Tag Archives: fried rice

Kindergarten bento – Time (Tue 2, Thu 4, Fri 5/Oct/18)

Is it true that time passes in proportion to your age? I remember that a day seemed extremely long and slow when I was around my daughter’s age, longing eternally for all the fun events to happen. But now I can’t seem to catch up with the days passing in front of me, and even ordinary events fly by in light speed. And when I do stop and look back, I notice that a week has gone by just like a wind, as well as a weekend, and so begins another new week.

I don’t even remember making these bento last week. Where has the week gone?

Kindergarten bento – Komatsuna (19/Oct/17)

Komatsuna.  

It looks like spinach, but tastes more like a mixture of garlic chives and Chinese cabbage. It makes a great side dish when simply sautéed with either olive oil or sesame oil, with a pinch of salt & pepper. 

Today I cooked fried rice with chopped Komatsuna along with jako, dried baby sardine. Just stir fry chopped spring onion with a table spoon of sesame oil, add chopped Komatsuna, then rice, and sprinkle a little bit of salt, pepper and konbu dashi powder (or konbu tea powder) to taste. In order to avoid making the fried rice soggy, make sure to stir fry Komatsuna well. Sprinkle some sesame at the end.

Menu: Komatsuna fried rice, Sausage, Boiled green beans, Cucumber sticks, Cherry tomato & broccoli omelet 

Apple bunnies for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Fried rice (15/Sep/17)

Last night before going to bed, I realised there was no rice left in my pantry. I totally forgot to replenish the stock, which is an absolute shock in a normal Japanese household (thankfully it is not that hardcore at our place). Anyway, I had to think quickly to come up with an alternative. Since there was some cooked rice kept in the freezer, I decided to whip up fried rice in the morning. (Just so you know, rice defrosted in microwave is not ideal for packed lunches, becauae it gets too dry and hard as it cools down. It may work if you steam it once again before packing, but I can’t imagine doing it in my busy morning!)

Menu: Fried rice (with egg, spring onion & dried ‘jako‘ baby sardine), Pumpkin with chicken soboro, Cucumber & cherry tomato salad, Boiled green beans

Kiwi & Nashi pear for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Simmered pumpkin & chicken (4/Nov/16)

Menu: Simmered pumpkin & chicken, Fried rice with Japanese hakusai cabbage and shirasu baby sardines, Boiled egg, Boiled broccoli, Cherry tomato

Mandarin mikan for dessert

3rd of November was a national holiday in Japan (Cultural Day), and we had our daughter’s kindergarten friends over at our place for a playdate followed by an early dinner. I cooked this dish, Simmered Pumpkin & Chicken, hoping to fulfill the appetite of the kids who are all growing so fast day by day.

I love the combination of pumpkin and chicken in general – somehow the sweetness and soft texture of the pumpkin go so well with the juicy tasty chicken with meaty texture.  I used chicken thigh this time so that the kids can eat them more easily, but chicken drumsticks are also very compatible. I’d definitely recommend this, too.

Here is the recipe:

Simmered Pumpkin & Chicken

Ingredients (for 4 – 6 people):

– 1 pumpkin; seeded, cut into chunky blocks, ideally peel off all the sharp edges to make them smooth (apparently this will avoid pumpkin to be mushy)

– 400g chicken thigh (or drumsticks); cut into bite size blocks, a bit smaller than the pumpkins I would say

– about 300ml of dashi broth (or just enough to cover the top of the ingredients)

– 2 to 3 table spoons of sake (white wine if no sake)

– 1 to 2 table spoons of cooking oil

For seasoning (adjust depending on how much dashi broth you use):

– 3 to 4 table spoons of soy sauce

– 2 to 3 table spoons of sugar (I use beetroot sugar)

– 1 to 2 table spoons of mirin (depending on your liking)

Directions:

1. Heat a large cooking pot (such as Le Cruset), pour in oil, and throw in the chicken. Fry until golden in medium heat.

2. Pour in sake and fry until sake evaporates

3. Add pumpkin and pour in the broth, just enough to cover the ingredients. The top of the ingredients doesn’t need to be covered in the broth, can be peeking out. Do not soak them – if they are entirely covered in broth, it gets too watery.

4. Cover the ingredients with aluminum foil (make a circle shape to fit the surface of the pan). This will circulate the heat evenly and quickly.

5. Bring it to boil in medium heat and cook for 5 minutes or so

6. Turn down the heat (to low), cook further until the pumpkin is soft, for another 12 minutes or so (use a toothpick and see if it penetrates)

6. Add the soy sauce, then sugar. Cook for a few minutes.

7. Add mirin at the end to taste