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Archive for the ‘thai’ Category

Bento #149

Bottom layer: Pad Thai with prawns, mungbean sprouts and cabbage, salad leaf and spring onion decoration.
Top layer: Chocolate pudding with whipped cream and red currants, grilled zucchini slices, homemade beansprout kimchi.

I’ve taken to making mung bean sprouts at home – they grow especially fast and well in the shelf above my fridge, where it’s dark, nice and warm. Experimenting with some different sprouts as well, so expect more sproutiness to show up in my bentos soon!
The grilled zucchini were an afterthought – I was going to put a dumpling in instead but the bento looked so monotonous and colourless to me. So I remembered that I was actually supposed to follow the 4:3:2:1 ratio and added some veggies instead. (There is actually quite a lot of vegetable in the Pad Thai – I “stretch” the noodles with thinly sliced cabbage to make it healthier – but you can’t see it.)

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I found a new “bentobox” at IKEA! It’s not specifically made for food, but should take not-too-soggy food OK. It holds 2x380ml, which is a very nice portion size, does not lock tight by itself (so you’ll need a furoshiki) but does have a nice handle on top. Will report on how well the box held up tomorrow!

Mine contains rice (already cold so it doesn’t leave condensation) with a cherry tomato and black sesame in the lower layer.
The upper layser holds a silicone muffin cup of green veggie cocos curry, a piece of teriyaki salmon, raw sugarpeas and avocado, a bear cup with teriyaki sauce, some grapes and a pink mochi – all on Chinese cabbage to keep it from staining the box. The Mochi is also wrapped in plastic foil to keep it from soaking up other tastes :P

Closeup of the upper layer:

BF gets the same in the HK box (the big boy’s bentobox is in the dishwasher because I was a bad girl and didn’t wash it out from the last use!):

I did another bento the week before but it felt somewhat uninspired. It was still nummy though – and a great alternative to the lunch restaurant’s vegetarian menu – cabbage rolls! Eugh.
Posting it so you don’t think I cheated on the #134 :)

Curry couscous with feta and sundried tomato pieces, a cup of leftover cheese tortellini, and some assorted tapas – vinegared fried bell peppers and mushrooms, raw sugarpeas and rucola. I mixed the tapas and the couscous together at lunchtime and it worked nicely :D
Then there’s a raspberry container with yoghurt dressing, some grapes and a mozart ball for dessert.

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Bento #131

Not as colourful today, but rather comfort food.
Tom Yum soup with prawns (I actually didn’t have the proper chili paste so it’s not as red as it should be), rice, some veggie wontons and a few sugar snap peas and a cherry tomato for decoration.

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I dyed more eggs yesterday… then the weird idea rode me to make blue sushi rice. Why, I’ll never know.
It became a LOT as well, so the freezer is full of blue riceballs now…
The rolls are wrapped in tiny seasoned nori cut in half, as that was all I had left, and filled with carrot strips, leek and mayo. Then there’s some ginger and wasabi to the side, eggroll made from only eggwhites (the yolks went into baking…), broccoli and pad thai leftover from dinner. And a fishy with soy sauce :)
I just remembered that I forgot to bring chopsticks. Grr. Eating sushi with a fork just seems so wrong

The boyfriend gets sushi, a blue riceball and sashimi, as I got tired of rolling rice at 12 AM.

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I haven’t forgotten my intentions of working up my cookbooks over the vacation! Just before I left, I bought lovely baby eggplants in order to prepare them after a recipe I found in my Thai cookbook. Today I made them!

Upper layer: Grilled Thai eggplant slices with dipsauce and mint on a bed of mixed rice.
Lower layer: More dipsauce (“that evil stuff”, as I call it), tamago, red bell pepper and a muffin cup with kiwi and melon cubes (I’m at the end of the melon soon! I promise!).

The eggplant is another food for the veggie grill: sliced, salted and dripped off, brushed with marinade, fanned up and grilled in the oven or on the barbecue grill. I think that the barbecue would give a lovely smoky taste to it! But then I’m a fan of Baba Ghanoush.
The dipping sauce is a variation on my favourite Asian dip: Roast chili and garlic slices in sesame oil, soy and sugar and lime juice instead of the rice vinegar I usually add. It complements the taste of the eggplant very well together with somce chopped mint leaves!

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I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow myself to buy any more cookbooks before I had tried out at least some recipes from each of the books I bought recently.

Sorry for the bad picture, the light was terrible this morning (as was the weather!) and my kitchen table where I usually light my stuff unreachable because of clutter from rebuilding space for a new fridge.

Today features two recipes from a Thai cookbook: Sweet potato balls and eggplant-and-mushroom stuffed omelette.
Starting with the small container up and left: Three sweet potato balls on salad, some cherry tomato wedges as stabilizer.
Big box: Another sweet potato ball, ginger tomato dipsauce in the green cat container, half a stuffed omelette, all on a bed of rice.
Lower left: Frozen mangoes in a foil container to prevent leaks, kompeitou, candied nuts and some blue gummi candy I had left over as dessert.

I find that cooking is an enormous de-stressing exercise for myself. I had a lot to do at work recently, with a deadline to meet and Murphy’s Law striking all over the place, and have eaten out three times in the last two days, with the fourth dinner being ramen. That can’t be good! I had this huge urge to try out new recipes and have been studying cookbooks since the weekend. Finally I couldn’t take it any more and got up early and made test batches of food in the bento!

The sweet potato balls are rather simple: Finely grated and pressed out sweet potatoes, mashed green chilies, garlic and coriander. I’m not a big fan of coriander so I only added a little, but I found the taste works really well together and I should have spiced them more. The boyfriend didn’t complain, though. For myself, I’m glad of that because that means I get to try again!
The cookbook recommended a dipsauce of crushed tomatoes, grated ginger, garlic, coriander and dark soy to go with the potatoes. The same rule applies here: Never trust a Swedish cookbook to spice Asian food right! It needs to be much more potent and sweet for a good dip. Tweaking will continue.

As for the omelette, I admit that was kind of a cop-out: I know how to make omelettes! But I did like the idea and am going to try different fillings the book recommends. I used a too small pan and too much egg and mine didn’t get as thin as it should have been, it’s more of a traditional omelette than an Asian, pretty one. Also something to note for later.

The BF gets the same lunch, but unceremoniously arranged in an IKEA box:

PS: If any of my Asian readers have hints and tricks for the food posted here, please do tell me!

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Guess who ordered herself an early christmas present from JList! It's the Totoro bentobox that comes with a bowl-shaped lid and a sealable container for soup and other liquid foods. So cute!

Upper tier: Curry cream soup decorated with fish, carrot and a thai basil twig.
Lower tier: Fried fish pieces (salmon, and two white fishes, no idea what. Cod and seti?), mint, carrot sticks and a slice of lime, and rice vermicelli hidden underneath.
Bowl: A Totoro (but he didn't get eaten!)

Curry soup is a really nice and easy thing to make. It's mainly shrimp soup with cocos curry and red thai paste. Cooking Cute has a quite good recipe for it, which is rather similar to the one I use myself.

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