Tonkatsu & Crab Bento (123)

Top Tier: Spicy crab beggars purse, crab claws, pears drizzled with chocolate. Bottom Tier: Tonkatsu, cabbage, steamed rice, mini container of sweet chili sauce.

Today is a kind of cleanup as far as bento is concerned. I am trying to use up some of the items in the freezer so I took out the last of my egg sheets, imitation crab claws, and boneless pork chops.

The chops were a nice thin cut that lent itself nicely to tonkatsu. Tonkatsu is basically a breaded, fried pork chop which I made by seasoning the chops with salt and pepper, dipping in egg then coating with panko. I fried them in sesame oil till nicely browned and then cooked up some cabbage and rice to go with it.

Finishing out this ideal meal is a beggars purse filled with a spicy crab mixture, a couple of imitation crab claws and some pears drizzled with chocolate sauce. Delicious!!

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Tofu and Rice (122)

Instant miso soup, tofu fritters with broccoli, carrots, and rice, and a fruit tier with lychee, strawberry, and kiwi.

My schedule seems to be a little off this week. I normally had been posting in the mornings but lately I have been forgetful and/or running behind in the morning so I have been posting late in the day. I will try to be more consistent though right now I’m not sure whether that means early or late postings will become the norm. I will continue to do my best to post each weekday so all of you “lurkers” can still have something to drool over. 😛

Today’s drool is brought to you courtesy of the tofu fritter and miso soup bento.

I love this bento dish because it allows me to make my two-tier bento and still have the bowl lid in which to carry (and later make) an instant soup.

This soup is an instant miso which comes with a flavor packet as well as a seaweed and seasoning packet. I’ve had it a few times and really enjoy the flavor of the broth as well as the convenience.

In the main tier I have some tofu fritters cooked until crispy in a pan with garlic, butter, and pepper. With this I have some steamed broccoli and carrots as well as white rice. All is topped with sesame seeds and bulldog sauce. Yum!!!

For the fruit tier I have a large strawberry as well as a lychee and some kiwi slices.

Published in: on June 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beef Pho (112)

Beef Pho with basil, lime, jalepeno, and bean sprouts.

Mmmm. Soup. I love soup.

Broth-based soups, creamy soups, chunky soups. It doesn’t really matter. I just love soup. But until today I had never tried the Vietnamese soup called Pho (pronounced fuh).

Pho is a beef and rice noodle soup served with traditional accompaniments of basil, lime, bean sprouts, and peppers.

The unusual thing about the soup is the broth which has a combination of cinnamon, anise, black cardamom, ginger, and other spices depending on the recipe. The flavor is a bit sweet but with the addition of jalepenos and/or red chile paste you can have a bit of spice if you like.

I am lucky to live near a little restaurant in Tucson called Pho 88. Pho 88 has been in business for almost nine years and I’ve seen it featured in the newspaper and a local food blog but had never tried it. Well, moving to a more central part of town has opened my eyes to new things and Pho 88 (less than two miles from my house) is one of them.

Pho 88 has thirteen different Beef Pho dishes along with many other menu options. For this visit I got the Pho Tai Bo Vien which is a rare steak and beef meatball noodle soup.

Since my order was for carry-out, they packaged the noodles, garnishes, and red chile to be added to the broth later.

I had enough to enjoy dinner last night as well as a full bowl for today’s lunch. Thank you Pho 88 for introducing me to this delicious soup!

Published in: on June 4, 2010 at 9:30 am  Comments (3)  
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Crab Claw & Egg Pouch (110)

Top Tier: Apricot, Mango, Blackberries.
Bottom Tier: Egg Roll, Egg Pouch with Spicy Crab Filling, Imitation Crab Claws, Broccoli, Red Pepper Strips all over Steamed Rice.

I had to run out of the house early this morning and never had a chance to post my bento although I did remember to get the photo. So sorry for the late post!

I have to say it was a very tasty lunch today and the egg pouch, which was just used to fill space, is something I will definitely be making again.

Today’s bento features imitation crab claws. I got these in the frozen food section of my Asian market after debating about them on several previous visits.

These claws are really just a gimic and, unless that’s what you’re looking for, these aren’t any different than any other imitation crab with the exception of having less per package for a higher price. Imitation crab is formed around real crab claws to give them the look of a crab claw.

In addition to the claws I have a spicy crab egg pouch, a couple of slices of egg roll, broccoli, & red pepper over steamed rice.

The one thing I underestimated in this meal is the egg pouch. This was made by mixing mixed some of the imitation crab with mayo, sriracha, and green onions. I then placed the mixture in the center of an egg sheet, gathered the corners to the center and tied it with a piece of green onion. It was so yummy!! 🙂

To finish off this ideal meal I have a fruit tier with blackberries, mangoes, and apricots.

Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Teriyaki Tofu Bento (106)

Top Tier: Champagne Mango, Red Grapes, Blackberries, Kiwi, Little Debbie Petite Yellow Cake. Bottom Tier: Crispy Teriyaki Tofu, Baby Carrots, Teriyaki Noodles, Red Onion, Zucchini and Yellow Squash.

I am so excited to tell you that I have found more flavors of Little Debbie Petite cakes!

I first tried these petite treats late last year when Little Debbie introduced the Petite Red Velvet cakes. Since then they have been in many bentos and I have had a lot of people ask me about them. I’ve always told people how much I like the cakes though I was disappointed that they were only available in one flavor… Until now.

