Bento. It was a nice change from the usual style of dinner. Actually the dishes are cooked the usual way, only the presentation is different, Bento sytle. But the kids don't know that, they think that mommy is so clever, mommy can prepare a delicious "japanese dinner", "mommy, can we bring bento to school for lunch?"LOL! It is fun actually, preparing it Bento sytle. I wanted it to be a surprise, so I told my kids not to come in to the dining area until I say so. When I gave the green light, they rushed in to the dining hall and exclaimed with delight when they saw their Bento dinner! In that instant, I was promoted from mommy to "clever mommy"! He! He! Such bliss!
This is the first bento style dinner that I made, looks like it won't be the last either! So, all you mommies out there, if you have not prepared dinner or lunch in bento style before, and to enjoy the few moments when your kids say "clever mommy", go ahead, with a little imagination, you will enjoy a short-term celebrity moment. They wanted me to surprise their father too, he came back later, and surprise.... yes, he was surprised! "Short-term celebrity home chef"! It's fun, seriously!
I did not plan on doing Bento for dinner, but I bought some chicken and tofu from the market and was wondering what to cook for dinner. Then, Bento came to mind and I started to "search for hidden treasures" in my fridge. There's a pack of miso paste which I bought about two months back and forgotten all about it. Great! Miso soup. We love miso soup. There's half a pumpkin and some french beans. That's it, Bento is on the way.
Looks like I have to get more utensils and ingredients for my future Bento meals! My kids are already planning that I should do this again when their cousins come over for visits! The next Bento meal is going to take some planning, complete with the green tea!
Here's my very simple, easy Bento menu and recipe :
Bento - Chicken Teriyaki
2 chicken breast fillet, sliced
3 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp honey
some black pepper
Just mix them all together and marinate for about an hour.
Heat some oil or butter and pan-fried both sides till brown and cooked.
Clean and cut to halves. Put in bowl, add some salt and drizzle some oil. Microwave on high for 2 - 3 minutes.
Clean and cut pumpkin into wedges or bite-sized chunks. Put in bowl, add some salt and drizzle some oil. Steam for about 7-10 minutes or till soft.
1 green apple (shredded)
1 pear (shredded)
1 small carrot (shredded)
1 small cucumber (discard centre and shredded green part only)
Mix them all together with any salad dressing and refrigerate.
1 sachet Bonito seasoning
8 cups of water
3-1/2 tbsps miso paste (or to taste)
some ready-to-eat natural flavoured seaweed, cut to small pieces
1 pc soft tofu (cut to small pieces)
some chopped spring onions
Boil 8 cups of water with Bonito seasoning (or as per instruction on packaging). Add in tofu pieces and seaweed. Let it boil for a few minutes. Place 3 tablespoons of miso paste in a bowl. Scoop about half a cup of the boiling soup into the miso paste bowl and stir till evenly mix. Pour this mixture into the boiling soup and turn off flame. Stir to combine. Do not allow soup to boil after the miso paste has been added in.
Serve hot or cold, garnish with some chopped spring onions.