Friday, February 15, 2013

bento friday: a semi-success

Bento is a meal (sometimes of Japanese food) packed attractively in a box.  I love making bento, and will be showcasing my current and past creations periodically. 

a simple bento: chicken teriyaki, veggies, and soba

This bento was kind of thrown together, and didn't take very long to assemble at all.  I'd set aside a few individual chicken thighs to hang out in the freezer against the day of another teriyaki bento, so that was easy.  Unfortunately I overcooked the chicken a bit (oops), and my hastily-concocted teriyaki sauce somehow lacked balance (double oops).  I thought I kinda dropped the ball on that, but Husband's box came home quite empty so apparently he wasn't too disappointed.

Please ignore the terribly blurry photo.  My dinky little dumb-phone camera appreciates your kindness.  

For veggies, I tossed in some simple steam-fried baby bok choy and some spicy sautéed carrots, all with veg from our sadly-only-once-a-month local farmer's market.  The bok choy was tossed with some fresh ginger, and the carrots were given a liberal coating of schichimi togarashi, a spicy Japanese pepper blend.  Tasty.  Add to that some soba from my stash with green onions and some bottled teriyaki sauce I'm trying to use up, and we're in business. 

Also, this bento marks a new experiment, as it was packed in a 3-cup Pyrex container.   For christmas a few years ago Husband was marvelous and got me some subdivided plastic bento boxes that I fell in love with after Maki's review, and those were great for a while.  Unfortunately the latch on mine broke, and then broke again just to spite the attempted repair with contact cement.  But then I found my little metal tiffin, and all was well again with the world.  Husband's bento are still usually packed in his unbroken plastic box (though I assembled a Frankenbox by using the lid from mine; weirdly, the black lid came with really inane rugby trivia on it.  Ah, the Japanese.).

Bento, largely due to having been developed before refrigeration and easy heating were the norm, are designed so that they'll be safe to sit around at room temperature until lunch time, and then are intended to be eaten at room temperature too.  I do this, but Husband chooses to refrigerate and microwave his, and hey.  I pack his lunch; I sure a heck don't tell him how to eat the thing too.

Anyway.  So far, I'm digging the Pyrex, as the glass is non-plastic (makes the environmentalist/chemical-phobic me happy), microwaveable, and relatively attractive.  I don't mind the extra weight, as it really doesn't add much.  And yeah, the lids are still plastic, but I can only fight so many battles at once.  It seems to be relatively leak-resistant, fairly attractive in a grown-up blank-slate kind of way (as opposed to kawaii), and at least the food itself isn't sitting in plastic all day.  Plus, Pyrex is great for not staining, a feature I greatly enjoy in food containers in general.

Plus it was half off at the store.  So there's that. 

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