Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Handy Pan for Bento

Today's bento is chock-full of my favorite vegetables. Stir-cooked (stir-fried with no oil) maitake mushroom and thin pork slices. Savory pancakes made of spring cabbage, flour, okara (soy pulp from making soy milk), sakuraebi (dried teeny tiny shrimps) and aonori sea weed. A stir-fry of purple asparagus, green onion and an egg. Purple asparagus turns into green after cooking, but I think it's a bit better in taste than normal green one is.

Cabbage pancake
This is a cheap small nonstick frying pan (about 9-inch) you could buy anywhere. Although I definitely prefer a cast iron skillet, I cook pretty much everything for bento in this pan except for rice. When you have to make several dishes in very small amounts one after another within a short time, this type of pan will come in handy.

For example, like this, for the bento above I first made the cabbage pancakes because they were least likely to get the pan dirty. Then what I next made in the same pan was the asparagus stir-fry. Then I lightly washed the pan out under running water, and then cooked the mushroom and pork in it. Finally I cleaned the pan using soap after everything had done.

This is a little tip for quick-bentoing on a daily basis. It can apply to cutting boards as well. Always starting with a cleaner thing (veggie or fruit) and after that, finishing with raw meat/fish or greasy stuff. This will help you speed up. Really.

It's OK not to put many items in bento boxes, isn't it? I always only have three or four. Sometimes just ONE! Like fried rice or noodles or only some omusubi, high-carb bentos... LOL! If you make two quick dishes or three in the morning and in the fridge you have some leftovers from the night before, your bento will be such a perfection!

Cabbage pancake

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