Monday, 30 March 2015

Steamed Pork Buns Bento

Steamed buns reminded me of my childhood back in Indonesia. I'm so happy finally I can make it by myself. Here I shared you the recipe :

Steamed Pork Buns 
Adapted from Nombelina's food blog
makes : 16 buns

175 gr lukewarm water
7 gr dried yeast (1 sachet)
1 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs flavorless oil 
375 gr baozi flour or all purpose flour (I use all purpose flour)

400 gr minced pork
1 cup button  mushroom, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 Tbs hoisin sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs oyster sauce
2 Tbs honey
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 Tbs Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)

METHOD :1. Dissolve the yeast into the lukewarm water. Add the sugar and flavorless oil.
2. Mix the yeast mixture into the flour with a fork, until all the moisture has been incorporated. 
3. Knead for several minutes into a smooth dough. 
4. The dough is ready when it gently springs back after pressing a finger into it. 
5. Shape into a ball and leave it to proof for an hour in a covered bowl. 
6. For the filling, pan fry the minced chicken loose in a bit of oil, making sure you break the meat into small pieces. 
7. Add the onion, garlic, chopped mushroom and green onion along with the chicken and cook until tender. 
8. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow most of the moisture to evaporate. 
9. Turn off the heat and let the filling cool.
10. Cut parchment paper into 2.5 inch squares for the base. 
11. Knead the dough briefly to knock back the air. 
12. Divide into 16 equal parts and shape into balls.
13. Roll these into thin discs. 
14. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the dough, keeping about an inch free from the edge. The filling can be slightly heaped.
15.You can bring the edges together and bunch them up. 
16. Place the buns on a piece of parchment and let them rest for about 20 minutes.
17. Steam the buns for 20 minutes in a bamboo steamer.
18. Keep enough room between the bun, because they do expand and tend to stick.
19. Let them cool slightly and serve on their own or with a bit of chili sauce.

notes : the buns can be frozen when completely cooled and can be reheated in a steamer or microwave.

For my eldest son, I prepared :
1. Steamed pork bun
2. Sandwich rolls (recipe here)
3. Corn on the cob
4. Lettuce and carrot sticks
5. Apple cuts for recess

For my youngest son, I prepared :
1. Steamed pork bun
2. Sandwich rolls (recipe here)
3. Corn on the cob
4. Lettuce and carrot sticks

5. Strawberry yogurt for recess

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Phineas Croissants Bento

For me, these croissants look like phineas from Phineas and Ferb, Disney characters. I just filled up the croissants with ham and cheese, then cut them into two. I put these eyes food picks (affiliate-link below) to make them "alive". Very simple yet cute indeed!

Details for each box :
1. "Phineas" ham & cheese croissant
2. Pizza flavoured Turtle Bun
3. Corn on the cob
4. Pork dumpling
5. Carrot sticks
6. Banana for recess

My kids love the written banana. Just score the banana peel with sharp knife, and it will turn brownish in few minutes. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Pizza Flavoured Turtle Buns Bento

I saw this idea of cute turtle shaped breads in the Pinterest. Because the kids love the pizza flavoured buns so much, so I used that recipe to create these turtles. (notes : for the turtle shell, I used green food colouring). You may find step by step assembling the turtle in here.

For my youngest son, I prepared :
1. Pizza flavoured turtle bun
2. Corn on the cob
3. Prawn tofu nuggets (recipe here) and tomato ketchup
4. Carrot sticks
5. Yogurt pouch for recess

For my eldest son, I prepared :
1. Pizza flavoured turtle bun
2. Corn on the cob
3. Prawn tofu nuggets and sweet chili sauce
4. Carrot sticks
5. Segmented orange for recess

Monday, 16 March 2015

Pizza Flavoured Piggy Buns Bento

These cute piggies are so hard to resist. I made these buns on the weekend with the help of my youngest son. Even though it took some time to make, it was so much fun especially to see him showing some interest in baking. And the best part was that he ate two piggies straight away. It's all worth the effort, I supposed :)

