Japanese bento 1 (octopus, chicken, cat)
The traditional japanese lunch box
Hello dear all, after having some time off I decided to make a nice Hub about one of my favorite food types and the way how to prepare it. The Bento is a traditional Japanese lunch box which includes a variety of very healthy and sometimes also not so healthy food. The basic idea to provide your beloved ones a tasty and good looking lunch and so is suitable for children or to surprise other members of your family or even friends. It can be considered to be time intensive as the preparation of multiple small dishes is the way hot to prepare a good bento. It is very important to have a wide variety of food as a bento should have everything going through meat, vegetables fruit and so on. There are many ways how to make a bento and what to put inside, so let me introduce some of them in my Hubs.
- 2 radish, small
- 1 yellow melon
- 1 egg
- 1 kohlrabi
- 1 carrot
- 3 pickled cucumber, small
- 3 tbs pickled corn, sweet
- 1 sheet nori
- 1 sausage
- 1 leaf lettuce
- Kohlrabi salad. Wash the carrot, peal it, do the same with the kohlrabi. Make 5 very thin grooves on the carrot so when you cut the circles you actually get small flower shaped pieces. Cut the kohlrabi into very small (0.5x0.5 cm) cubes. Put the carrot and kohlrabi pieces into boiling water with some salt. Cook until they get softer but be careful not to overcook. When finished take them out of the water and let them cool down (possibly put into ice water for a couple of minutes). Drain and put them into a bowl, add the sweet corn. Cut the pickled cucumber into small pieces and add to the mixture. Add some salt and mayonnaise and mix well so the mayonnaise can get everywhere (don't use too much mayonnaise 1-2 tbs. are enough). Put info the fridge to cool.
- Sausage octopus. Cut the small sausage in half. Take one half and cut the part where the middle has been in cross. Now you should have 4 tentacles. Now cut each of them in half and this way get the necessary 8 tentacles. When done put the sausage octopuses on a hot pan with a very little vegetable oil to grill. Cook until the tentacles open and the sausage is ready. Let them cool for a while. Take a little mayonnaise and put it around the octopus body. Take a strip of nori and put in around the body on the mayonnaise where it sticks the best. Take a little more mayonnaise and put it where the octopus face is supposed to be. Put 2 sesame seed on it (the eyes) and a little piece of cheese (mouth). Let everything cool more.
- Egg chicken. Take a raw egg and make a little hole on the wider end (the bottom, even it might be hard to determine where the bottom is) of it. Put it into boiling water and let cook for about 10 minutes to get a hard boiled egg. After this time put the hot egg into ice water to cool it off very fast (this will make it easier to peal the egg). Be very careful with the pealing as you want a nice surface. Take a smaller knife and start making zigzag cuts around the egg. Pay attention to cut only the egg white so when you feel a bigger resistance don't go deeper. When you finish your carefully try to separate the top and the bottom. Prepare a small triangle of carrot and put it into the egg yolk. Cut 2 very small pieces of nori and put them onto the yolk to be the eyes.
- Cauliflower clouds. Simply cut the cauliflower into small pieces and either boil or steam them with some salt. Let them cool.
- Radish cat. Take a small radish. Cut off the ends (where the leafs and root have been). Wash it good. Put it into the steamer until it is soft. Put it into ice water to cool off. When this is done you can start making your radish cat. Take some mid-soft cheese and form the ears of the cat sticking it to the radish (doon't worry if it does not stick all to well). Make the radish moist with some water. Wrap the radish with the ears with a nori so that every part of the radish is covered. From the cheese now you can cut the eyes, mouth and nose. Also use 2 very thin stripes of nori to finish the eyes.
- Melon smileys. Cut the melon in half. Start cutting out small balls (or half balls so they stand better). From a nori sheet cut out different shapes so you can create many different types of faces, what makes the bento very nice and interesting in the end.
- Finishing the bento. Arrange the octopuses in the bento. Take a leaf of lettuce and form a small bowl-like shape. This you can fill up with the kohlrabi salad and put a final small flower carrot on the top for garnish. To fill up the first part of your bento put in the egg chicken and stabilize it with the top part of the cut egg. Put your radish cat in the second bento part and put the cauliflower around. Insert the small melon balls and finish them withe the nori to get the cute faces.
I really hope you will enjoy this bento and I promise to provide you more ideas and recipe's. Please remember that the bento is a good way how to make your beloved ones happy. Use healthy ingredients as much as possible. Believe me this serve is sufficient for and adult man.