I have always liked delicately decorated and low-fat, light Japanese bento. It does take time and energy to prepare, so I haven't made it often. But I have been looking into the work of bento box-making masters, not only for their own designs but also for the bento boxes they collect. Last week I finally went to get some Japanese wooden dishes and bento boxes; the cute round box above is one of them. I thought the size was OK when I ordered it, but when it actually arrived I found it too small. I guess girls with big appetites like mine would find it challenging to fit a whole meal inside. One afternoon when I needed to go out, I made this simple bento that can be eaten cold. As supper, I'd say the portion is big enough! ^_^
Yields two servings
30g organic peanuts
1 carrot, cubed
3 pieces of canned pineapple cubed; if you use fresh pineapple, cut it widthwise into 1 cm-thick slices, then cube
1 cup mixed rice (the rice I used included rice with germ (aka 胚芽米—it's brown rice without the husk), organic black sticky rice, and organic brown rice)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp veggie granules, optional
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1. Boil the edamame in boiling water for 10 mins.
2. Heat the oil in a pan, add garlic, salt, pepper, and veggie granules.
3. Add peanut and carrots, and stir-fry for 3 mins. Add edamame and continue cooking for 1 to 2 mins. Turn to low heat, add pineapple and rice, mix, and fry for 2 to 3 mins.
4. Sprinkle the soy sauce evenly on the surface and mix well. When it is cold, scoop half of it into the wooden bento box.
Sichuanese native and Chengdu resident Annie blogs about her adventures in cooking vegetarian meals, adapting recipes from around the world. Recently she has translated some of her favorite posts into English for GoChengdoo readers to enjoy. The original, Chinese-language version of this post can be viewed here. Photo by Annie Chen.