Tag Archives: bento

Chicken and Shiitake Mushroom Rice Bento #36

Altogether now, say- “Phew, thank goodness Susan didn’t make another tiger bento!”. :D  I took a break from the tigers and made Sean and myself a super simple chicken and shiitake mushroom rice bento.  In addition to the chicken and shiitake mushroom, there was lotus root, carrots, and peas in the rice too.  It was very easy to make because I just threw everything into the rice cooker and let it do all of the work.  In the side compartment I also packed a clementine for Sean and a few veggies for myself.

Chicken and Shiitake Mushroom Rice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice washed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 ounces raw skinless chicken tenders or thighs cut into small 1/2 inches pieces
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced and julienned carrots
  • 1/4 cup lotus root thinly sliced and chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas

In a bowl combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and mix well until all of the sugar has dissolved.  Add liquid mixture to the washed rice.  To the top of the rice add in the chicken, mushrooms, carrots, and lotus root and pat down until covered with the liquid, but don’t mix in.  Cover and turn on rice cooker.  When finished cooking add in the frozen peas and mix the rice to distribute all of the ingredients evenly.  Vegetarian option: use thinly sliced aburaage, hijiki, or edamame (about 3/4 to 1 cup) in place of the chicken and vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

Geri from Northern California asked me for tips on organizing bento gear so I decided to post some pictures of my collection.  I use sterilite drawers to hold my musubi molds, divider cups, sauce containers, cutters, and other miscellaneous gear.  As you can see, it’s not very neat but I can always find what I’m looking for.  Next to the drawers on the right, I have my nori punches, picks, and smaller cutters stored in see-thru plastic containers.  See-thru is key when you have a ton of stuff because it makes things easier to find. :D

My collection of nori punches.  Although I really only use the top left green punch and the small smiley face punch on the bottom.  I also use my scissors a lot to cut out other things like ears, mouths, or stripes.

Here are some pics of the fishing lure boxes that contain my picks and miscellaneous small cutters.

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Super (Bento) Bowl, Go Colts!!! #30


Okay football fans, here is my Super (Bento) Bowl tribute to the Indianapolis Colts!  If you use your imagination and maybe squint just a little, you will see the mascot for the Colts with his mane made of parsley flowing in the wind.  The two football spam musubis also double as the bottom of the colt’s hooves as he’s galloping towards his game day victory.  I also gave him a shiny red apple to eat, just in case he gets hungry.  The bento also contains buffalo chicken bites with extra buffalo sauce, made with Frank’s Red Hot sauce, stored in the side container.

In truth, I am not a huge football fan but was inspired to make this bento for two reasons.  First of all, Mark is cheering for the Saints.  So in order to make things interesting and fun we usually pick opposite teams, with the exception of UH games in which we always cheer for our home team! :D  Secondly and actually the main reason for the bento is that our friend, Clayton from KITV , suggested to Pikko (Adventures in Bento Making) and me that people might be interested in seeing a Colts or Saints bento.  Pikko was brave and took on what I couldn’t do.  I opted for the Colts thinking it would be pretty simple to make a horse, but alas it was not as easy as I had hoped.  Don’t forget to check out Pikko’s bento!  In any case who are you all rooting for?

 

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Sesame Chicken and Chive Dumpling Bento #25

All of a sudden, Paige’s eating habit have been changing.  Her favorites have been replaced by other things and she’s being a little more adventurous in trying new foods.  For instance some of the things she would never eat and now love are raw broccoli, salmon, hard boiled eggs, and egg salad sandwiches.  I was cooking a few hard boiled eggs last night and Paige just so happened to ask me what my favorite sandwich was when I was a kid.  I told her that I loved egg salad sandwiches when I was her age and so did her Dad.  She was curious enough to try it and so I made her one for dinner.  Lo and behold she loved it and declared it to be her second favorite sandwich ever!   Yay, I love it when Paige tries new things!

Paige’s bento today has sesame chicken, mini chive dumplings, veggies (including raw broccoli!), and a musubi stored in an onigiri box.   I got these nesting boxes at the Ward Marukai Zakka Avenue store because I thought they were too cute to pass up!

