Appetizing Lunchbox "Bento"
Here are some cute lunchboxes that will be appreciated by the family. There are some recipes that you can add to your menu. Fill your hunger with these savory bentos.
- Three little pigs bento
- Spring Pasta and Chickpea Salad Bento
- Bonus page "Shrimp and tofu mini-burgers (tsukune) with red pepper sauce"
Bento or packed lunches or lunchboxes, can be traced back as far as the fifth century, when Japanese leaving their homes to till their fields, hunt, fish, or even wage war carried food with them to eat on the go. These portable meals typically contained staples, such as white rice, rice mixed with millet, or potatoes.
Bento is simply a meal packed in a lunch box. However, bento has transcended just lunch box status. It has evolved into food creations with elaborate ascetically pleasing arrangements, a means to healthy food choices and lifestyle choices, a cultural phenomenon around the world and a status symbol.
Bento today are a common sight at schools and at work. With more working mothers, however, ready-made bento are increasingly sold at convenience stores, supermarkets, department stores, and restaurants. In addition to the still popular makunouchi bento, many types of box lunches are sold, including Chinese- and Western-style bento.
Three little pigs bento
three little pigs onigiri or rice balls, breaded chicken, sausage, boiled quail eggs, cherry tomato , broccoli, ham, sliced lemon, lettuce, sweetened boiled black beans
watch how to make other version of three little pigs bento
Spring Pasta and Chickpea Salad Bento
How to make
Ingredients for marinated chickpeas
1 cup cooked (from dry or canned) chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 Tbs. lemon juice (depending on how lemony you want it to be)
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 Tbs. finely chopped or shredded parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
Drain and (if you’re using canned) rinse the chickpeas. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine all the ingredients and toss well. Let marinate, covered, in the refrigerator overnight or up to 4-5 days.
1 cup uncooked small pasta - tiny bowties, or you could use small elbow macaroni,
About 8 cherry tomatoes
About 5-6 snow peas or mangetout
washed lettuce leaves
30g / 1 oz. fresh (not too aged) young goat cheese or feta cheese
Sliced or tulip-shaped radishes (optional)
Cook the pasta in salted water. Add the snow peas at the last minute or two to cook them too.
While the pasta is cooking, cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Cut or crumble the goat cheese.
Drain the pasta well, and take out the snow peas. Slice the snow peas into slivers.
Toss the still hot pasta with the marinated chickpeas, including the marinade (take out the raw garlic). Add the tomatoes and toss more. Since the pasta is warm, it will slightly ‘cook’ the tomatoes, making a sort of sauce. Add the cheese and the snow peas, and taste to see if you need to add any seasoning (a little extra grind of pepper may be needed). Let cool completely. (Putting it into a metal tray or bowl will help to cool it down faster.)
Make sure the lettuce leaves are completely dry (pat dry if needed with kitchen or paper towels) and line your bento box. Add the pasta salad and the optional radishes.
Bonus page "Shrimp and tofu mini-burgers (tsukune) with red pepper sauce"
About 20-24 mini-burgers, depending on how big you make them
400g / 14 oz. peeled and deveined fresh or frozen (uncooked) shrimp
200g / 7 oz. firm tofu
1 Tbs. sake or mirin
2 green onions
1/2 Tbs. or so grated fresh ginger
2 shiitake mushrooms (or substitute 4 regular button mushrooms)
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. cornstarch or potato starch
1 small egg (or 1 large egg minus about a teaspoonful of egg white)
Oil for cooking
You can make use of red pepper jam or bottled chili sauce for the sauce
Sprinkle the shrimp with sake and set aside. (This takes away any ‘fishiness’ from the shrimp, as well as adding flavor.
Cut the tofu into chunks. Put the tofu in a pot of boiling water to cover, and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain, and let rest in a colander until cool enough to handle. Squeeze out excess moisture by gathering up the tofu in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Squish the tofu to crumble it up.
Chop up the green onions and mushrooms. Chop up the shrimp with a knife or in a food processor - you don’t want a paste, but a slightly chunky texture. Combine all of the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and mix together well (or pulse it all together in a food processor).
Heat up a large frying pan with a little oil. Form the mixture into small burgers or meatballs with wet hands, and put into the pan. Fry on both sides until golden brown.
To add the sauce:
Reheat the mini-burgers if necessary, in a dry pan. Add about 1 teaspoon of jam per burger to a hot pan, and coat them rapidly. Let cool before packing into your bento box.
I hope you enjoyed my cute bentos. How about making one for your loved one.
Just bento. com for the recipes and other images
Thank you. mistyleaf