When I was little, my siblings and I used to have dinner at grandma’s. Dinner time would not be complete without back-to-back Chinese period dramas on TV. I remember being in awe of beautiful princesses in their delicate brocade Manchu-style robes and elaborate tasselled headdresses. This bento pays homage to all those TV shows back then that kept us entertained for hours as we chowed down grandma’s delicious food.
To keep my theme consistent, I made a side of Tofu Manchurian, a vegetarian take on Chicken Manchurian (deep fried chicken chunks coated in a hot sweet-and-sour sauce)… which funnily enough, doesn’t originate from Manchuria or China. It is an Indo-Chinese dish, i.e. Chinese food cooked Indian style. I decided to pan-fry my tofu (instead of deep frying) instead for health reasons. Scroll further down for Tofu Manchurian recipe.
Simple but colourful vegan bento for lunch. Soba (buckwheat noodles) under toppings of diced tomatoes, sliced tofu puffs, courgette / zucchini slices, and soy simmered shiitake. The emoticons are made from sliced radish with nori details. 🙂
Colourful lunch box makes me happy. ^_^
Life in Technicolor?
Temarizushi is ball shaped sushi topped with a variety of colourful toppings, usually served as a celebratory dish. I do have a cause for celebration – I started my new job last week. 🙂
Temarizushi is not dissimilar to other types of nigiri sushi and usually contains raw fish. I am not a fan of raw fish so I made mine vegetarian using whatever ingredients I could find in my kitchen. You can construct temarizushi using pretty much anything, so there is plenty of room for vegans and vegetarians to be creative.
Almost all types of vegetables work well – raw, grilled, roasted, sautéd, or blanched. For extra flavour, I brushed the reverse of the toppings with a little white miso sauce (recipe below):
The bf was too lazy to cook anything outside the box yesterday, so he made a big batch of lasagne using Quorn mince a.k.a. fake meat. We eat so much fake meat that he’s forgotten what real mince tastes like. LOL. Accompanying the lasagne was more fake meat in the form of ‘chicken’ nuggets and ‘Cumberland sausages’ on a bed of garden salad.
Debuting my brand new place mat and serving fork (set of 5) I got from Tiger, a kitsch Danish chain, much like a Danish version of Daiso. 🙂
Hopefully we’ll be in the mood to make something more creative this weekend.
Have a lovely weekend readers and bloggers! ^_^
Miffy is a rabbit character from a series of popular chidren’s picture books, and is the star of last night’s kyaraben / character bento. Accompanying Miffy are four pan-fried tofu fritters. I believe most tofu-eating nations have their own version and name for these delicious morsels… dubu jeon in Korean, doufu bing in Mandarin, etc. They are filling, yummy, and rich in protein. You can pretty much add anything you like, thus great for clearing out your fridge. Last night I made heaps of mushroom tofu fritters with the help of my grandmother, who pretty much put together this recipe for me over the phone. Other veg that work well are peppers, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, wood ear / kikurage mushrooms, etc. – you get the idea. 🙂
Here is my recipe for mushroom tofu fritters:
I love Mediterranean food especially for its lovely colours, fresh herbs, and fragrant spices. For lunch, I made a selection of mains and sides – stuffed aubergine, tabbouleh (Lebanese bulgur wheat salad), spiced tofu ‘meatballs’, a skewer of halloumi, and grilled courgette / zucchini half-moons… served with a generous dollop of yoghurt and a cup of fresh mint tea (both not pictured). My meal was meant to be served in a bento box, but I decided against it since I would have to cut the aubergine into bite size and that would not be possible in a small box.
This bento is made from last night’s leftovers. It consists of tabbouleh served with halloumi, baked sweet potato chips / fries, radish, and grapes. Tabbouleh is a simple vegan Lebanese salad made from fresh herbs and bulgar / bulgur wheat. To make it more filling, I’ve upped the bulgur-herb ratio. It is easy to make and you can make it in about 15 minutes or so (with prep done beforehand) if you wish to make it on the day. Otherwise, it is even more flavourful the next day. Here is the recipe. 🙂
Have a lovely weekend readers and fellow bloggers! ^_^