Totoro has come to my little windowsill garden and made things sprout! So I celebrated him in a Bento.
Salmon Teriyaki with rice and carrot salad; Totoro scene cut from nori.
I spent entirely too much time doing Nori-scissor cutouts for this one.
I re-did the nori once because it shriveled up from the moisture in the rice before I could get a good photo. This one is still slightly shriveled, so I'm not entirely happy, but OK.
What I learned about cutting Nori:
Use a small, sharp scissor, ideally with a pointed tip. Don't use knives – all they do is break the nori. It's very much like paper, but much thinner – I couldn't use the force I normally apply when cutting paper because quick movements with the scissor can rip the Nori. This also means that I can't do as long, curved cuts as I normally do – I had to work my way very carefully and in steps.
When the nori gets in contact with heat or moisture, it shrivels up. Be careful that your fingers are dry! Other bento blogs recommend putting cheese under the nori to keep it from shriveling, but that sounds quite gross to me – I need to figure out something else to put my Nori cutouts on.
1 Tsp. freshly grated ginger (I have mine frozen and shave off thin slices with a really sharp knife. When I try to grate it all it does is stick to the grater, so the knife technique works much better for me.)
1 clove crushed or finely chopped garlic
1/3-1/2 finely chopped onion
1 Tsp. sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sake; I used white wine this time because I don't have sake. Other recipes recommend substituting water and sherry, or rice vinegar. The white wine was an experiment but it came out nicely.
Marinate the meat/fish in the sauce mixture for at least an hour (up to 8).
Put everything in an ovenfast pan and broil at about 200C until the meat is cooked and crispy. Occasionally spoon sauce over the meat to prevent it from drying out.
Also from this day: Froggy breakfast!
I too got inspired by the photos outofthisplace posted yesterday!
Breakfast box, so only one layer (I posted the lunch box last evening already):
Bell pepper froggy! The eyes are dried soybeans that I painted with marker since I don’t have blackeyed peas. :)
Half a wholewheat toast with cottage cheese, sunflower sprouts and bell pepper chips (left over from the froggy), carrot shaves as color contrast.
Under the froggy: more sunflower sprouts and chocolate wheat cereal as a snack for during the day.
Remember to take a look over to The Daily Tiffin for my and ss_biggie’s Tuesday columns!