Little thrills, little trips, little ideas

Hubby Bento #10 – Pork Yakitori & Sauteed Prawns with Celery

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I was watching a regular Japanese program on NHK called, “Lunch On”, which features common Japanese office workers on the streets being interviewed on what they have for lunch everyday. The camera will follow them to places that they ate and the last program, I was introduced to Kinpira (金平 or きんぴら, supposedly to have originated from Okinawa). It is a Japanese cooking style that can be summarized as a technique of “sauté and simmer”. It is commonly used to cook root vegetables such as carrotgobō and lotus rootseaweeds such as arame and hijiki and other foods including tofu and wheat gluten (namafu), and even meat (definition from wikipedia). I have eaten this many times in Japan, but did not know the proper name for this style of cooking. Yesterday, I tried making some Kinpira Renkon (lotus roots). Apparently, the Kinpira tastes even better the next day. Its flavour gets richer.

Hubby Bento #10

Kinpira Renkon
1 tsp vegetable oil, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 200-300g Lotus root (peeled and thinly sliced), 1 carrot (peeled and thinly cut into strips)
1 tbsp sake, 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp soya sauce , 1 1/2 tbsp mirin, some toasted white sesame seeds

Soak the lotus root in a bowl of cold water with a little salt for about 10 minutes and then dry. Heat the oils in a frying pan on high heat for a minute or so. Lower the heat down to medium-high, add the lotus root and carrots and fry for about 10 minutes. Add in the sake over the vegetables, stir and fry for about 1 minute, then  add in the soya sauce and mirin, stir and fry for a few minutes.
Garnish it with the toasted sesame seeds. You can cook any type of root vegetables this way and divide into portions and store in air tight contain and place in the fridge (great for your bento the next few days).

Sauteed Prawns with Celery
6 Washed and peeled large prawns, 1 celery stalk cut in slices, some garlic and ginger slices, 1 tsp mirin, 1 tablespoon sake, seasalt, potato flour, pepper and 1/4 cup of chicken stock, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tsp unsalted butter

Marinate the prawns with seasalt, miring, pepper and potato flour for a few minutes. Heat up the oil for a minute over medium heat, stirfy the garlic, ginger and celery slices for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the butter just before sautéing the prawns with it. Pour in sake and chicken stock. Stir fry and mix well til the prawns are fully cooked and celery slices remain crunchy but savoury sweet.

Honey Baked Tapioca and Pumpkin slices
Coat washed tapioca slices with some honey & sprinkle salt and bake it in the oven at 180°C for 20-25 mins. Bake the pumpkin slices for about the same time duration.

Asian style Pork Yakitori – see my recipe at TAKE COVER BABY CACTUS post

Kelp salad in a capsicum bowl – Bought from Japanese supermarket

Author: ongling

Hi, I have been making bento lunch boxes for my toddler son for a year. Its a challenge everyday to think of new bento ideas to excite him. The creations are endless and took a lot of trial and errors. But most importantly, his bento lunches must deliver 3 key goals: exciting presentation (eye appeal), exciting tastes (texture & ingredients) and exciting adventures (dare to try; food play). Recently, I started making my husband lunch bentos too for work after he got envious of seeing beautiful bentos prepared by Japanese wives on Japanese TV network. I am learning and picking up skills from many talented bento makers everyday to improve myself. Here are some of my creations I would like to share with you. Apart from bentos, there some travel stories and little things i enjoy doing related to food and culture in this blog. So enjoy and share your thoughts with me.

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