Birthday Bento

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Okay, the last bento post for a while… I promise.

This is the bento box I ordered from Japan as a birthday gift for my wife. Since I do the cooking for the family I suppose this is as much a gift for me as for her, but they say you should always give something you wish to receive (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

Before getting into the contents, I should write a bit about the box itself. I first came across it a month ago while surfing for information on bentos and just fell in love with it. Unlike the classic multi-tiered bento boxes with their loose fitting lids, this one is actually made for carting a lunch to work. It’s a two tiered unit with a sliding inner tray on the top tier. The top tier also comes with a snug fitting clear clear plastic lid (not shown) to keep moist dishes from drying out. The finishing touch is an elasticized band to keep the unit together when carrying. The graphic lettering on the box says “nokorimono desuga” or “I’m afraid it’s just leftovers”–gotta love Japanese humour.

First impressions… It’s a very sexy lunch box. The two tiers, sliding section and snap lid are very functional. The only downside is that it’s not dishwasher or microwave safe. The box can be purchased from Bento&Co in Japan and currently retails for $19.56 CDN or $19.50 US.

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On to the ingredients. Fitting with the lettering on the box it contains mostly leftovers with a few extra ingredients for it’s inaugural flight.

Birthday Bento

  • Cal-rose extra fancy short grain rice
  • Fried tofu and prawn in sauce
  • Edamame, boiled and salted
  • 1/2 Campari tomato
  • Tomagoyaki rolls (sweetened egg sushi)
  • Tamari and sushiza in little fish bottles

In addition to the box contents I added two clementines, an apple and a small container of yogurt. As far as bento lunches go this one is a little over the top, but it needed to be in order to accent the birthday theme of the meal. I made the tomagoyaki the night before, while the tofu and prawns are really leftovers.

Itadakimasu! (Bon appetit!)

Aaron

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Bento Equipment and Tips

Bento tray liners

I’m not usually one to cross post other blog articles, but this one is definitely worth it for the newbie Bento maker. It contains a bunch of elements that I was going to cover in future, but why recreate the wheel?

Cooking Cute: Bento Equipment

Worth checking out!

Aaron

Super Peelers

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We all have our favourite kitchen gadgets that we can’t do without. The two Swissmar peelers pictured above are perhaps the most useful and clever gadgets in my utility drawer.

Cheap and perfectly designed, these two do their respective jobs elegantly. The blades on both are razor sharp flexible steel that go through carrot and kiwi skins in heart beat. They both use a draw cut and depending on how they are held will easily go through odd shaped fruit and vegetable skins without awkward contortions. The plastic handles are light but solid, and the little eyeing tool cleans a spud in a snap.

Initially I thought the julienne blade was a bit of a gimmick, but I’ve come to rely on this this lightweight tool as a substitute for my beautiful but heavy and difficult to set up French mandolin cutter.

I picked both these units from a local kitchen supply store (Ming Wo’s), but you can order from many on-line retailers. Currently priced in the $5 range.

BTW They also sell a serrated blade version for soft skinned fruits that I would personally pass on–they cut as advertised, but are no better than the straight blade for that purpose.

Aaron