar, and a quick sprinkle of shichimi (seven flavor) red pepper flakes.
Roasted beets in heart shapes
Julienned cabbage, abura age (deep fried tofu slices) slices cut into 1/4 inch stripes, sasakama fish cakes in 1/4 inch pieces sautéed in canola oil, seasoned with soy sauce, salt, white pepper and tossed over medium heat until well coated. I then added 1/2 cup water + ground shiitake powder, 1 tsp mirin into the pan, and cooked away the liquid. The cooked cabbage exudes a sweetness accentuated by the savory, slightly nutty flavor of soy sauce, while the abura age soaks up the liquid.
Tuesday’s lunch included:
Baked chicken drumette and wingette
Sautéed three types of mushrooms – sliced eringi, maitake, shimeji sautéed over medium heat (I use a small dab of butter), seasoned with soy sauce, squeeze of lemon juice and a quick twist of the pepper grinder. I added 1/2 cup of water, and over medium-low heat, cooked away the liquid.
Roasted beets in star shapes