Archive for the ‘sushi’ Category

Bentos #313 and #314

Veggie maki rolls with cucumber, leek, wasabi, mayo and carrot, bottle of soy sauce, inarizushi, Tamagoyaki and more cucumber. Some dried fruit is tucked in the corner for dessert under the carrot flower decoration.

And the one from Friday, which wasn’t so interesting…
Pumpkin cream soup in the thermos jar. Bread and veggie sticks, apple bunnies and some dried fruit in the extra container.

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Today I finally managed to get properly in on the green challenge!
Maki rolls with cucumber, avocado, leek and mayo, inarizushi, broccoli, lettuce and kiwis.

My own box.

When making sushi, I always hate that the rice takes so long to cool. I don’t premake the sushi rice, so it makes me seriously antsy having to choose between burning my fingers and crinkling the nori and having to wait aaaaaages for the rice to cool down! Today I’ve figured out a neat little trick to cool down sushi rice quickly AND save time for rolling maki rolls:

Spread out some rice thinly on a small cutting board. I have one that’s exactly the width of a nori leaf, and about 2-3 cm shorter in the other dimension. Perfect!
Put a sheet of plastic foil on top of the rice. Pop it into the freezer and stack something frozen on it.
Take out after a minute, pull off the sheet (all moisture seemed to stick to the plastic instead of the rice for me, practically) and press the cutting board upside own onto the nori. The rice comes off it easily (I used a spoon to poke it a bit where it resisted), leaving a 1,5cm margin on either side perfect for stacking the veggies and sealing.
Rinse, repeat for each sheet of nori.

Mwahaha… I’m a laziness genius! Right? Right? :D

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This one is finally supposed to get me into a more celebratory mood. Inarizushi kitten, rainbow maki with carrot and cucumber stars and 5-coloured rice, tamagoyaki and lots of tasty veggies, fruit and chocolate.

I sacrificed the last of my blue onigiri freezer batch for the maki – now I’ll have to wait until I get new easter egg dyes! (It’s freakishly hard to get hold of blue dye around here.) The yellow is done with turmeric and the green (badly) with spinach, but the red is also food dye – I didn’t feel like bothering, and I wanted a pinkish red, not an orange-ish red like tomatoes give.
The last colour is white, so no colouring needed.

The BF gets the same in a bigger Curver box.

I have more rainbow maki left, so expect another celebration tomorrow!

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Inarizushi kittens playing in a broccoli forest! And carrot flowers, a fishy of soy (fits the kittens), three pieces of egglog and some grapes.

We’ll see if I can eat them. I don’t often do charaben – well, actually that’s because I really have no patience, but the few I made I had *serious* problems eating! Cuteness and food… is a hard combination for me.

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Nigiri with salmon roe, tamagoyaki, avocado, enoki mushrooms and fried tofu on sushi rice.
The box held up nicely by the way :) It doesn’t seem to leak anything poisonous and was easy to wash.

The BF gets the same – and since he specifically asked me to buy more sugarpeas, he gets some more of those. (Yay!)

I’m only taking one layer of the wooden box today – that’s because the sushi is about the amount of rice I took yesterday, plus the proteins. But don’t worry – I also packed a big breakfast box.

In it is a scones muffin (or muffin scone?), a piece of pink grapefruit, some leftover tamagoyaki and avocado and two animal containers – one with creamcheese and one with apricot marmelade. Yum!
I can’t eat breakfast at home – my stomach doesn’t boot until several hours from waking up – but these days I’m starting to get hungry when I get to work. This is probably a good habit from the fruit baskets the home office offered. Now that I sit out at a customer, I have to bring breakfast instead. :P

The muffins are scones baked in muffin forms – so easy and delicious! And as a bonus point, these were actually made by the BF. (Yay^2!)

Mmm, fresh scones on a sunday morning… what could be better?

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Vegetarian sashimi – Tamagoyaki, avocado, fried and vinegared bell pepper and fried eggplant, pickled ginger rose with wasabi petals, fishy with soy sauce, rice and nori/bell pepper decoration.

It may get image heavy. You have been warned.

First, I felt the need to make sushi today. But Tuesday is also Gym day! So when I had boiled the rice (It’s longgrained jasmine rice – mea culpa: I forgot to buy white shortgrained rice and didn’t want to substitute brown rice or arborio rice because I needed a white background – see below!) I didn’t feel like standing for another half an hour making nigiri. Ouch!
So I decided to use my new smallish black and red bowls as side bowls and arrange the vegetables as a sashimi.

Fresh and colorful!

Second, the theme for Bento Challenge this week is “Self Portrait”, and being a comic lover and sometimes cartoonist, I couldn’t pass this up. So the rice box has a selfportrait of the Were Rabbit in Nori and bell pepper shaves. Beware the fangs!
I cut the nori and bell pepper by hand with kitchen scissors, from memory of an earlier self portrait design I had drawn (This time, it’s less Powerpuffy – yay!). Yes, I am that crazy and cut stuff in nori without any pre-sketching. Don’t try this at home, kids!
I did a few work-in-progress shots on kitchen paper so the nori wouldn’t wilt from the moisture of the rice like in the last nori picture I did, Totoro:

The finished picture.

