Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bento and Onigiri

Today I stayed home. I have people working in here and I need to keep an eye on dog and cat, not to mention my stuff! I still made a bento for myself. Also, since I was getting bored, I decided to try something new: Broiled Onigiri. They are made, broiled, cooled and in the freezer!

Here's my bento today:

I had left over vegetarian "chili". I made that up yesterday thinking that it would keep us from hitting the restaurant (I work Tuesday evening). Good thing I did cause I ended up working later than I had planned and everything went crazy from there.

In the lower tier I have a simple salad made of lettuce, shredded carrots, minced celery and cilantro.

In the top tier, I have my vegetarian chili, and steamed broccoli (with salt pepper and garam masala).

I like steamed broccoli, it taste great and it's easy and quick to do!

My husband has basically the same thing: vegetarian chili, steamed broccoli, extra lentils (he likes to mix them with the broccoli), his trusty carrots (last pack!), and celery sticks (to beat the munchies!).

As I said, I got bored today and decided to try to make Broiled Onigiri. I got the idea in Let's Cook Japanese Food, by Amy Kaneko. Here they are coming out of the oven:

They are very easy to make really! Here's what I did:

Broiled Onigiri

1- I made short grain brown rice in the rice cooker. Just rice and water, as recommended in the manual of my cooker.

2- I put the rice is a glass bowl, and I added a little rice vinegar to it (not in the direction, but I felt like it). In another bowl I put water and salt and mixed to disolve the salt.

3- Making sure my hands were wet with salted water, I made the rice balls with molds that I bought at Ichiban Kan. You could very easily shape them by hands (it's just less cutsy shapes). As I took them out of the molds, I patted each rice ball very gently with my salty wet hands to give them extra saltiness.

4- I put the rice balls on a rimmed baking sheet that I had covered with aluminum foil (don't like cleaning much) and sprayed lightly with cooking spray. I broiled the Onigiri about 5 inch from the heat until very lightly brown (about 2-3 minutes), then I turned them, and did the same thing with the other side.

5- Then I brushed soy sauce on the top of the Onigiri and broiled them some more until well browned (but not burned!). I did the same with the other side.

6- After done, I put the Onigiri in a large pasta bowl and covered with a wet paper towel to cool, about 20-30 minutes.

7- I put them back on a baking sheet, with plastic wrap to cut down on cleaning, and put the whole thing in the freezer for 15 minutes.

8- Finally I wrapped each Onigiri individually and put them in a ziploc bag in the freezer. I used Biggie's trick of using a straw to suck out the air of the Ziploc bag, it works just fine!

Here they are ready to eat:

The original recipe was with white rice, but it didn't fit with my food plan. These were yummy (what? OF COURSE I tasted it, what are you thinking?) and hopefully will freeze very well.

So there, that's my Bento adventure of the day! I hope you had as much fun as I did!

Happy Bento everyone!

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