Tag Archives: donburi

Kindergarten bento – Frozen tori soboro (14/May/18)

Monday morning after a busy, eventful weekend.

There’s nothing else more useful than the frozen “torisoboro“, the chicken crumble, to prepare a quick bento for your little one.

For recipe, click here.

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Kindergarten bento – Yakitori-don guilt (2/May18)

Is it only me, or maybe anyone who grew up in the same/similar culture as mine, who feel a slight sense of guilt for cooking something too quick and easy? As a good cook in the Japanese society, you are supposed to (or trained to) devote a great deal of time in the kitchen, to make elaborate dishes. In fact, when we visit my parents’ place, my mum hardly ever sits down with us. She spends most of her time cooking in her kitchen, focusing on serving freshly made dishes one after the other, right from the stove. And she does it with great pleasure. She is very proud of it.

I know this is quite the reverse of the modern thinking, and I’m not saying at all that this is how things should be. I hate it, to be forced into the framework of becoming a stereotypical ideal woman, and try hard to push the pressure away always. But on the other hand, this sense of guilt always comes with it. No matter how much I am exposed to the feminism movement, I just cannot change the way I instinctively feel. It is ingrained in my bones, having grown up in the society with high expectations for girls to become a good mum/wife/woman. The society expects it, and your fellow female peers expect it to a certain extent, still in the 21st century.

Well, it takes about three minutes to make this yakitori-don if you already have your rice ready. I bought pre-cut chicken thigh (guilt), don’t even have to marinate it (another guilt), stir-fry it and quickly season at the end. Voila, it’s done (within three minutes). I just boiled egg rather than make omelet (guilt), packed it with unseasoned vegetables (guilt). On top of this, I packed frozen apple mousse and mashed sweet potato from the freezer for dessert (see, I am now officially guilty).

Recipe for the three minute Yakitori donburi:

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • Diced chicken thigh (100g)
  • 1 table spoon of Japanese sake (or white wine)
  • 3/4 table spoon of soy sauce
  • 1 table spoon of mirin (if you don’t have mirin, just a sprinkle of sugar instead, with a bit more sake)

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized frying pan on medium heat, quickly stir-fry the chicken thigh. No oil needed
  2. Once the chicken becomes golden, add the sake until it starts evaporating
  3. Add the soy sauce & mirin and cook it until the sauce thickens – this takes about a minute or so, depending on the heat
  4. Serve it on top of freshly cooked rice with sliced nori seaweed

 

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Kindergarten bento – No egg day (18/Oct/17)

One of the readers of this blog once mentioned that she had noticed a lot of egg used in my daughter’s bento. Thinking about it, I do pack some form of egg almost everyday. My daughter loves egg, and on top of it, it not only gives bright colour but also fills up the space in the bento box.

But ever since then, I started to have a no-egg-day, once a week, for my daughter’s bento.

From last April, my daughter started getting hives. Without anti-histamine, it comes back almost everyday. She had a blood check done, and the result came out completely clean, so it’s not because of egg or any other food.  But I’m hoping this no-egg-day initiative may shed some light…?

Menu: Nikudon (pork on rice), Boiled green beans, Steamed broccoli, Cherry tomatoes

Frozen apple mousse & raisons for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Sukiyaki-esque Gyudon beef donburi (29/Sep/17)

Occasionally, there are days I cannot pick up my daughter from the kindergarten at 2:00PM due to my work or other engagements. When that happens, my kind parents who live an hour away in Saitama, a prefecture north of Tokyo, come for the rescue. Of course they happily come all the way to Tokyo to spend time with their dearest granddaughter, but it’s still a huge favour they do for me. As a sign of gratitude, I cooked Sukiyaki-esque lunch for them in the morning, along with my daughter’s bento.

It’s a quick & easy one-pan dish, but  is tasty and fulfilling thanks to thin slices of Japanese beef that’s a little fattier than lean beef that is common elsewhere.

This is how I make it:

1) In a medium frying pan on a medium heat, stir-fry a half onion, thinly sliced, with a table spoon of cooking oil, until translucent

2) Add 200g of thinly sliced beef and stir fry a bit more

3) When the beef starts to brown, still reddish on the edges, add the Sukiyaki sauce mixture (1 table spoon each of sake & soy sauce, 3+ table spoons of mirin) and bring it to boil

4) Once it starts to boil, pour a beaten egg evenly on the beef
5) Put the lid on, lower the heat, and cook until the egg is cooked (for bento, heat the egg completely, but if you eat right after, a half cooked egg is also quite tasty)
6) Turn off the heat, and sprinkle chopped spring onion on the beef
Place it on top of freshly cooked rice – it makes a nice Sukiyaki-esque Gyudon (beef donburi) dish.
Menu for bento:

Sukiyaki-esque Gyudon (with steamed carrot slices), Spinach goma-ae, Boiled green beans, Cherry tomatoes

Kaki persimmon & Kyoho grapes for dessert

 

For other donburi recipes, here are the popular ones:

Mum’s nikudon

Tori don

Oyakodon 

Kindergarten bento – Niku-don (14/Sep/17)

Niku-don for bento, prepared according to my mum’s recipe. It’s one of my favorite dishes from my dear mother, and I believe so as my daughter’s. In the morning I packed the bento with care and love, picturing my daughter’s big smile as she opens the lid at school lunch time…

And of course I get pulled back to reality from such dream-like moment, as my daughter drops her backpack with the bento in it on our entrance floor (stone) while she clumsily buttons up her uniform jacket… And again on the way to our bike downstairs as she stumbles on a small stone in the bike shed… Just to top it off, she drops her backpack one more time on the concrete ground while she climbs up onto her bike seat, reaching out to me to put it into the front basket…

Probably her face wasn’t smiling when she opened the bento today at school, but at least it looked like this before the backpack debacle.

Menu: Mum’s nikudon, Steamed pumpkin, Boiled green beans, Cherry tomato

Japanese Nashi pear for dessert