Bentoing: To Bento. The act of Bento…sounded better in my head.
I took a break from writing or staring at a blank page, depending upon the project, to get back to cooking. This month’s lesson making bento boxes. Which is where the verb bentoing was created by me (unless proof can be shown otherwise).
Regular readers know I have a love affair with cold noodles. I love making a batch of cold noodles and adding a variety of sauces and flavorings to them. My refrigerator is usually stocked with one to twelve different homemade flavored sauces. The problem I have found is taking cold noodles to school ranges from awesome (rare) to why did I bother (most frequent). Noodles are best fresh and not sitting in the sauce and so on. At home great, after a day of wandering around campus not so great.
Which brings me to bentoing. I love the look of bento box meals and even bento boxes, but until today have avoided them because they look so nice it must take a while to learn how to make them. I make sushi, do I really need another artful cooking skill? Why yes I do. Still bentoing (use it and love the word) would not have happened if our boy, the pickiest of picky had not tried egg nigiri and fell in love. So much in love that he had me searching through my Japanese cookbooks for an egg recipe. I had four. I did not have the square pan and none of my recipes suggested how to make the roll of egg in a round pan, two said don’t bother.
Thus I find myself on Amazon looking for the pans and with each one a suggestion to by a bento cookbook. Being a sucker, I bought one: The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh.The egg recipe, uses a round pan. But I had the square pan and determined to use it made up my mind to start bentoing today.
I made my first tamagoyaki or rolled sweet egg. The experience was easier than expected and fun to boot. Pour a thin layer of egg and roll. Lift up roll, pour more egg and roll the other way. Rinse and repeat. Even better than easier and fun, it tasted great.
I spent the rest of my day making small dishes:
- spinach in garlic oil
- cucumber and cabbage in salt and lemon juice, very tasty
- chicken teriyaki
- a good batch of rice, my rice cooker is on it’s last legs. Meaning I have to baby it along to a good batch of rice
- broccoli, onion, and bell pepper in garlic oil
When I wasn’t cooking I was preparing for dishes for tomorrow. There is a ham roll with cream cheese that looks like something you would find on a buffet, but it has my attention.
So I have told you what I am did, now the why; tired of paying for crap food for lunches and with time on my hands I hope to put the bento skills plus all of my other skills together to make bento lunches for the kids and Barb. If you have ever seen Eat, Drink, Man, Woman I want to be the old man who brings lunches to his grandchildren making them the envy of the school lunch room.