YotB Part Ten: Mushroom and Tofu in Sweet Bean Sauce Bento


This was Thursday’s lunch, which had to be so unceremoniously shoved out of the running order because I didn’t have access to the right photos on Friday. It was another one that I put together quickly, with the whole lot only taking 20 minutes. Later in the week lunches will obviously be a bit easier because they’ll be using left over bits and pieces from the earlier days, and of course there’s always my freezer library to call on for quickness. Part of today’s plan, what with it being Sunday, was to get out to the shops and buy in some lunch making essentials; unfortunately, another part of today’s plan was to have a long lie and that part sort of got in the way of everything else… Maybe I’ll still make it out, you never know.

To cut to the chase, then, here is Thursday’s lunch. I do feel a bit odd about blogging what I eat for lunch every day; it seems to me to be the epitome of why some people are disparaging about personal blogs, it sounds so dull and self indulgent. However, a lot of people (‘a lot’ is a relative term, but by my standards a lot) seem to be genuinely interested and entertained by the recent influx of bento to my life, and I’ve doubled the views I get every day since the new year, so I’m going to carry on and ignore the nagging brain voice which suggests that ‘what I had for lunch’ is a topic more suited to a primary school class than anywhere else.

Top tier: sesame honey chicken wraps; I used the chicken from through the week and wrapped it up in some rice wrappers. It really is that simple, and is a way of adding a bit of substance to the box and of presenting the same ingredients in a different way. Then I added some more of those carrot flowers that I’m still trying to master – you’ll notice that these are less windmill and more flower, as I managed to make five petals this time. They’re still very square round the edges, and mostly they look as if there’s been a caterpillar among them. A caterpillar with a square mouth, maybe. Especailly the one at the bottom right, porr thing. I like them, disparaging as I’ve been, for the colour and element of fun that they add, and how crafty and creative they make me feel. Besides, carrot is good for your eyes. As my parents always used to say, have you ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses?

Tier two, which is the most impressive looking one in this bento, I think. It contains smoked tofu and button mushrooms in a sweet bean sauce. The sauce comes from a jar and is different from sweet or red bean paste, which is a dessert item. The link is to the image from the See Woo website, this is the brand that I buy. It’s made of fermented soy beans and other ingredients (how wonderfully vague I’m being), and is a rich, thick combination of sweet and salty flavours. It’s especially good with beef, in my limited experience, and I used it here to make the basic ingredients taste meatier and perhaps to trick myself into finding them more filling. I added some ground ginger for more sweetness and sprinkled the top with spring onions, then added a brown rice onigiri, which I had to slice in half (while frozen) to get the lid on the bento box.

Tier three has sharon fruit, romano pepper rings and broccoli. I’ve used up all my sharon fruit now, but will definitely be getting more when I see it, I really loved it. The G man says it’s like a grapey pear. Much as I enjoyed this description, it didn’t 100% hit the mark for me – though there definitely is some pearness to it. It’s less gritty than a pear, and maybe less sweet. Describing unfamiliar tastes in words is difficult; suffice to say that I’d encourage you to try sharon fruit, it’s delicious. Also, it has a nice drawing of the sun through the middle of it, look!

So ends my first week of bento. It’s been extremely successful in my eyes, as it’s provided a healthy and filling meal, a conversation point at the lunch table, some new kitchen toys, experience with new food and loads of blogging inspiration (which also means more blog readers, and that makes me happy). It’s also saved me money, and given that I’m saving up for an epic summer holiday (or ESH) that’s always a bonus.  Long may YotB continue, says I.

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About Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983. View all posts by Rock Salt

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