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Bentos and More! #23

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Pikko of Adventures in Bento Making and I are hosting a fundraiser for Haiti.  Please visit her site to read more about the fundraiser and about the prizes that can be won!  All of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross for their relief efforts in Haiti.

On to today’s bento!   Paige’s bento today was super simple and consisted of whole grain Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets that I baked in the toaster oven, hot rice in the thermal container, a cutie, and a few veggies.  To make it “cute”, I just added in a few picks and some fun dividers.

This is a bento I made for myself a few days ago from leftover mapo tofu that I had at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Little Village in China Town.  The food is so delicious and I could eat there everyday, no kidding!   My favorite dish is the steamed dumplings (pictured below) served with a spicy peanut sauce.  I never do this, but once I tried to finagle the recipe for the peanut sauce from the waiter but he wouldn’t tell me. :(    Yes, it is that good.

Lastly, I just got the advertisement paper from Marukai and I wanted to share a few things that caught my eye.  First of all this sale doesn’t take place until January 18.  I wouldn’t want anyone going there this weekend and not finding these products.  Anyway, the first pic is of these really cute nesting pig family musubi container set.  So cute!  And for those of you who can’t decide whether or not to use a chopstick, fork, or spoon here is the ultimate solution- the three way chopstick!  LOL.

This next item is for my husband who eats bread with peanut butter and jelly practically every morning.  One of his favorite things to eat is melon pan and now they have melon pan spread in a tube!  Mark loves to eat sweet stuff in the morning and I remember that when we first got married he always ate frosted pop tarts and had a glass of  Ovaltine everyday.

Finally, if you have have mochi left over from New Years or if you just love mochi period, here are some inventive ways to eat it!  I am intrigued by the  spam mochibi.  Hope you all have a good weekend! :)

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Butterfly Green Tea Soba and Chicken Karaage Bento #20

Paige’s bento today consists of green tea soba decorated with fish sausage flowers, green onions, cherry tomatoes, and a butterfly cupcake pick.  In the side compartment there is a Lady apple, chicken karaage, and cucumbers.  I used a package mix for the chicken which makes a light but very tasty batter.  You just have to add a 1/2 cup of water to the mix, add bite sized pieces of chicken, and let it sit for a few minutes before frying.  This particular mix is the best tasting one that I have come across and I have seen it sold at Marukai and Don Quijote if you want to give it a try! :)

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BBQ Lemon Grass Chicken Banh Mi Bento

Debra of Hapabento approached a few of us bento bloggers, who share her love for bahn mi, and asked if we would participate in putting up our own favorite versions of this wonderful Vietnamese sandwich.  I was happy to participate because in my opinion, Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches are not only versatile, but they incorporate all of the best components that a sandwich could have, i.e., a  light crusty baguette filled with the protein of your choice, topped off with pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers slices, fresh sprigs of cilantro, and presto, you have yourself a beautiful, healthy, and delicious Vietnamese sandwich!  For Paige’s banh mi I used thinly sliced grilled BBQ lemon grass chicken as the protein and as an extra, I topped it off with crispy fried garlic chips.  In the bottom container I packed a few slices of an orange, veggies, and a small portion of vermicelli noodles.  I also packed a small container of Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Sauce) and a lime on the side for the noodles.

A great benefit of eating bahn mi is all of the veggies that it contains.  Paige tends to eat more veggies if it is incorporated into a dish like a sandwich, noodles, or stir fry.  It also helps that the pickled carrots and daikon have a sweet taste and crunchy texture.

Please visit Debra at Hapabento, Megan at Bento Zen, and Sheri at Happy Little Bento to see the delicious bahn mi bentos they have created.  You’ll find that we all live in different parts of the U.S. and have different lifestyles, but have tailored our banh mi bentos to fit our individual tastes and needs.  They also share their nutritional information and tips on packing beautiful and creative bentos.

If you are interested in making your own pickled carrots and daikon, it very easy to do!  All you have to do is cut 1 large carrot and 1 daikon (roughly the same size) into matchsticks and toss them in 1 teaspoon of salt plus 1 teaspoon of sugar and let them sit for about 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes rinse the carrot and daikon mixture under water.  Then gently squeeze out the excess water from the vegetables (in small batches) and put them into a container with a tight fitting lid.  To make the pickling liquid, combine about 3/4 cup of water, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1/2 cup of sugar- mix it well until the sugar is completely dissolved and pour it over the prepared carrot and daikon.  Let the pickled veggies sit for at least an hour before using.

