Little thrills, little trips, little ideas

Hubby Bento #19 – Ssamjang Grilled Beef Sushi

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The summer heat is definitely sizzling up these days. Been hoping for some rain to cool the days…I am drinking a glass of red wine while writing this post, is like being in the sauna in split seconds!  So when I came across pomelo in the supermarket yesterday, I just got to get it to make a cool salad for my family today. I made some spicy ssamjang beef to fire up the summer heat too. What would be nice with this bento will be a cool lemongrass mint ice tea…. yum….

Ssamjang Grilled Beef Sushi
Ssamjang paste is a Korean spicy mixed paste of gochujang (red chili pepper paste), dwenjang ( fermented soybean paste) and other seasonings. Its often used for grilling or roasting meat.

Ingredients : Nice marbled beef slices, spring onion, nori and vinegared rice
Ssamjang marinate ingredients (for quantity of 6 slices of bite size beef): 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons Ssamjang paste, 1 1/2 tablespoon of mirin, 1 tablespoon of sake, a little squeeze of sweet rice malt, 1 teaspoon of shoyu, pepper.

Mix the marinate ingredients well and coat the beef slices evenly with the paste. Leave it for 10-15 minutes and then grill the beef pieces according to your doneness liking. Since its to be packed into bento, I cooked mine just well done about 3-4 minutes over high fire, its still tender since I chose marbled beef. The fat contents in the beef slices keep them juicy and tender.

Thinly slice spring onion or scallions diagonally lengthwise. Shape the vinegared rice either with your hands or with a sushi mould. Place 1 piece of beef and 1 piece of scallion, wrap with a thin strip of nori.

Pomelo Scallop Somen Salad
Ingredients: 1 slice of pomelo peeled and tear into pieces, 2 to 3 pieces of fresh scallop, 1 bunch of somen. (Sōmen 素麺 are very thin—less than 1.3 mm in diameter—white Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. The noodles are usually served cold. Wikipedia definition), a little sesame oil, fruity olive oil, 1 tsp shoyu sauce, 1/4 teaspoon yuzu sauce, 1 tsp mirin.

The somen is salty before cooking. They are nicely separated into bunches individually wrapped with a piece of paper. They are very delicate so it takes only 2 minutes to cook them in hot water. Quickly dip them in cold water once cooked to retain the springiness and slight saltiness in the noodles. Grill the scallops with a little salt and butter until its just done, about 2 minutes on each sides over medium fire.

Mix the sauce ingredients. Assemble the rest of the ingredients together in to bowl and toss with the sauce.

Kinpira Daikon 
I love this dish because the daikon (white radish) slices soak up the sauce very well and they are very tasty and easy to make. I made some 2 days ago, kept in the fridge and the flavours are now intense today.

1 tsp vegetable oil, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 200g daikon (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

Parboil the daikon slices with a little salt in hot water for about 5 minutes to remove any bitterness. However, if you get Japanese daikon, they don’t taste bitter at all. Heat the oils in a frying pan on high heat for a minute or so. Lower the heat down to medium-high, add the daikon slices 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.

Imo Dango (Fresh Sweet Potato wagashi bought from supermarket)

Tomago-yaki (check the recipe in my previous post

Stay Calm and Keep Cool this Summer!

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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