I feel like I haven’t made a nice-looking bento in quite some time. Mostly because it’s winter and I’d rather have something hot from the school cafeteria like ramen or my personal favorite, 野菜炒め (stir fried vegetables). The cafeteria was closed today, since the faculty was having the annual “let’s talk about who may not be moving up to the next grade” meeting, and all of the students left after 4th period. Luckily, I was able to anticipate the closure of the cafeteria, and I got down to some intense cooking last night. Hopefully my creative-cooking-juices will still be flowing and I’ll have some energy to make some obento for next week, since we’ll be having final exams and the cafeteria will be closed yet again.
And now, what you’re all probably dying to know… the contents!
- chicken sautéed in soy sauce + ginger
- renkon (lotus root), carrot, and daikon simmered in dashi, soy sauce, mirin and butter
- steamed spinach dressed in tofu and sesame seeds
- Rice steamed with carrots, sesame seeds, and mushrooms in dashi, miso, and soy sauce
The simmered veggies were easy enough to make, modified from a recipe I saw on NHK’s きょうの料理 (today’s cooking). You wouldn’t ever think to add a tablespoon of butter to something that is so…typically Japanese in flavor and ingredients, but it compliments these kind of root vegetables so so so well. Try it!
The rice I used is standard short-grain Japanese rice, well-washed, of course! I actually added a tiny bit of oil (I used grapeseed oil) to make sure the rice didn’t stick. This particular type of rice, made with broth and vegetables mixed in, is more specifically called 炊き込みご飯 (taki-komi-gohan). I feel like it isn’t an everyday kind of food, and that it is usually reserved for special occasions, but hey… when ISN’T a bento a special occasion?! ヽ(^。^)ノ