Again for more banh mi inspiration, don’t forget to check out Hapabento, Bento Zen, and Happy Little Bento for their wonderful bentos.  Many thanks to Debra for coordinating the “Banh Mi Bento” theme! :D

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Vietnamese BBQ Chicken and Vermicelli Bento #15

Bento is wonderful for portion control and I am very happy to get back to that!  Over the Winter break and with all of the holiday festivities I, needless to say, have packed on a few pounds.  In a little over two weeks I managed to put on five pounds! O_O  I don’t mind the extra weight as much as I mind my clothes feeling constricting and uncomfortable.  So this year’s resolution is to lose that five extra pounds and eat healthier!

Today’s bento is Vietnamese BBQ chicken and vermicelli salad with lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, mint, and garnished with a little bit of crispy garlic chips. I packed the dressing in the sauce container and added a small lime wedge for extra flavor too.

I also wanted to share a little bit of what we did this past week.  We celebrated the New Year with our good friends, the Lees, who generously supplied us with a lot of pyrotechnic activities.

We watched a few movies like The Princess and the Frog, and watched a couple of classics like Home Alone as well. I don’t know if you all remember the part when Macaulay Culkin puts on his father’s aftershave and screams “Ahhhhhhhh!!!!”, but Sean is doing an imitation of that below.

We also had hours of fun making miniature food out of FIMO clay for Paige’s Polly Pockets.  Really cool stuff, fun to play with and it hardens in the oven.  Thanks Aunty Lynne for the clay and the “How To” book!

We also spent many, many, many hours putting together this 1000 piece puzzle that I got for Christmas.  I love puzzles and get kind of obsessed with it until it’s finished.

We also ate and ate a lot!  We had to go to Paige’s favorite place ,Genki sushi, and ate until we were stuffed.

Yesterday we went to the Bishop Museum where they had a really fun dinosaur exhibit.  All of the dinosaurs moved and made noises and, as you can see below, Mark was a little afraid of them at first.

They also had a lot of other fun activities like this excavation site where you could look for dinosaur fossils.  Speaking of fossils, have you ever seen fossilized dinosaur poop?  Sean’s first time seeing it too.

They also let you feed the dinosaurs! :D

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Kamado Roasted Chicken Bento

Yesterday I roasted a huge 5 pound (almost 6 pound) chicken in the kamado for dinner.  To make the chicken, I poured a little olive oil onto the chicken and used a Hawaiian seasoned salt that I rubbed all over the chicken, both inside and out.  In Hawai`i we would say that you have to lomi lomi or massage the chicken to distribute the seasoning well. :)  I also stuck a few sprigs of rosemary, that I have growing in our backyard, into the cavity of the chicken.  Then I tied the legs together and put the chicken into the kamado uncovered, at 350 degrees for about an hour and 45 minutes.  To gauge the temperature, I used an oven thermometer that I left right on the grill.

With the leftover chicken, I made a bento for myself and Sean to share.  In the bento there was the roasted chicken, kabocha, a few veggies, kiwi slices, and rice with ume.

Before and after pictures of the chicken.

Golden 5 pound bird coming out of the kamado!

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Chicken Katsu Christmas Bento

Paige wanted to have the chicken katsu bites again today for lunch.  It was easy enough because I already had a bunch of chicken katsu bites that I previously breaded and stored in the freezer.  I packed her lunch in a small plastic Christmas cookie container that I found at Walmart.  It came in a set of two for a little over $3 and is surprisingly sturdy. The containers come with tight fitting lids and I thought they were just perfect for a festive holiday bento!

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A Bento for Me and Sean

Yesterday, I received my new bento box from J-List!!!  I also picked up these pretty picks that I used in today’s bento as well.  The bento consists of  mini Korean chive dumplings, tamago with spam, a bear shaped potato and bacon croquette, sauteed garlic mushrooms, a few veggies, with rice and ume.  The box is pretty roomy so it was enough to feed both Sean and myself.  Hope you all have a great weekend!!!

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