Recipe adapted from Manu's Menu

Prep time
1 hour 30 mins
Cook time
15 mins
Total time
1 hour 45 mins

Serves: Makes about 20

Ingredients :
Yeast Dough
400 gms – 13.5 oz all purpose flour (you may need a little more)
1 package instant dry yeast (7 gms – ¼ oz.)
1 egg
200 ml – 7 oz. plain yogurt
100 ml – 3.5 oz warm milk
1 pinch of salt

Flaky dough
150 gms – 5.5 oz flour
100 gms – 3.5 oz butter
1 pinch of salt

Tomato sauce

Egg Wash
Egg white
Egg yolk and some milk to brush

Instructions :
1.   Start by making the yeast dough. 
2.   Put all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mix and knead well.
3.   Make it into a ball and keep aside to rise for at least 1 hour.
4.   In the meantime, make the flaky dough by kneading all the ingredients together.
5.   Once the yeast dough has risen, add the flaky dough to it and knead well.
6 .  Roll the mixed dough into a 3 mm – 1.2 inch thick sheet and cut out circles of 6 cm – 2.4 inches in diameter. 
7.   Also cut out smaller circles (3 cm – 1.2 inches in diameter) that you will use to make the noses and ears. 
8.   For the ears, simple quarter the smaller circles.
9.   To make the filling, fry the ham and mix with the tomato sauce and oregano.
10. To assemble your Piggy Buns, put half of the big circles onto an oven tray lined with baking paper. 
11. Add 1 tsp of tomato and oregano sauce and a little piece of cheese in the middle. 
12. Brush the edges with some egg white and place the other half of the big circles on the top. 
13. Press with your fingers to close well.
14. Attach the nose and ears with some egg white wash. 
15. Use black sesame seeds to make the eyes, and for nostrils, use some fennel seeds.
16. Let the piggy buns rise again for 30 minutes.
17. Then brush them with egg yolk wash mixed with a little bit of milk.
18. Bake them in a preheated oven at 190-200°C – 375-390°F for about 15 minutes. 

So, for my eldest son, I prepared :
1. Two pizza flavoured piggy buns
2. Corn on the cob
3. Dutch beef croquettes (recipe here) with sweet chili sauce
4. Rose carved carrot
5. Pink lady apple cuts for recess

And my youngest son had the same lunch as his brother, except he had banana yogurt for recess. The peppa pig picture on the yogurt pouch really matches with the theme :)

You may find those cute panda picks here :

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Variety Bento

I found that by baking goods on the weekend, will make packing lunches easier, especially when you are having a busy morning routine. 
This time, I shared two baking recipes that are very fast and easy yet delicious. Recipe as below :

Easy Salmon Quiche
by Mindfood; serve : 6

Ingredients :
4 eggs
2 spring onions, sliced
300ml cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
200g smoked salmon
1 sheet puff pastry
salt and pepper

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
2. Grease a 22cm fluted pie tin.
3. Line dish with puff pastry, trimming excess. 
4. Line pastry with baking paper, half fill with rice or pastry weights. 
5. Bake for 10 minutes. 
6. Remove paper and bake for a further 10 minutes.

7. Combine salmon, spring onions and cheese in a bowl. Whisk eggs and cream in a separate jug, before pouring over the salmon mixture. Season well.  Pour over cooled pastry base and return to the oven until set (around 30 minutes).

notes : add sprigs of dill to enhance the flavour.

Apple Yogurt Cinnamon Muffins
(makes 15 Muffins)

Ingredients :
1 1/2 cups Self raising flour
1/2 cup Caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
180ml Vanilla yoghurt (1 child sized tub)
1 Egg
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
2 Medium apples, cored, peeled and diced

Method :
1. Pre heat oven to 180c (160c fan forced) Line muffin tin.
2. Beat all wet ingredients in a bowl. 
3. Mix in dry ingredients. 
4. Fold in diced apple.
5. Spoon into muffin cases. 
6. Bake for 20 minutes.

For my eldest son, I prepared :
1. Easy salmon quiche
2. Fried wonton with sweet chili sauce
3. Apple yogurt cinnamon muffin
4. Dutch beef croquette (recipe here)
5. Segmented Navel orange for recess

For my youngest son, I prepared :
1. Sandwich with butter, chocolate sprinkle and cheese slice filling.
2. Fried wonton
3. Dutch beef croquette
4. Carrot stacks
5. Kiwi fruit for recess