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A discussion about nori substitutes made me run to the kitchen and demonstrate that eggplants (and oher things) can be used very well to roll sushi rice!

How to:
Cut an eggplant lengthwise into -very- thin slices. I made them only about 2mm thick. The slices I used for rolling were about 15cm long – if your eggplant is very big, cut slices in half. Salt the slices and lay them out on kitchen paper to draw water.
Meanwhile, cook sushi rice, flavour, etc.
Dab off the salt and water from the eggplant slices and spray them with oil (garlic oil is especially great!). Fry them on both sides in a very hot oiled pan. Dab off excess oil and let cool.
With wet hands, form small nigiri and put them on the lower (wider) end of the eggplant. Roll up. The nigiri should be big enough so the eggplant goes around just about once and a little bit. You can also spread the rice out really thinly over the whole eggplant and roll it up, but that is a bit harder (and might be a problem if the eggplant is really oily). Also, my eggplant tended to try to rip so the nigiri variant was safer.
Cut the rolls in half and stand them up on a plate. VoilĂ !
Sorry for the blurry picture.

Other “inside out” no-nori ideas shown here are egg (mine is tamagoyaki today though, but on principle omelette works too), and of course my personal favourite, inari pouches.

If you don’t like eggplant, I think that zucchini treated the same way as the eggplant would be great too!

The eggplant was a great success here – I was fiddling around with my camera before starting to eat, arranging sushi and taking pictures. Then I looked up again, ready to start munching.
“Hey! Where has all the eggplant sushi gone?”
The BF looks up, his mouth full. “They are so good!”
…Can’t be angry at that, now can I?


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Mmm, sushi. I like to make sushi on sundays – it’s the only day where I can safely spend lots of time on cooking!
I would love to make mini-temaki sushi rolls for bento, but I fear the nori will get soggy… :(

Big compartment: Maki rolls (California and leek-mayo-avocado-cucumber), tamagoyaki, a pickled ginger rose with wasabi hidden underneath, miso balls with leek and seaweed.
Small compartments: Inarizushi, frozen mango and strawberries for dessert.
There is also a big fish bottle of soy because I like having a lot of condiments.

Inarizushi is the way my friends hooked me on sushi. The sweet-tasting, delicious tofu pouches are just the right thing for somebody cautious of the taste of nori and unused to the delicate taste of the other ingredients. Talk about a flavour bomb!
After that, I got to try vegetarian kimbap: Kimbap is Korean rolled sushi, which is usually stuffed with a LOT of ingredients of different tastes, most of which are slightly pickled to increase the taste.
And after that, of course, it’s a slippery slope…

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I made a lot of nummy food over the weekend, so I put all the leftovers into bentos!
…yes, I’m a glutton – but I don’t eat breakfast, so bringing an extra box is OK, right?

First, my two boxes for work:

Pre-dish – butternut squash soup and condiments (wholewheat toast croutons with sesame, thai basil, carrot strips, leek and grilled asparagus).

I managed to find a butternut squash at a supermarket here – any kind of pumpkin is super-rare, so I jumped on it as soon as I saw it! I love pumpkin soup.

The recipe is simple and delicious, based on this Epicurean.com recipe.
I used a capful of soy sauce instead of the fish sauce though, and added a dash or two of curry when frying the squash.

Crabstick, avocado and leek mayo rolls, tamagoyaki and avocado, a rose of pickled ginger, some wasabi hidden under the rose and a pack of soy leftover from my last sushi takeout.

And one for the BF:

Maki and Tamago bee with leek antennae and wings, and a flowerbed of croutons, avocado and leek “grass” and carrot flowers.
Since he’s probably going to eat it at home, the soup and condiments aren’t shown.

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I have to come in to test the network at work tomorrow; so I packed some bento for my BF and me to go out and eat it in nature later.

Kimbap style rolls with spinach, carrot sticks, sweet omelette slices and pickled radish
Kimbap style rolls with avocado instead of spinach
and average joe crabstick, avocado, leek and mayo rolls.

Also soy sauce bottles, wasabi rolled in a slice of omelette, the rest of the pickled radish and some pickled ginger for me but not for the bf because he doesn't like it :P

I made a lot of rolls today! This bento is the sad rest after we both indulged in a lot more sushi than can possibly be healthy. *pats full, round belly*
Kimbap is a Korean type of rolled sushi that is usually stuffed with a lot more, varied ingredients than Japanese maki. I have seen as ingredients everything from any pickled, raw or fried vegetable you can imagine to even ground meat. They are usually large and hard to eat in one bite – it takes some training to eat them without spilling!
My Korean friend that introduced me to sushi/kimbap used to make rolls with pickled white cucumber, spinach and carrot. I have since then experimented and found that very thinly sliced fried or roasted eggplant, sweet omelette and spinach with sesame seeds make excellent “savory” stuffings, to which you can then add several of the ingredients that are less intensive in taste, like carrots, cucumber or radish.
I’m all for fusion food.

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