Bento no. 13: Mixed-noodle pasta with pepper confit and wiener flowers

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Bento contents:

  • Mixed capellini (angel hair) and shirataki noodles, about 1 cup cappellini cooked + 1/2 cup shirataki (220 calories)
  • Sweet pepper and onion confit, about 1 cup (120 calories)
  • 1 1/2 wiener sausages (200 calories)
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste (25 calories)
  • Broccoli florets (negligible)

Total calories (approx.): 565 calories (how calories are calculated)

Type: Japanese, novelty

Using any kind of processed meat product is not exactly the healthiest option, but they are convenient. I tried to keep it as healty as possible by getting a fairly additive-free variety from our local butcher. They are rather pale and fleshly looking uncooked because they don’t have a lot of coloring added, but do cook up to look quite nice. I used 3 wieners for 2 bentos, or 1 1/2 per bento.

I’ve used a couple of tricks in this bento:

  • Using a staple item I made earlier, the Sweet pepper and onion confit
  • Mixing some almost-no-calorie shirataki noodles with the capellini or angel hair pasta. I could have used shirataki only, as I did in Bento no. 3, but I wanted some carbs to fill me up for a long walk later that day. Adding shirataki gives the illusion that I am eating a pretty full plate of pasta, and is very filling. It adds some fiber too.
  • Using colorful vegetables (the pepper-onion confit, plus the broccoli florets) for looks as well as nutrition.

The flower-shaped wieners do take time to make. It took me about 15 minutes to make 4 of them. So you need to add this to your calculations. If you just cut up the wieners instead this bento can be made quite comfortably within 15 minutes. Allow 30 minutes at least with the flowers. (Step-by-step directions for the wiener flowers.)

Ingredients

Per bento:

  • A small handful of angel hair pasta or capellini (if you weight it allow for 2 oz / about 60g dry per person)
  • A small bag of shirataki noodles
  • 1 cup of pepper and onion confit
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste, or ketchup
  • 1 1/2 wiener sausages (3 for 2 bentos)
  • Some broccoli florets
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tabasco (optional)

Equipment

  • 1 pan big enough to hold the noodles
  • 1 large non-stick frying or sauté pan
  • Kitchen scissors (optional)
  • Electric water kettle
  • Colander
  • Sharp knife and cutting board

Steps

  1. Cut up your wieners into small slices, or make the flowers.
  2. Boil water in the kettle.
  3. Put the boiled water in the pan to cook the noodles. (Boil another kettleful if needed.) Turn heat up to high.
  4. Open the shirataki bag, and cut up the noodles a bit with the scissors (or drain and cut it up with a knife in your board.) Rinse well under hot running water.
  5. Put some salt, both pastas and broccoli florets in the pan with the boiling water. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Heat up the large frying pan. Add the cut-up wieners or the bits left over from the flowers.
  7. Add the pepper-onion confit and the tomato paste.
  8. Drain the pasta, and add to the frying pan. Mix well, and taste for seasoning. Add salt, pepper, Tabasco etc. as needed.
  9. Put into bento box. For aesthetic purposes you may want to arrange some of the broccoli florets on the surface. Top with the wiener flowers if you made them.
  10. Let cool a bit and close up.

Timeline

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(Click on the timeline for a bigger view.)

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2 comments

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Eaten hot or room temp?

Is this a bento you would reheat or eat at room temperature? I like spaghetti reheated, but I have rarely used noodles in my bento because it seems less appetizing to eat them at room temperature.

good question

Mer, all of the bentos presented here, unless noted otherwise, are designed to be eaten at room temperature/cold. That’s because that’s just the way bentos are meant to be eaten traditionally. But I guess I should address that subject in a bit more depth soon.

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