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Bento: week 3 Posted 2008.01.28 18:32 PST (#)

Week 3 would have been fairly uneventful, but I experimented with some new easy-addins from a Japanese grocery.


What can be better than starting off the week with a bento that doesn't take any work? I had leftover fried rice, which I reheated on the stove and put in the bento. The remaining vegetables and fruit were similarly easy to collect and took no extra preparation.


Tuesday was time for some new tastes. When I visited a Japanese market Monday night to pick up some more Mirin, I also picked up a small package of umeboshi and a small tray of "fish cake (kakiage tempura)." I have memories of being in Japan years ago, eating an onigiri, and wondering what was burning my mouth so badly. It wasn't wasabi—I would have recognized that. Later I decided it was an umeboshi. Ever since then I've been curious and now I finally tried ume again. They're really strong, but decidedly sour instead of hot. Maybe I'll never know what was in that onigiri after all. The fish cakes are just simple and good; the flavor reminds me of something my grandmother would make for us, but I can't put my finger on what.


Tempted by the Sweet pepper and onion confit from Makiko Itoh's Just Bento, I made my own quick slapdash version Wednesday morning. Actually I sliced up the vegetables the night before and threw them in the fridge. It made the cooking a little faster in the morning, but not enough to brag about. It might be worth fully making ahead of time, but that seems like so much effort.


I finally used up the chickpeas I'd opened the other week. They were still fine. Some mushrooms, onions, and oregano joined the party making for a flavorful interlude. Throwing in my recent standard ume and fish cakes, I was set for Thursday. I think perhaps I used a little too much oregano in the chickpeas, but it wasn't a bad combination.


Friday we had decided to go out for lunch at work, so I just made some soup. Given how much I like miso soup, why do I make it so rarely? I tried taking it to work in a thermos I had gotten for free on some coffee deal. Now I know why it was free. I ate the soup fairly early and it had already lost a lot of the heat. The day was cold too, but I don't count that as an excuse.

Categories: bento