A great friend challenged herself to make one amazing bento-style lunch for her daughter each week Maire's blog and the pictures show lunches of some beauty.
We love Japanese food in this family, and our favourite family takeaway is to get bento boxes from Japanese Kitchen. My daughter can eat her own weight in sashimi and edamame, so it is definitely a great child pleaser. After looking at Maire's Blog, then a couple of bento sites I decided on a bento style dinner. As many of my rather crazy ideas go, it started simply, then got a bit crazy. But it was a nice change, and a top quality family dinner!
I made shrimp on kebab sticks, sticky rice, potato korroke, soba and edamame. The rice, shrimp, soba and edamame were easy. There was a failed attempt at home-pickling chinese cabbage (don't try to make up this process).
The potato korokke were interesting, and not at all something I will be cooking again when I am the only parent at home. Korokke (potato croquettes) are a common bento box item, and one of my favourite fried vegetarian snacks. However, I learned that the truth was that korokke have a secret ingredient: mince. Explains the deliciousness, and provides a nice texture to the korokke.
This is the recipe: Potato Korokke You can shape however you like. I made both logs and squashed balls. Because the filling is already cooked, you do not need to cook for very long. I shallow fried, as I don't have a deep fryer and just can't quite bring myself to use that much oil in one go. The recipe made heaps by the way. We all had a couple, and they formed part of our lunches for the next couple of days. The house has only just lost that 'fried' smell.
The next day my four year old took a 'bento' to school. She has a lunchbox with a lot of segments and so she had: grapes, soba with soy sauce, edamame, rice and shrimp on a kebab stick, potato korokke and a biscuit (the kiwi element). According to the teachers she had a great time explaining all the different items to her friends.