I am happy to report that Little Debbie has introduced four new flavors: Chocolate, Spice, Strawberry, and Yellow.

I have found two of these new flavors locally (and am on the hunt for others) and have one in today’s bento. If you haven’t tried them yet, they are perfect for bentos. Small in size, low in calories, and big on deliciousness! Yum!!

Though I’m most excited about the Petite there is a nice balance of other items in today’s ideal meal as well. 🙂

The main course is crispy tofu with onions, zucchini, and yellow squash all cooked in a teriyaki sauce. Alongside the tofu I have teriyaki noodles and on the top tier is the fabulous Little Debbie Petite Cake as well as a variety of fresh fruit.

The writer of this blog is in no way affiliated with Little Debbie or McKee Foods and has not received compensation for the above comments regarding Little Debbie Petite cakes.

Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pork Bahn Mi (102)

Clockwise from bottom left: Macaroni Salad, Cherry Tomatoes, Watermelon, Zucchini, Yellow Squash (Ranch Dressing cup underneath), Pork Bahn Mi.

I had some leftover pork chops the other day so I decided to slice them very thin and use them in bahn mi sandwiches for today’s lunch.

Bahn mi is a new favorite of mine which I first tried a few months ago at Lee’s Sandwiches in Chandler. That sandwich was a BBQ pork version which I really enjoyed though I haven’t yet tried to duplicate the sauce for the pork.

Today’s bahn mi has thinly sliced pork, mayo, sriracha, carrot, daikon, cilantro, and jalapeno.

Along with the sandwich I have some macaroni salad, juicy watermelon, zucchini and yellow squash with ranch dressing, and a cute stem pick for a couple of cherry tomatoes. Another ideal meal for our current warm temperatures!

Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chino Bandido (99)

Refried Beans, Jerk Fried Rice, Jade Red Chicken, Hengrenade Chicken, Mango Slices.

Today’s lunch is primarily leftovers from yesterday’s Chino Bandido. If you are not familiar with Chino it is an Asian/Mexican fusion restaurant in Chandler that has been featured on Food Network and is awesome!

The combination plates come with your choice of two meats. You may have these alone or in a burrito or quesadilla. The burritos are pretty good because of the wrapper which is much thinner than a regular tortilla (like an Asian pancake) and they melt in your mouth. In addition to your meats you also get your choice of rice and beans and a big soft cookie (Snickerdoodle is my fav).

The servings are pretty big so I get around three meals from one plate. This portion represents one third of my meal from yesterday.

In addition to the great leftovers I added some mango slices to finish out this ideal meal.

I also had to show off the cute new lunch tote I got for Mother’s Day. Another Sachi (I already have probably six of their bags) with the standard thermal liner but this one has ladybugs! It’s perfect for a Spring or Summer bento lunch. 🙂

Published in: on May 10, 2010 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Steak & Peppers (97)

Top Tier: Chicken Egg Roll, Nutella & Marshmallow Cream Pinwheels, Blueberries. Bottom Tier: Onigiri with Sriracha, Steak Strips and Mixed Peppers.

I got a great new bento “toy” that I had to put to use right away so an onigiri was the start of today’s bento.

This onigiri was made with the new Sakura Onigiri mold I received from a new Flickr Friend, hypothermya. I topped this with some sriracha and put it in with some steak and mixed pepper strips cooked in sriracha, soy sauce, and ginger.

To finish out this ideal meal I added half of a chicken egg roll as well as some nutella & marshmallow creme pinwheels, wild blueberries and a mini bottle of soy sauce for the main course.

Published in: on May 6, 2010 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Omurice (91)

Omurice on a baguette half, red grapes, kiwi butterflies, red velvet cake, chive and onion cream cheese, black & green olives, cornichon.

The other night I made sesame chicken and fried rice for dinner. The family managed to eat all of the chicken but there’s still quite a bit of rice left so I decided to put more in today’s bento via a new treat – the omurice!

Since discovering bento I have tried a variety of recipes and items that I have seen in other bentos. The omurice is one of those items though I took some liberty by using leftovers rather than making fresh chicken fried rice for the omelette filling.

The omurice has a sriracha lattice and is on top of half a baguette. Also included in today’s ideal meal is some chive and onion cream cheese for the baguette, black and green olives, a cornichon, red grapes, kiwi butterflies and half of a Little Debbie Petite Red Velvet cake.

Three days till we move. I’m getting excited!

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Sesame Chicken (90)

Top Tier: Crackers, Brie Wedge, Red Grapes. Bottom Tier: Sesame Chicken, Chicken Fried Rice, Crab Puff.

Since we are moving, I’m trying to clear out some freezer items so we don’t have so much to take. One freezer staple is my daughter’s favorite; crab puffs.

My daughter loves these so much she will sometimes go to an Asian restaurant and order just crab puffs. Since they are so easy to make we (yes, I make her help) occasionally make a batch of them and keep them in the freezer for her to cook whenever she’s in the mood.

Though the crab puffs weren’t the main course of last night’s dinner, she thought they were and helped clear quite a few!

I managed to sneak one for today’s bento and put that with some leftover sesame chicken and chicken fried rice. To finish today’s ideal meal I have added crackers, cheese, and grapes. Delicious!

Published in: on April 27, 2010 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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