April 11, 2011

First foray into bento (lunch box) making

Now, I'm not artistic or creative like some people, so you will never find me making patterns or beautiful cartoons with my food, but recently Jon and I have tried to eat healthier, and to exercise greater control over what, as well as how much, we eat.

To try to achieve this, we decided to eat out less, especially for lunch - and so we bought two sets of stackable bento containers (black and white) from Muji. One added bonus of bringing your lunch to work is that you can save money too!

In Hong Kong, lunch tends to be greasy/heavy Chinese/Asian or sandwiches, with little in between, so hopefully making our own lunch will help us strike a better balance.

A quick, personal, note about bento (the Japanese kind): my favourite bento are the ekiben, or railway station bento lunchboxes, which are sold in (you guessed it) JR train stations across Japan. They're packed lunches which you take with you when going on the shinkansen or other long-distance trips. They're often elaborately packaged and/or laid out, with all kinds of yummy things like sushi, sashimi, roasted eel, noodles, and pickles - opening each ekiben gives me a little of the same anticipation and excitement that you get when opening a Christmas present. I have very fond memories of riding between Osaka and Tokyo on the shinkansen and eating eki-ben, while looking through the window at the countless tidy little towns flying past. 懐かしいね!Japan has been on my mind quite a bit lately, as I'm sure it has for many of us. Here in Hong Kong, people have also been quite concerned (hopefully needlessly) about nuclear radiation from Fukushima coming thousands of miles to our little corner of the world. 

But anyway, back to the topic of bento. Here's tomorrow's lunch, from top to bottom:

- Mini zucchini cheese fritters, mini Korean BBQ sausages
- Milano chocolate cookies, homemade apple/carrot/bean slaw with homemade mustard mayo

- Mini zucchini cheese fritters, mini Korean BBQ sausage, cube of Pont-l'Évêque cheese
- Mini dorayaki (Japanese sweet red bean pancake), homemade apple/carrot/bean slaw with homemade mustard mayo

The recipes for the zucchini cheese fritters, the slaw (greatly mutated as I didn't have cabbage or onion handy) and the mayo all came from Jamie Oliver's Cook with Jamie which Jon gave me as a Christmas present three years ago. It might not be very trendy to like Jamie Oliver but I find his recipes to be relatively accessible and reliable.

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