Omega 3 Bento aka Brain Food Bento. I am in the midst of sitting for my professional exams (damn tough as well!) and thought my brain could use some brain boosting Omega 3 and good fats. I made a bento consisting of mirin-soy glazed salmon, wakame and cucumber sunomono salad, and mixed seed coated onigiri (rice balls). Initially wanted to arrange my food in a box but thought it looked pretty enough on a plate. 🙂
Below are recipes for the salmon and onigiri:
Ingredients (serves 1):
- 2 small salmon fillet, or 1 medium fillet cut into 2
- 2 tbsp of mirin (can be substituted with sherry)
- 2 tbsp of light soy sauce
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- a dash of ground white pepper
- 1/2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar (can be substituted with apple cider vinegar)
- 1/2 tsp of honey (I did have some concerns about heating honey as according to Ayurvedic myths, honey becomes toxic when heated… could very well just be a myth… if you are concerned, replace with sugar)
- a dash of sesame oil
- a small sprig of spring onion / scallion, sliced
For mixed seed onigiri:
- 1/2 cup of Calrose or Japanese short grain rice (aka sushi rice)
- 2 tbsp of mixed seeds (I used sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, and flax seeds)
1. Rinse rice thoroughly until water runs clear. This is to remove excess starch. Cook rice in rice cooker with rice:water ratio of 1:1.25 or as recommended by packaging.
2. Combine ingredients listed under For Salmon (minus the salmon itself) in a shallow bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust accordingly. Add a little water if marinade is too thick. Marinate salmon in mixture. Use your hands to ensure the fillet is evenly coated. Set aside. NOTE: Feel free to double up if you want more glaze to eat with your rice balls.
3. Preheat grill on medium heat.
4. Now for the multitasking. On the hob, heat a skillet on medium heat. Toast the mixed seeds for 30 seconds and set aside.
5. When your rice is done, remove from cooker. Spread rice out in a glass, ceramic, or wooden dish and allow to cool.
6. Place salmon on baking tray lined with foil and grill for about 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillet). The fillet should be slightly charred on the outside but moist on the inside.
8. Whilst the salmon is grilling, make the onigiri. Fill a ramekin with water. Wet palms with water and sprinkle some salt onto your left or right palm. Spoon 1 1/2 tbsp of cooked rice onto your palm and shape it until it becomes a compact ball shape. Roll the onigiri in mixed seeds. Repeat and make another 2. Or more if you still have some rice left. 1/2 cup rice gave me about 5 rice balls.
9. Next, make the glaze from the marinade. In a skillet heated on medium heat, pour in the marinade and stir gently until it caramelises. By the time your glaze is reduced and sticky, your salmon should be ready.
10. Arrange salmon, salad, and onigiri on a plate or bento box. Spoon the glaze onto salmon fillet.
Enjoy while hot! 🙂