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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bento Tips

Since I have been making bentos to bring to work, many friends have been asking how did I do it. To be honest, it is not as difficult as thought. You do not have to wake up that early. Instead, plan your menu the night before.

This is what I do. When I buy meat, I cut and marinate before I pack them into individual servings. On the night before, just thaw the portioned meat/fish in the fridge. Wash and cut the vegetables and set aside for use the next day. I still wake up for Ah Boy's night feed, so I will cook the rice, blurried eyes, at 4 a.m., then go back to bed. I will also use the rice cooker to steam the vegetables. That saves you one thing less to do later on. For those who are not breastfeeding, by any chance you have to wake up to take a leak; cook the rice.

Some of the dishes like stir-fry Hijiki (ひじきの炒め) seaweed and stir-fry Gobo (牛蒡のきんぴら) can be prepared and freezed for later use. They can be kept in the freezer for about 1 week. Like the vegetables, you can just dump these frozen stir-fries into the rice cooker to heat up. In the morning itself, just pan fry the meat/fish, scoop out the rice, vegetables, heat up whatever you need and assemble everything. I usually took about 10 to 15 minutes to dress up a bento. Easy, right?

Play around with food of different colours. This makes a simple, homecooked meal interesting. Recently, I paired up Sakura Denbu (pink) and Ume Shiso furikake (purple). The combo was surprisingly good! Look and taste-wise. Here's some bento I did for the past week.

がんばれ~~ Photobucket You can do it!!


Anonymous said...

2 thumbs up for the effort and determination in making healthy bentos everyday!! - cookingmonster

Yuri said...

well done rei! admire your resolve to do this daily. not only save a lot of money, it's healthy too! one question, do u prepare your rice, ie, washed and soaked the night b4 or just scoop and cook?

Rei said...

Thanks Tania! :)

Yuri, I usually have to wake up at 4a.m., so I just take some time to wash and cook rice with the rice cooker. If you want to cook rice the night before, I think you can set the timer. :)

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

ur kids r beautiful! ah boy's expression on the bottom pic is priceless.