Monthly Archives: January 2017

Kindergarten bento – Chicken shio-koji (31/Jan/17)

Menu: Stir-fried chicken thigh marinated in shio-koji, Boiled egg, Steamed broccoli, Cucumber sticks, Cherry tomato, Rice with goma-konbu 

Apple for dessert


In the busy morning, this clever shio-koji can help you save a significant amount of time. Just sprinkle a spoonful of shio-koji on the bite size chicken thigh, quickly toss everything and stir-fry them in a frying pan. No oil needed, as the fat of the chicken thigh gives enough grease, and once brown add tiny bit of water (a tea spoon) and cover the lid and steam-fry for a minute (this leaves the chicken nice and moist).  This whole process takes only 5 minutes.

Kindergarten bento – Chicken & asparagus salad (26/Jan/17)

Menu: Chicken & asparagus salad, Corn omelet, Steamed pumpkin, Grilled salmon marinated in saikyo-miso, Rice

Strawberries & banana for dessert

Chicken & asparagus salad. 

I love this salad because not only it’s tasty but also it allows me to prepare one more dish always on the side. 

For the salad, I always use chicken filet without fat. Boil it for a while (5 minutes would do), and shred it by hand. Mix it with boiled asaparugus and sliced cucumber, add vinegrette (I usually make it with chopped onion, red wine vinegar and honey). 

The water used for boiling the chicken filet can be reused as chicken broth. This time, I put steamed pumpkin (peeled), mashed it in the broth, and added salt to taste. That’s it – it makes great pumpkin soup. Nothing else, but if you want an extra flavour, I recommend to add a dash of extra virgin olive oil.

Kindergarten bento – Fried aji (24/Jan/17)

Menu: Fried aji (horse mackerel), Sliced veggie salad, Spinach omelet, Rice with furikake sprinkle

Apple mousse & banana for dessert

Fried aji (horse mackerel) is one of the very useful dishes for bento. Today I marinate the filets of aji with sake, soy sauce and mirin (1:2:2 proportion) with ground ginger, tossed the marinated filets into katakuriko (片栗粉, potato starch) and shallow fried it. You could also cook the filet like you make cutlet, and serve them with Wooster sause. 

It’s easy to make and tasty!

Kindergarten bento – Bunny apple (23/Jan/17)

Menu: Kajiki nimono (simmered sword fish), Cucumber sticks, Sautéed spinach & bacon, Cherry tomato, Boiled egg

Bunny shaped apple for dessert 

After the bento today, my clever daughter asked me not to cut out the apple in bunny shape anymore, because the apple skin contains a lot of vitamin c and very healthy. 

Where did she get such information? It wasn’t from me and certainly not from my nutrition-oblivious husband. She is developing her own world view it seems!

Kindergarten bento – Diagonal attempt (20/Jan/17)

Menu: Hamburger steak (with tofu inside the pâté), Tofu omelet, Steamed broccoli, Cucumber sticks, Cherry tomato, Rice with furikake sprinkle

Strawberries & banana for dessert

For a change, I packed my daughter’s bento with a diagonal division. I’ll even teach her the word “diagonal” later today as she must’ve noticed the difference when opening the cover at lunch time. This, we call “isseki nichou (一石二鳥),” killing two birds with one stone.

Kindergarten bento – Exploded boiled egg (19/Jan/17)

Menu: Boiled egg (exploded and hence deformed while being boiled), Grilled salmon & boiled chopped spinach mixed in rice, Steamed broccoli, Steamed sweet potato mixed with chicken soboro crumble with dash of olive oil

My daughter’s favorite apple mousse for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Cheese on top (18/Jan/17)

Menu: Fusilli bolognese with grated Parimiggiano Reggiano on top, Steamed sweet potato, Cucumber sticks, Cherry tomato

Kiwi for dessert

The grated cheese on top of the pasta. By the request of my daughter’s class teacher, the graceful Miss N.

To be honest I prefer putting the cheese separately so that the amount of cheese can be adjusted as I eat. Like mother, like daughter, our four year old also likes to have a control over this kind of thing. At home she loves scooping the fine powdery cheese with a small spoon and sprinkle it as she shakes her entire body. And naturally, once for our daughter’s bento, I put the grated cheese in a plastic wrap, twisted the top and placed it on the side of the pasta, expecting her to enjoy  sprinkling the cheese by herself as she ate. But according to Miss N, a disaster apparently happened that day. Our girl’s clumsy fingers bursted the plastic wrap open, spreading the whole grated parmiggiano around her neighborhood… Miss N told me that day as a matter of factly that the school, focusing highly on building up children’s self-confidence, believes that the cheese should be pre-sprinkled on top of the pasta going forward. As diligent as I am… voila! The cheese, is now on top of the pasta.

 

Kindergarten bento – Small additions, big difference 17/Jan/17)

Menu: Soboro-don (with additional chives and star-shaped steamed carrot), Pumpkin & egg salad, Stirfried spinach & potato slices

Apple and bananas for dessert


My usual, ordinary looking chicken crumble soboro was nicely transformed by adding some chopped chive (thanks to a tip from my good friend Y) and two small slices of star-shaped steamed carrot. It makes a whole lot difference in its taste, texture and colour. When my daughter opened the bento for lunch today, I hope its lively appearance lifted up my daughter’s whiny state of mind from this morning a bit!