My daughter loves fish, and I love that she does. But every time she eats her bento with fish, she comes home with fishy smelling uniform. I wish fish doesn’t smell so much, but I guess that’s not quite possible…
Menu: Grilled Spanish mackerel in saikyo-miso, Leftover salad (cucumber, daikon radish & radicchio), Plain omelet, Boiled asparagus, Goma-konbu on rice
Apple & strawberries for dessert
Every morning I tried to come up with a bento that is different both in appearance and taste from the previous day, in order for our ever growing girl to enjoy a variety as well as a daily small surprise of opening this treasure-box like bento container. Despite my effort however, the bentos yesterday and today look quite alike, which I noticed after looking at their pictures.
Grilled fish bento on 11/May/17
Chicken soboro bento on 12/May/17)
Tastewise they are different, but because of the combination of four colours (brown, bright orange yellow, bright red and bright green) they both look pretty much the same… Next time I’ll omit the bright red and see what happens.
Menu: Grilled cod in saikyo miso marinade, Boiled egg, Sautéed komatsuna & bacon, Cherry tomato, Rice with black sesame sprinkle
Apple mousse & banana for dessert
Around this time a year ago, my bento making started as my daughter entered her kindergarten, and I remember each time I packed grilled fish I carefully flaked their flesh so that she could easily eat them with her small fork. It may sound like I was spoiling her, but I thought it’d be better to see the bento box empty rather than with the whole chunk of fish left. Now after one year, she clumsily uses her chopsticks and flake them herself. Not so precisely just yet, but I think that’s only a matter of time. It’s a great improvement for me, too – I now just cut a filet into a few pieces and put the chunky bits into the bento box. What a time saver!
Menu: Grilled Madai fish marinated in moromi miso, Nikujaga (stewed pork, potato & carrot), Nira (Chinese chives) omelet, Cucumber & tomato salad
Kiwi & banana for dessert
Today’s fish is bought from the fishmonger who comes to our apartment building in a small pickup truck with a customised glass fridge and a plastic roof on top. This used to be common, but these days we rarely come across this type of ‘moving shops’ any longer.
He is a friendly elderly man in his mid 70’s, always does a great sales pitch with his thick Tohoku (North-Eastern Japan) accent. He’s been coming to us for the past six months or so, and he now even calls me on my mobile phone to announce his arrival at our front lobby on every Wednesday morning. His fish are always fresh, reasonable and tasty. But most of all, his charming character makes this whole experience special, reminding me of good old days Japan where things were more personal.
I greatly appreciate his presence in our neighborhood. He, together with his fish truck, adds a bit more reality in the otherwise quite inorganic cold concrete jungle. I hope this will continue. I hope he will keep coming back and let us continue to have this amazing traditional social interaction in our everyday life.
Menu: Grilled Medai (Japanese butterfish?), Chicken soboro salad, Stewed cabbage, daikon & corn in chicken soup, Boiled egg, Rice, Nori seaweed
Kiwi, banana & strawberry for dessert
Menu: Grilled Sawara (Spanish mackerel) in saikyo-miso, Tomato omelet, Steamed broccoli, Cucumber sticks, Wakame seaweed rice
Apple for dessert
While I was at the kitchen preparing her bento in a rush, my ever so grumpy daughter demanded that I come to her room to help her put on her school uniform. “Not Papa, Mama. I want Mama!”
I must admit that it’s a little flattering that someone so wants me, but in a busy morning it can also be quite annoying. The outcome of that this morning was a burnt Spanish mackerel.
Menu: Grilled salmon on rice, Tofu & seaweed powder omelet, Cabbage & tuna salad, Boiled okura, Cherry tomatoes
Kiwi & western pear for dessert
When I grill fish, I normally use our fish grill embedded in our gas stove. This morning was the same, I put a glass of water in the fish grill pan (so the fish stays moist not dry), placed two filets of salmon on top of the fish grill net and closed the cover. Put the heat in medium-high, waited 5 minutes or so to cook one side, and flipped the filets, waited for another 5 minutes or so to cook the other side. Everything was going just fine, but maybe because the heat was a little higher than usual as I was in a rush or I put too little water, a small amount of smoke started to emerge. When this happens, believe me that the entire apartment starts smelling very, very, fishy, even if you open the windows or turn up your ventilation to full speed. Although I immediately turned the heat down and saved my precious salmon filet (came out nicely even), the smell inevitably stayed. An hour on, I can still smell the trace of smoky fishy smell in my kitchen, hair and clothes😂
My beloved fish grill🐟