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
Menu: Dried jako baby sardine, boiled spinach (chopped) & sesame sprinkle mixed in rice, Lightly fried sausage, Boiled okra, Boiled egg, Cherry tomato
Japanese Nashi pear for dessert
My daughter didn’t finish her bento today. It is a little disappointing to see one third of rice and a sausage, as well as the entire dessert untouched. Her teacher told me she didn’t stop chatting over the lunch table. While it’s heartwarming to picture the scene, I’ll need to do something about our little miss chatterbox!
As spoiled as a child can be, my daughter told me the other day she wouldn’t want to eat the same thing from one day to the other. Ha!
Luckily, she forgets stuff overnight, and today’s bento is filled with our dinner leftovers. The bento box came home empty.
Menu: Simmered sweet potato with chicken thigh, Spinach goma-ae, Tomato Omelet, Riceixed with wakana sprinkle & dried jako (baby sardine) with sesame on top
Tangerine Mikan for dessert
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
Menu: Edamame & jako rice, Spinach omelet, Bacon & green bean roll, Mased pumpkin and carrot combo, Goma-konbu
Apple wedges for dessert
The Japanese kindergarten our daughter attends to is closed for the summer as of today until the end of August. Not sure exactly why, but it has always been 21st of July when the summer holiday starts in the Japanese school year even since my time (ugh, more than 3 decades ago😳).
Anyway our girl is off school, and making the most of this opportunity, we decided to send her to summer school to an international preschool near by. Unlike her Japanese kindergarten, this preschool offers lunches for those who wish (that come with a fee). I asked our daughter which she prefers, as I thought she may want to eat the same food her friends eat. But to my surprise she replied, “Mama’s obento”, and this means I’d have to continue to cook in the morning during her summer holiday, too. Well, maybe it was stupid of me to provide her the choice, but I must admit, when she said so, this warm sensation flew all around my body and I hugged her tightly and didn’t want to let her go (but she wriggled herself away). She likes it – my bento, my cooking. It assures me that she is happy with what I present to her. And that is a good thing to know because bento making can be a bit cumbersome and time consuming, but it’s worth it when you know it makes someone happy.
So here it is, her summer school bento, in another bento box that she used to use at her daycare, just to give her the sense of summer holiday that is somehow a bit more special than the other seasons.