bentou/bento/o-bento: boxed meals, usually lunch, as envisioned by the japanese, but not necessarily japanese in itself. let this great o-bento essay and the bento bloggers explain. i've totally hopped on the bentou bandwagon and here are three reasons why.
1. relatively economical: it's a good way to use up leftovers, and by bringing lunch to work, you save from not eating out.
2. theoretically healthier: because there's a certain amount of aesthetics involved and they are manually assembled, one would hope you'd think about what goes in the box and into your stomach.
3. PORTION CONTROL!
ah, resources: cooking cute, lunch in a box, 毎日のお弁当.
yesterday's bentou was ebi-don, breaded prawns in egg, with sautéed onions, green onions, and seaweed, and seasoned with dashi, mirin, soy sauce and a little sugar. this used leftover panko-crusted fried prawns, but make free to use leftover tenpura or beer-battered prawns, or heck, any leftover seafood or plainly cooked meat available. cooked on relatively low heat, the egg takes on a savoury custard quality that is a soothing blanket for the bed of rice it covers.
2 previously cooked breaded or battered prawns (roughly 1/4 lb)
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
butter and/or oil
1 stalk of green onion, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup of reconstituted wakame seaweed (or cooked, well-drained spinach)
1 cup dashi or any soup stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp (not helen) mirin
1 scant tbsp brown sugar
2 large eggs (or 3 small ones), very lightly scrambled
sautée the sliced onion in a small amount of butter and/or cooking oil until just translucent. adjust the temperature of the stove to medium low. combine half the green onion, all the seaweed, dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar with the eggs in a bowl. add the egg mixture to the onions in the pan. as the eggs cook around the edges, push the cooked portion towards the center of the pan. place the prawns in the center of the pan and push into the egg mix gently; continue to move the eggs inward or on top of the prawns. when the eggs have mostly cooked, turn off the heat, and cover the pan with a lid; leave for five minutes. the residual heat will cook the rest of the egg. garnish with the remaining green onion. serve on top of a bed of rice, with pickled daikon radish.
more of my bentous here....
reason #4: whimsy allowed in homemade lunches, apparently