When I prepare obento (lunch box) for my husband, I try it to be not boring in both appearncewise and tastewise. I wake up at 5 am every day, and the first thing I do after washing my face is to stand and think in the middle of my kitchen.
What can be the main dish? Then, what color can I have? Flavor? Japanese or other?
Within 30 seconds, I start moving as if I am somebody who is challenging in the iron chef.
I open the window even though the outside is 32F. I have to wake me up REALLY.
After 30minutes or so, the best part is coming.
Put them together in this small box.
How can I put everything neat for it to look delicious?
Today I reached thinly sliced pork butt. I decided to go to curry flavor, but I wanted it to be something Japanese, so I used curry powder and soy sauce together. They match so well.
Here is what I did.
- Massage the pork with a little bit of shiokoji and leave it while preparing other dishes.
- Wipe off shiokoji from the pork, and cover the pork with flour.
- Heat the pan with a little oil, and sautee the pork. Set aside.
- Sautee vegetables, in my case purple onion, green pees, orange pepper, red pepper, and thinly sliced butternut squash.
- Return the pork and add 1 teaspoon of curry powder.
- While sauteing, prepare the mixture of soy sauce, sake, sugar, and mirin. All of them are 1 teaspoon respectively.
- Add the mixture at once, and sautee a little more.
That’ s it!
Adding soy sauce and mirin makes this dish Japanese.
I like to use curry powder in various dishes, but when I use it for Japanese dishes, I use S&B brand’s.
I used this for Rintaro’s curry.
I always have MY curry powder in stock, but they have more like Indian.
So I decide which I should use , depending on a dish type.
By the way, you have to cool it completely like I do in the photo before putting it into a box.
Otherwise the warm temperature makes bacteria happy. We don’t want it to be happy!
Besides the pork, for this obento, I prepared egg. I try not to rely on egg dish every day, and when I have to rely on, I don’t make egg dish for the breakfast. Today I didn’t use an egg for breakfast, so I happily relied on it!
Just doing omelet is not fun at all, and more over, this GURU GURU TAMAGO (I named it. Guru guru means “round and round” in Japanese, and tamago means egg.) only requires one egg!
In a heated pan with a little oil, just pour egg beaten with a little salt (in my case I use a little SHIRODASHI, concentrate dashi stock with saltiness).
Actually I put one more thing besides shirodashi to enhance the yellow color and for his health. That is TURMERIC!
Especially when I use egg white only, I put turmeric. When you add turmeric, don’t add directly to an egg because it gets crumbled in the egg. Mix a little bit of turmeric with a little amount of egg or water, and then pour it into the left of the beaten egg.
Also be careful of the amount of turmeric. Turmeric has a bitter taste, so just a pinch would be good.
After pouring the egg, swirl the pan for letting the egg distribute evenly. Before it is cooked through, put cooked spinach (mine was freeze dry) on the egg, and set it aside as it is on a plate. While it is warm, just roll it!
Then after cooling down, you can cut it into three to four.
I like this appearance, so I do often, but every time I change ingredients.
Sometimes dried shrimp, sometimes seaweed, sometimes sesame seeds, sometimes green onions, and so on.
On the other side of this obento, I put,,,
snow peas with sesame seasoning.
I have already introduced how to make GOMA AE with burdock.
We could use the same sauce here with cooked snow peas.
He would love all these dishes, but the most exciting part of this obento is
UMEBOSHI, plum pickle!!
We call this type of obento as HINOMARU BENTO.
We call our national flag as HINOMARU. “HI”is sun, “no”is of, and “MARU” is circle.
As you may know, our flag is like umeboshi in the middle of white rice!
Don’t you think so?
Mine has a line of sesame seeds, but this is HINOMARU!
This umeboshi is so plump that I don’t know if I could put lid on tight.
It is obvious that umeboshi gets smashed…..
Anyway, I hope my husband enjoys this obento!
By the way, I always use this two balls (to be precise, they are an ogre and a boy) when I cook white rice in a pot.
If you would like to learn again how to cook white rice, please click here!
We are now in February, and an ogre is coming to you.
I will talk about that in the next article!
See you soon!