I made a bento in a beautiful bento box named Sakura Ko Slim. It is a two-tier box and I chose to fill one box with cooked rice and delicious salmon on top of it, and some flavorful side dishes of chicken, bacon, egg, cheese and peppers in the other box. I hope you will like these recipes!
I am using short grain white rice of the brand YUMENISHIKI. Almost daily I wash 2.5 cups or rice and soak it in 2.6 cups of water in the bowl for at least 30 minutes before I cook it in my electric rice cooker. When I have time I cook a double batch. After it is cooked and while it is warm, I divide (120g each) and freeze in microwavable shallow containers. I usually use all up quickly but frozen cooked rice is nice to have at hand, it keeps up to 4 weeks in your freezer.
- Side dishes
I chose dishes that can be prepared fast and easy, all the ingredients I used are widely available here in Europe, and I hope you can find them in your store, too!
1. Marinated colorful peppers
2. Mozzarella Tamagoyaki
3. Chicken and Bacon balls with fresh rosemary
4. Micro Mayo salmon on the rice
Marinated colorful peppers
¼ of a large bell pepper, in 3 different colors (red, green and yellow)
2 tea spoons of white sesame seeds
1 tea spoon of minced green onion
1 tea spoon of sesame oil
1 table spoon of soy sauce
1 table spoon of rice vinegar
1 tea spoon of honey
- Cut the peppers into strips.
2. Heat a pan and add sesame oil. Sautee the peppers until tender.
3. Pour the sauce and bring it to a boil. Sautee for 2 min.
4. Turn off the heat and sprinkle white sesame seeds and green onion.
Let it rest in the sauce for 15 min.
Buy a Tamagoyaki Pan on Bento&co!
1 large egg
½ tea spoon of salt
30g mozzarella cheese, cut in small pieces
1. Crack the egg in a bowl. Add salt and beat with a fork or chopsticks.
2. Heat a pan and coat with a little salad oil. Swipe with a kitchen paper and grease the pan well.
3. When the pan is hot, pour the egg mixture and spread it quickly over the pan. When it is half cooked, place the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle some black pepper. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute. When the mozzarella cheese has melted a little on the egg, roll it (fold it) from the side where you have placed the mozzarella cheese and fold over four folds. Melted soft Mozzarella cheese will stick on the egg like glue and it won’t be so difficult to roll it up.
4. Take it out immediately on to a cold plate to cool. Cut it and put it in the bento box after it is cooled and the mozzarella cheese is hardened.
A piece of chicken thigh, about 50g
2 slices of English bacon, about 40g
4-5 small leaves of fresh rosemary, chopped
A pinch of salt
little bit of White pepper and garlic powder
2 tea spoons of Potato starch (1 tea spoon x 2)
The bacon I am using is so called English bacon, it is cut from the loin and is often leaner with less fat compared to the standard American style bacon which is cured pork belly and contains more fat.
1. Cut chicken and bacon into thin and long strips and put in a bowl. Add rosemary leaves, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
2. Add a tea spoon of potato starch and mix well. Using your hands or a spoon,
make 4 small balls.
3. Coat them with a tea spoon of potato starch.
4. Heat a fry pan and add some olive oil. When the oil is hot. Place the balls and cook over medium heat. I fried red onion as well.
5. Fry them for 4-5 minutes. When they are brown and crisp outside and cooked through,
they are ready.
Micro Mayo Salmon on the rice
Very easy dish that does not take any effort.
4 thin slices of fresh salmon
Mayonnaise (If possible Japanese QP mayonnaise)
A pinch of salt
White pepper, just a little bit
Have you cooked fish in your microwave? It goes super quick and it is a very convenient way of cooking in the busy morning! Use a piece that is evenly cut. If the fish is thicker in the middle than the edges, you can place thin edges overlapped to attain the same thickness.
1. Put some salad oil on a microwavable dish and put 4 thin sliced salmon. The oil will prevent the fish from sticking on the dish. Sprinkle some salt and white pepper on them and a dot of mayonnaise on each slice.
2. Put a lid or use a microwave-safe wrap. Microwave on 600W for 40 seconds.
Test and see if it is cooked. If not, please cook additional 10-20 seconds. Don’t cook too long or use too high heat, the fish gets dry and overcooked. You may not see so much mayonnaise left on top of the fish, but the fat and the flavor of mayonnaise have gone into the fish.
Place them on the rice.
Packing tips from Rie :
When you pack side dishes in a bento box, always start from the largest item and soft or small pieces of food should go in last. In this bento, chicken and bacon balls come in the box first. I put lettuce and sautéed red onion under the chicken and bacon balls to add some colors to the brown color of meat. You do not have to have them but I think it looks nicer. You may not be able to see it on the photo but the colorful peppers were placed in a silicon bento cup as it had the marinade sauce. After I put the chicken and bacon balls in one corner, I placed the peppers in the cup in the opposite corner in the box, and then I placed the Tamagoyaki in between them. Tamagoyaki is soft and it is easier to put them in between something larger. As there was some more space left next to Tamagoyaki, I blanched some green asparagus spears and placed them there. Bon appetit!
Rie (Check out Rie's facebook page!)