Bento boxes

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast - Four star

Prep Cook Makes 10 min 30 min 1 bento

For the 50/50 rice 110g white Ja­panese rice 110g brown short­grain rice

5cm piece konbu sea­weed

To as­sem­ble

1 por­tion 50/50 rice or quinoa

½ nori sheet

1 hand­ful salad greens, such as rocket, wa­ter­cress or baby spinach

¼ av­o­cado, flesh scooped out and sliced ¼ pep­per, thinly sliced 1 ripe tomato, roughly chopped

75g–100g silken tofu 1cm piece fresh gin­ger, washed but un­peeled

1 tbsp tamari

1 spring onion, finely sliced

Sea salt Sesame seeds, toasted

Wash the rice in the cook­ing pot, then drain, and re­peat twice. Push the konbu into the rice and add 350ml wa­ter. Cover, bring to a boil, then sim­mer over a low heat for 20 min­utes.

Take off the heat and set aside with the lid on for five min­utes. Pick out the konbu, mince it finely, gen­tly fold it back into the rice, then let the rice cool.

Make a bed of rice in your bento box, as evenly as pos­si­ble, and lay the nori on top, tear­ing it to fit. Put the salad greens at one end of your bed, top with the av­o­cado, then put the pep­per and tomato at the other end.

Drain the liq­uid from the tofu pack and gen­tly slide out a por­tion di­rectly in be­tween the two veg­etable mounds.

Finely grate the gin­ger over the tofu. driz­zle with tamari, sprin­kle with spring onions, and fin­ish with sea salt and a small pile of toasted sesame seeds, to mix in when eat­ing. Close your box and pack in a bento bag with a fork or chop­sticks. Prep Cook Makes 15 min 25 min 1 bento

For the rice

150g white Ja­panese rice (short-grain/sushi) 80g black or red quinoa 2 tbsp sun­flower seeds ½ tsp salt

1 tsp brown rice vine­gar

For the lazy tam­ago 1 egg

1 pinch salt

1 pinch chilli flakes Oil, to fry

1 nori sheet

To as­sem­ble

1 por­tion rice (about ⅓ of the above, or to taste) A few radic­chio leaves 2cm cu­cum­ber, very thinly sliced (1–2mm) Toasted nuts or seeds ½ tsp brown rice vine­gar 1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch gochugaru (Korean pep­per)

1 wedge or­ange Sesame seeds

To make the rice, wash the com­bined grains in the cook­ing pot, drain and re­peat. Add 350ml fresh wa­ter, cover, bring to a boil, then sim­mer over a low heat for 15 min­utes. Take off the heat and set aside with the lid on for five min­utes, then care­fully fold in the salt and vine­gar. Leave to cool.

Whisk the egg with the salt and chilli. Heat a lit­tle oil in a medium fry­ing pan over a medium heat, pour in the egg mix and tilt to cover the base like a pan­cake. Put the whole nori sheet on top, then, when the omelette curls up at the sides, fold it in three and slide it on to a clean chop­ping board. Leave to cool slightly be­fore cut­ting into bite­size strips.

Ar­range the rice in one end of your box and use a piece of radic­chio leaf as a “bowl” for the tam­ago. Make sep­a­rate bak­ing pa­per “pock­ets” for the cu­cum­ber slices and the toasted nuts, then driz­zle the rice vine­gar over the cu­cum­ber and sprin­kle with a lit­tle salt and gochugaru.

Top with the or­ange and fin­ish with a sprin­kle of sesame. Pack with chop­sticks or a fork.

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