Friday, 5 February 2016

Back to School 2016



The boys are so excited for their first day of school in 2016. My eldest son goes to year 5 and my youngest son goes to year 2. They can't wait to see their friends again!
To make this day even special, I prepared these bento for them.



For my eldest son, I prepared :
1. Ham and cheese mini sandwich
2. Hard boiled egg with salt & pepper (decorated with cheese, carrot, and nori)
3. Cheese pillow puff with cheese and "Year 5" writing (made of carrot) on it
4. Corn on the cob
5. Lettuce leaves
6. Rockmelon cuts for recess



My youngest son had similar lunches, with "year 2" writing on the cheese pillow puff.


Bento tools I used for this post :


                


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Chicken Karaage Bento


Another holiday activity with my boys, this time we assembled a meal in the bento box to share together. I've shared the Okonomiyaki recipe in my last post. I made few extras at that time then I froze them (without the topping) and took them out whenever I needed.

So this time, I share another yummy recipe :

Chicken Karaage 

Ingredients:
450 gr boneless and skinless chicken breasts/chicken thighs (cut into small pieces)
3 cm fresh ginger (peeled and pounded with a mortar and pestle to extract 1 tablespoons of ginger juice)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
Corn starch to coat the chicken
Oil for deep frying

Method:
1. Use paper towels to pat dry the chicken pieces and transfer to a bowl.
2. Add in sake, ginger juice, soy sauce, sesame oil (optional) and marinate for 30 minutes. 
3. Transfer the chicken pieces out of the marinate and coat them evenly with corn starch. Shake off excess.
4. Deep-fry in oil for two times. 
5. Heat up a wok/pot of cooking oil until it is hot enough for frying. 
6. Drop the chicken pieces into the oil and quickly deep fry them until they float. 7. Transfer them out onto a plate and wait for a couple of minutes. 
8. Put the chicken back into the oil and deep-fry until golden brown and crunchy. 
9. Dish out to a plate or bowl lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. 10. Ready to serve



This bento box consists of :
1. White steamed rice with sprinkles of black sesame seed
2. Chicken karaage
3. Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) with katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and Japanese mayonaise (Kewpie) on top.
4. Pickled red ginger
5. Watermelon cuts

I used these foodpicks in this post :



Monday, 25 January 2016

Okonomiyaki


I've heard about Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake) for quite some time and am really curious to have a taste. Today, I had a chance to make it. 
There are so many versions of Okonomiyaki, so I tried to adapt several recipes and adjusted it with the ingredients I had at home. It is quite yummy, I supposed :)

Here I share my recipe :

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake)
serves : 4

Ingredients :
8 cups cabbage (about a whole large cabbage), finely diced
1 cup squid (optional), chopped into small piece
Oil
100 gr pork minced
1 small onion, chopped

Okonomiyaki Batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup dashi (Japanese stock)
4 eggs
1/4 cup pickled red ginger, sliced 

Toppings
Okonomi sauce 
Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie mayo)
Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
Green onions, finely chopped
Pickled red ginger (Kizami Beni Shoga) for garnish

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
2. Whisk dashi stock and flour mixture together in a bowl until smooth and set aside. 
3. Meanwhile, remove the core of the cabbage and finely dice the cabbage (finer the better).
4. In the bowl, add eggs, Tenkasu, and Pickled Ginger, and mix well. Then add squid and mix again.
5. Stir in the cabbage.
6. In a non-stick frying pan heat oil on medium to medium high heat. Scoop one ladle of batter and place on the pan. 
7. Do not flatten the mixture because it will easily break when you turn it over.
8. Place 2 tbs pork minced on top of Okonomiyaki and cook covered for 5 minutes.
9. When the bottom side is nicely browned, turn it over and cook covered for another 5 minutes.
10. Turn over one more time and cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
11. Apply Okonomi Sauce and Japanese mayonnaise, and sprinkle katsuobushi. 12. You can also put green onions and pickled red ginger on top for garnish.
13. Enjoy!