Tag Archives: Onigiri

Fall bentos, school year 2013!

16 Oct

I do not know where the last few months have gone. Between the dizzying daily routine of work, followed by the relentless wheel of routines, I found myself shocked to be mired in the middle of October.

I have been packing bentos for both girls these days – with little time for decompressing or downtime. A few evening were spent on the laptop at the kitchen table, battling the desperate attempts of my cat Spencer, to settle down in my lap as I feverishly tapped away at keyboards and calculators.

This year, both girls are at the same school, and often have an opportunity to eat together.

The little one loves onigiri, while the older one prefers raw vegetable slices and sticks.

Edamame is a definite hit with the older one – the empty pods in a neat pile, while the little one sends her beans intact.

Quinoa has joined the repertoire – I gently wash, and simmer the grains in a stock – vegetable, chicken, dashi, or in some cases, roasted red pepper and tomato soup!

Raw cauliflower and turnip slices, pickled in soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger are often requested.

A dear friend’s husband caught porgy – and I found creative ways to cook the delicious fish – grilled, baked, porgy fish cakes, porgy omelette, porgy chowder… The porgy fish cakes do make appearances in the girls’ bento.

Grilled chicken wingettes and drumettes are always a hit, as well as turkey meatballies – the poultry always sourced from our beloved Makinajian Farms. I have packed them simply seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice, while other times, with a sweet-savory ketchup/HP sauce/Worcestershire sauce glaze with the meatballs, or a teriyaki glaze for the wingettes.

Below are just a few samplings of recent bentos… And more to come!

20121016-142645.jpg

20121016-143050.jpg

(porgy fish cakes!) … and I technical glitch where I can’t seem to figure out how to rotate this photo!!

20121016-143558.jpg

20121016-143639.jpg

20121016-143705.jpg

20121016-143720.jpg

20121016-143736.jpg

20121016-143758.jpg

Heading towards end of May bentos

5 Jun

20120523-150112.jpg

Thankfully, my girls love their vegetables and fruits. Late spring/summer starts bringing a variety of veggies and fruit that can be enjoyed raw, or with minimal preparation.

Tuesday included a bento packed with:
Grilled chicken (drumstick, de-boned)
Blanched broccoli and asparagus
Cauliflower pickle in lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, pepper, sesame oil for fragrance
Cucumber slices
Blueberries
Mini multi-grain onigiri with okaka center, nori belt

Wednesday included:
Savory omelette with broccoli and shirasu
Blanched asparagus spears with soy sauce, lemon juice and olive oil drizzle
Raw, red pepper slices – my older one adores these sweet, crunchy, slices. The little one is a bit more cautious, but more often won over by her sister’s enthusiasm, and quick pace of munching through them – the only evidence remaining are her hands and face faintly stained by the pepper juice.
Cauliflower pickles
Mini multi-grain onigiri with okaka center

20120605-151612.jpg

Thursday was pizza day, due to the shortened week in observance of Memorial Day.

Asparagus Monday!

23 May

20120522-100013.jpg
The weekend’s left over dinner is lunch in this Monday!

Grilled chicken drumette and wings, first marinated in (guess what?) soy sauce-lemon juice-olive oil-poultry herbs, and grilled over distant heat until the skin is crispy. Fresh squeezed lemon juice while the chicken is still hot

Blanched asparagus, ponzu dressing

Grape tomatoes

Blueberries

Onigiri with turkey soboro filling, nori wrap

The locally grown asparagus are tender, and full of flavor. I blanch quickly to retain snap and taste. They sell them at Makinajian’s Poultry Farm in delicate bunches, pencil-thin, and a beautiful green with purplish hues that turn brilliantly as they blanch.

The girls love the tender spears – a harbinger of springtime.

Saturday bento for two (three and four)

19 May

20120519-144127.jpg

20120519-144347.jpg

Saturday bento!

Roasted beets in shapes – kitty for the older one, heart for the younger one

Watercress ohitashi – blanched watercress, water well drained, cut into bite sized pieces. Seasoned with katsuobushi flakes (dry, cured, shaved bonito) with a drop of soy sauce

Pickled cauliflower with lemon juice, rice vinegar, mirin soy sauce and grated ginger

Hard boiled eggs – various shapes – heart, star (and not shown) and bear

Multi-grain onigiri with turkey soboro center filling, wrapped in nori. Baba’s onigiri had an umeboshi center.

Grilled chicken from earlier this week, de-boned

We stopped by the Japanese store after class – Baba picked up my daughter’s favorite, daifuku, or ankoh, or sweetened red bean paste, wrapped in mochi, or rice cake. What a treat!

Thursday bento

19 May

20120519-100348.jpg

Thursday’s bento required only quick assembly.

Grilled chicken drumstick, with fresh lemon juice squeezed on them while they were still hot, last night. It adds a little brightness, even when the chicken is served at room temperature.

Carrot sticks
Blueberries

Potato slices, sautéed over medium heat in a little canola oil until crispy. I put them on paper towels to drain the excess oil. A sprinkle of sea salt over them for taste and crunch.

Multi-grain onigiri with turkey soboro center, sesame seed sprinkle for crunch.

Tomorrow is pizza day!!

Wednesday, hump day!

16 May

20120516-144940.jpg

Wednesday’s bento includes:

Grilled organic steak, thinly sliced
Pickled turnip slices
Cucumber and yellow pepper slices
Blueberries
Multi-grain onigiri with okaka center, nori belt, mini-sized per my daughter’s request

Hard to believe we are marching right through May – and we will soon be ending another school year!

How quickly time flies!

Monday Tuesday – quick and easy

15 May

Mother’s Day (in the US) was this past Sunday, and I had the rare opportunity to have both my mother, and my mother-in-law together, live (not SKYPE-D), this year.

The earlier portion of the day was my mother-in-law’s “day,” and we spent a few hours at the local petting/animal zoo, feeding lambs, llamas, goats, and parakeets. 

The latter portion was spent at my house, where my brother and his family joined in celebrating my mother’s birthday and mother’s day.

We had a lovely evening, barbecuing, chatting, and watching the kids run through the yard, enjoying the visiting uncle/Aunt and cousin, and racing back to Nana and Baba for hugs and kisses.

I benefitted from Mother’s Day dinner – as the leftovers were perfect for bento!

Monday bento included:

Grilled chicken drumstick with poultry seasoning and a sprinkle of lemon juice

Sliced yellow peppers, grape tomatoes and blueberries

Multi-grain onigiri in tawara shape, no filling, sprinkled with black sesame seeds, wrapped in nori

 

Tuesday, similarly, a quick and easy lunch:

Grilled chicken drumstick (poultry, lemon juice seasoning)

Sliced peppers, cucumbers, blanched asparagus

Blackberries

Multi-grain onigiri with okaka filling with nori belt – a tiny tiny onigiri