Friday, February 24, 2012

Ume Chicken Bento and Sushi Cake

Today's main bento dish is Ume chicken. Do you like umeboshi (salty sour pickled plums)?? I like to use it as an onigiri filling or a seasoning for salad or simmered stuff. After using umeboshi pulp they still have a bit of the pulp left around on the hard seeds. I toss umeboshi seeds into a pot of simmering stuff to pep up the flavor. Last night I browned a chicken thigh in a frying pan, and added a little of shoyu and water, and some umeboshi seeds to it. Then simmered it until the chicken was done. This ume chicken is tender and tasty even cold because of the sourness of umeboshi, which is why it is perfect for bento!


As additions I made mushroom stir-fry which I seasoned with a bit of olive oil, salt, garlic and shichimi togarashi, and curry mayo flavored renkon (lotus root) salad. I got this green box from DAISO. Isn't it so spring-ish? I now feel like singing *green green*♪ Ha it's too much old! Who knows this song?


I also got this cute strawberry box from DAISO! As soon as I saw it at DAISO I decided it would be my bento box! Though, it's a tad too cute for me, I guess..


The other day Yuppi had a farewell party at school and she made three round sushi cakes for the party with her pal and teacher. She was probably so happy with the sushi cakes they'd made, that she made the same one for me as well that evening. I amazed with how she'd made it perfectly all by herself. Only I had to wait for a couple hours being starving till it was finished though haha!

Yuppi's sushi cake

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sauce Katsu Bento

Today's bento is another quick donburu-styled bento. Sauce katsu is panko-fried meat or chicken with sauce on it. When I was a kid my mother made me chicken katsu in my bento each time I had a school trip or some event, which was poured over with plenty of tonkastu sauce. I loved it so I still like to put sauce katsu in a bneto. For this bento, I made some chicken tender katsu in this way, and a kanikama (mock crab stick) omelet. I put some kaiware sprouts and umeboshi on the katsu to liven up the look and balance all the flavors.

Brown rice onigiri lunch
This one is a super simple bento. Also one of run-to-work bentos. I filled each onigiri with salmon or umeboshi! The ONLY side dish is leftover karaage haha! I actually love bontos like this. Not fancy at all but still a bit cute, isn't it?

As some of you already know I've been on a yogurt-making kick lately. While, I had a talk with bento pals, Sheri and Ingrid on Twitter about homemade yogurt. Then I wondered how long I could keep making yogurt without buying starter (yogurt)... Since then I've made several batches with my homemade starter now. All of them totally went well with no problem. But, you know what, this morning a huge yogurt hunter ate up my last batch all! That means there is no homemade starter left to use for the next batch! Ughhh... What will I do?!

Soymilk 100% yogurt
Ah well. Can you believe that this is a whole soymilk yogurt, and you can make yours in only several hours without using special tools or skills! I actually didn't like my whole soy yogurt so much when I made it for the first time. But I felt like this one was good enough! I guess it's because I'm getting used to the soy flavor.

Homemade yogurt -- Milk 1 : Soymilk 4
This is one of the batches made with both soy milk and regular one, about one-fifth of which is regular whole milk. At the moment I think it's the best-balanced rate in both taste and healthiness. However, I think each of these yogurts has its yumminess each. I have some ideas to try out with my yogurt on making desserts and savory sauces. In fact, the soy yogurt turned out to be nice sauces for my noodle salad and fried shrimp. Oh yeah, for those interested in yogurt cooking, I'm going to share my yogurt adventure track on my sweets blog in the future!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Oyster Sauce Chicken Donburi Bento

Today's bento is Chicken Donburi. Donburi is *rice topped with dishes*, which is one of quick rice dishes that you can whip up. I make it when I don't want to think this and that about what to make for bento. Today I made oyster sauce-flavored chicken stir-fry. I put it on rice, and sprinkled with a bit of shichimi togarashi and white sesame seeds. Along with boiled egg wedges I made yesterday.

I dredged chicken thigh pieces with some flour, then browned both sides in a bit of sesame oil. Then stir-fried it along with green onion and some kinds of mushrooms that I had in the fridge. Then I seasoned with shoyu and a bit of oyster sauce. That's all I did!

This dish goes great with rice! And tasty cold! Of course it's better if reheated.

In the meantime, I made fluffy mousse using homemade yogurt. It came out so much better than I thought that I'm going to share the recipe on my sweets blog. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Panko Chicken Bento

*Hey y'all!!* Greeting from a relaxed Relakkuma! Has it been so long since the last post!? Not that I've been hibernating, I swear haha! Yuppi has not needed bento for a while and hubby has run to work with a simple onigiri lunch on his back. But they need bento today!

In the meantime, my little buddy, Yuppi passed the entrance exam of the junior high school that she wanted to go to. We've just received the notification from the school. She made it! We are going to have dinner out tonight to celebrate her pass as she studied very hard for the exam. By the way, the students of the school basically have to take their lunches to school every day. That means I'm going to have to continue making bento at least for 6 years to come, wow. Plus, that means I'm going to keep posting here such a long time heh!


Today's bentos contain panko chcken, egg corn salad, some onigiri and orange wedges for refreshment.

I took this shot under the room light.

Today's quick bento okazu is panko chicken (chicken katsu)! It has appeared in my bento very often, and you know I've written about it so many times. But I'll write my way again. I removed skin off from a chicken breast (I usually use chicken tenders instead), and cut it into easy-to-eat-size pieces. Then strongly pressed panko (dried) on both sides of them by hand to stick the panko to the chicken well. (Since I want to prepare bento foods quickly I always omit flouring and egg-coating for ponko-fry.) And then I fried them in a little olive oil until both sides were brown, then drained on paper towels for cutting calories. You don't need so much oil for pan-frying. I only use 1 - 2 tablespoons oil. Lastly I sprinkled some herb salt and powdered cheese on them. Plus a bit of ketchup if you like.