If you’re a keen bento box enthusiast and don’t have the time to prepare your favoured serving, look no further, don’t ask mum to make this for you, get your hands dirty and you’ll soon realise that putting together your favourite bento box can take less than 20 minutes. Throw out those expensive cook books because the following will help set your straight, great for beginners or experienced chefs.
The Main Ingredient: RICE
Rice is the core ingredient of any bento box meal, you can use either brown or white rice but white is normally the main one used, brown being healthier for you. Cook your rice as per the instructions, normally one cup of rice to two cups of water and refrigerate as soon as it is cooked. For a faster or easier solution, you can also try couscous by pouring one cup of water over one cup of couscous, cover and wait for five minutes, all done. Fluff the couscous when ready and sprinkle with your favourite dressing, I like to sprinkle teaspoon of chilli flakes mixed in with sesame seeds.
Remember when mum would always say, eat your veggies, they are good for you and will help you to grow strong and healthy? Well she was right. Japanese bento boxes normally come with a hand full of nutritious veggies and with minimal effort you can put together a few slices of cucumber, celery sticks, scrubbed radishes, cherry tomatoes with a few leaves of salad grated with a little carrot, ginger and a squeeze of lime juice, that’s all. Japan is known as the Land of the Rising Sun all year round so the abundance of small farms means that veggies are there for all.
My Favorite Part: Eggs
Japanese bento boxes normally include egg as they are known for their ability to boost energy levels, stimulate growth and repair, improve the metabolism, reduce blood pressure and soothe allergies. Try creating a Japanese style omelette by whisking 2 eggs with a little soy sauce and a few pieces of chopped chives. Pour the ingredients into a hot pan cooked until it is flexible to fold over in half. Cook for a few minutes more and its ready to serve.
Deluxe Part: Beef, Chicken, Pork or Fish
For the main part of the meal, simply sear your serving on both sides, then add 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons mirin, 2 tablespoons sake, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and simmer for a few minutes more or until the ingredients have reduced to a thick paste.
What would a bento box be without something zesty, mix a little wasabi with plain yoghurt and small teaspoon of rice vinegar on shredded lettuce and finish with fresh lime juice. You can also upgrade by using some chilli sauce with freshly crushed garlic.
Enjoy this Quick & Easy Bento Box Recipe Idea