I can’t believe that it’s been weeks since my last post! Aside from being busy with working on my next cookbook, Paige has been on Spring break and I’ve also been trying to get Sean preschool ready.
These are a few of the bentos that I had made recently. The first one is rice with chicken karaage, a few veggies, and honeydew melon. I used silicone leaf and lettuce baran (bought on eBay) which I just love! They are durable dividers that add color to your bento and are reusable too.
The second bento is a turkey on whole wheat sandwich with a cheese monkey. The bento also includes chicken noodle soup and peaches.
Lastly and more importantly, I just wanted to highlight the Bento4Japan eBay site. These wonderful bentoers are hosting an auction of bento items and accessories to benefit the people of Japan who were devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami, and who are now faced with the threat with nuclear radiation. Proceeds from this auction go to supporting relief efforts in Japan. If you are able to make a donation or bid on something from the auction please do so for such a worthy cause. Don’t forget to check out all of auctions going on at Bento4Japan!
If you’ve been following my posts you know that for every post I make I donate a dollar to a worthy cause. In the past, for every 40 posts that I make I donate $20 to the Hawaii Food Bank and the other $20 to the World Food Programme. However on this occasion, I have donated the $40 to the American Red Cross towards the relief efforts in Japan.
Altogether now, say- “Phew, thank goodness Susan didn’t make another tiger bento!”. 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
- 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.
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.
Filed under bento, chicken, rice
Back to bento making! I had a short bento holiday because Paige had no school this week until today. On Paige’s short break we had a lot of fun going to different places and yesterday we spent the day at the Honolulu Zoo. They had a lot of new exhibits there and I posted a few pictures of our favorite animals. The kids especially loved the petting zoo and we spent a lot of time there playing with the goats. There also was an uber friendly peacock at the snack shop who kept coming around and begging for food. The peacock, who was taller than Sean, kept coming after him for his french fries. Needless to say, Sean was terrified and now hates peacocks.
Anyway on to today’s Valentine’s Day bento. I made two love birds (well, actually chickens) and used red heart picks for their combs that I found at Ben Franklin at the Market City location. I also used my very red bento box so that I could enter this into Hapabento’s “Red” themed bento contest. I also found this great Chinese Chicken vegetable cutter. I have a whole set of all of these vintage looking Chinese cutters that my mother in-law gave to me. I’ll have to post a picture of them so you can help me figure out what some of the cutters are.
The Disney store has been a great place to get cute bento boxes like this Toy Story one. This particular one is a two tiered box that measures 4 x 4 x 3 1/2 inches. It looks small, but you can fit quite a lot of food into the container. It was enough to feed both myself and Sean. Whenever I share my lunch with him, I always let him eat first. Sean is like clock work and will eat all of the fruits, pickled vegetables, and the tomato first. After he’s done with that, he’ll eat a little of the rice and protein. So today I was left with a lot of rice, chicken, the two slices of tamago, and the carrots. I think I need to eat a salad now to make up for my lack of veggies.