Alice in Bentoland?
A few weeks ago, the bf and I went to Oxford, the birthplace of Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Across the road from Christ Church college is a little shop that used to be a sweet shop frequented by real life Alice, Carroll’s muse for his books. The shop now sells Alice themed gifts and memorabilia. Amidst the impressive array of tea sets, books, etc., two things stood out most for me: a miniature top hat with tea in it, and a tiny jar of jam with Eat Me on the label – which I promptly bought.
Alice’s Shop in Oxford – a must-see for all Alice in Wonderland enthusiasts
Souvenirs I got from Alice’s Shop: Mad Hatter Tea and Eat Me jam
I was fiddling with the hat when I suddenly had the inspiration to make an Alice in Wonderland bento. I also made vegetarian baked sweet potato korokke (Panko crusted Japanese croquettes) for this bento (see those fuzzy brown things?). They turned out really well, so I will post recipe soon.
Here’s how I made the characters / props:
- Alice (bottom right): Head shaped from rice ball coloured with soy sauce, blond hair from omelette, hair band and facial details from nori
- White Rabbit (bottom centre): Head, ears, and paws are shaped from rice balls, stopwatch from radish and nori, facial and paw details from nori
- Cheshire Cat (bottom left): Korokke for face, eyes and mouth from omelette and nori
- Mad Hatter (top right): Head from soy sauce coloured rice ball, hair from lollo bionda lettuce, hat is my top hat tea
- Playing cards: Saltine / Soda crackers with nori and red layer of kanikama (surimi crab sticks) stuck using a bit of mayo… Without the kanikama, the bento would be vegetarian.
- White rose: Egg white
Happy Monday folks!
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:
Chips are arranged to depict the Union Jack. Sorry for the burnt chips! >_<
Last week, the bf and I made a healthy version for dinner and for my lunch bento. The fish was salmon coated in Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) served with sweet potato chips and mukimame (shelled edamame).
Here is our recipe: Continue reading
Made a quick bento to take to work yesterday. I was craving for chips / fries (naughty, I know) so I went out and got a small portion from a fast food chain. I topped the chips with chilli flakes, spring onions/scallions, and kizami nori (nori shreds) to give them a bit of colour. Everything else in the bento is pretty healthy, so I guess this bento isn’t too bad for you. Pinwheels are made from brown bread, imitation crab, Quorn mock ‘ham’ slices, lettuce, and a little mayo. All made in under 15 minutes (including running to the fast food chain to get those chips). 😛
Last night, the bf and I made a fish-and-chips bento, using the loveliest local ingredients we could find – with an Asian twist of course. As we don’t normally deep-fry our food for health reasons, we settled for oven-baked Scottish salmon fillet with Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) crust. We substituted conventional deep-fried (potato) chips / fries with oven-baked sweet potato chips. It is also customary to serve fish-and-chips with a side of mushy peas, but we used mukimame (shelled edamame) instead to complement the Panko crust. After all, they don’t look too dissimilar to peas!
Fish-and-chips recipe here.
As I needed to coat the salmon in egg in order for the Panko to stick, I had a bit of egg left; I made a spring onion / scallion tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette) with it. I try to avoid wasting food whenever possible. Every edible bit goes in the belly, not the bin. 🙂
We completed the British theme with Jammie Dodgers (shortbread sandwich with jam filling) and Wimbledon staple, strawberries-and-cream.
Domo or Dōmo-kun is NHK TV station’s mascot. He is a fuzzy brown monster-like creature with a permanent bewildered face, open mouth, and jagged teeth – the perfect combination of cute and scary. Domo is made from a soy-glazed yaki-onigiri (grilled rice ball), with nori for eyes, red bit of seafood stick for mouth, and teeth cut out from fried egg white. The backdrop is a salad of baby potato and mukimame (shelled edamame) on a bed of lettuce leaves. The sides are nori tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette), steamed broccoli florets, cucumber half-moons, and cherry tomatoes. All vegetarian apart from the tiny bit of seafood stick (which can be substituted with red pepper).
What do you get when you put chawanmushi and udon together?
Many of you have no doubt heard of or tried chawanmushi, Japanese savoury egg custard served in a tea-bowl (chawan). The odamaki-mushi is prepared in the same way as chawanmushi, but substantiated with udon submerged in the egg mixture. Odamaki-mushi is perfect as a one-dish-meal. As well as ingredients are concerned, anything goes! Common ingredients include chicken, seafood, ginkgo nuts, shiitake mushrooms, kamaboko (decorative steamed fish cake), etc. but I decided to keep mine simple, as I doubt many Londoners have ginkgo nuts in their store cupboard – I certainly don’t! I made mine with meat-free Quorn ‘chicken’ pieces, mushrooms, and silken tofu.
Ingredients (serves 2):