Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and gift-wrapped onigiri

bento_68a_500.jpg

Bento contents:

  • 3 Karaage Chicken Lollipops, each about 40g of dark chicken meat, 180 cal
  • 2 onigiri with mixed in furikake, containing about 1 1/2 cups total white rice, 360 cal
  • Boiled asparagus, 10 cal
  • Cherries, 30 cal

Total calories (approx): 580 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 10 minutes the night before; 15 minutes in the morning

Type: Japanese picnic

Here’s a picnic bento that I actually made back in May, so please forgive me for the unseasonal appearance of cherries and asparagus! It’s a very simple bento that can be eaten with your hands. For some reason I love eating without utensils when outdoors.

It has a bit more calories than the usual bentos featured here, but you need that when you’re out and about walking, hiking or bicycling. Or even when you’re just driving around the countryside snapping photos. All that oohing and aahing at the sights takes a lot of energy!

Chicken karaage lollipops and gift-wrapped onigiri bento

For this bento, I prepped the chicken lollipops the night before, and left them to marinate in my basic chicken karaage marinade overnight. Ideally you don’t want to marinade the chicken for more than an hour, which is why the lollipops came out rather dark, but the extra saltiness was fine for eating outdoors.

The onigiri are made using the plastic wrap method. Instead of filling the onigiri in the middle, I mixed in some storebought furikake (a salmon-nori mix) in the rice, at a ratio of about 1 Tbs. to 1 cup of rice, while the rice was still hot. I kept the plastic wrap on each onigiri, and tied it up with some ribbon that I took off some gift bags of cookies. It’s a simple but nice way to present onigiri, and the plastic wrap keeps them intact when you’re going to be walking or biking over rough terrain or something.

Finally, asparagus spears and fresh berries are great finger food. Right now I might use whole blanched green beans or something instead of the asparagus, and apricots or plums instead of the cherries.

You can easily make this bento more or less caloric by simply increasing or decreasing the number of onigiri and chicken pieces.

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16 comments

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Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

Not sure if my two previous comments went through...so please ignore them...:) Anyway, I was wondering where you got that lunchbox in the picture. It's adorable!

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

It's a small size SIGG lunch box (made in Switzerland) - you should be able to get it at any SIGG dealer (try Google!)

Here's a pic of it -

SIGG snack or lunch box

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

I thought the box looked familiar. I remember checking that out on Sigg not to long ago.

The lunch looks tasty. Now I want some asparagus.

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

There is a Sigg usa! Found it! Thanks!
By the way, your site was mentioned in our local Newspaper. Richmond times dispatch.
http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/lifestyles/food_cooking/article/F-BENT2...

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

Thanks for sending me that link Veron! I don't think I would have found it otherwise. I wonder why newspaper sites don't know how to do real links...grmble

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

You said above that it was dark chicken meat, but in your previous post you said that they were made with chicken wings, which is white chicken meat.

I'm sorry, but I'm confused.

I don't typically eat dark meat, (legs and thighs) only white meat (wings, backs and breasts) as I don't like the dark meat.

Can you please explain how you made them with 'dark meat'? I love the concept of the lollipops as an alternative to how to prepare chicken wings and I would definitely eat the wings, but not the dark meat and the bento look so appealing!
Help?
Cherie

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

Hi Cactus Witch. I think that the wing itself counts as dark meat, not white meat, in terms of texture, nutritional value (mainly the fat content); the only ‘white meat’ on a bird is the breast meat, which is lower in fat and so on than the thighs, legs and wings. Wings may be a bit confusing since they are often cut with a bit of the breast meat attached. I see that there is some confusion as to whether the wing is dark or white on the internets - some people regard ‘all the upper parts’ as white meat, lower parts (legs) as dark, etc. FWIW here is a nutritional breakdown per 100 grams of uncooked meat:

  • Chicken thighs, with skin: 211 calories, 15.2g fat, 4.4g saturated fat, 17.3g protein
  • Chicken thighs, w/o skin: 119 calories, 3.9g fat, 1.0g sat. fat, 19.6g protein

  • Chicken wings, with skin: 222 calories, 16.0g fat, 4.5g sat. fat, 18.3g protein

  • Chicken wings, w/o skin: 126 calories, 3.5g fat, 0.9g sat. fat, 22g protein

  • Chicken breast, with skin: 172 calories, 9.2g fat, 2.7g sat. fat, 20.9g protein

  • Chicken breast, w/o skin: 110 calories, 1.2g fat, 0.3g sat. fat, 23.1g protein

(source: Calorie King software, which uses the USDA database)

As you can see nutritionally wings are fairly close to thighs. In terms of flavor…I guess people differ there!

So anyway the lollipops use wings…whether they are white or dark meat for you (as I said to me they are dark meat) they are still wings!

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

I agree about the confusion but in the USA, which is where I'm from, chicken is sold in various restaurants (KFC for example) in packs (white and dark) and the dark meat is always legs and thighs and the white meat is always breast, wings and backs.

In Australia where I live now, most Australians classify all parts of the chicken as 'white meat' but a few (those that have been to the USA) classify the meat as I have done above, which is the same way KFC classifies it and all other chicken franchises do as well in the USA.

Regardless of how you choose to put it, as long as they are wings I would eat them!
Thanks for responding!
Cherie

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

I strongly dislike asparagus X:
But I would eat that two or three times in a row! WITH the asparagus included!

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

Your bentos remind me of my mom's when I was going to grammar school.. I miss those days! I miss the bentos!

Oishii-so!

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

A nice picture that makes me hungry! The count of calories for chicken with or without skin is amazing.

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

Lovely looking bento; I especially like the idea of the onigiri in tied wrap. Makes me sad to see asparagus though; I want some but the season is all but over! :( At least I ate plenty while it was around. Seasonality is a bind, but it definitely makes you appreciate foods more. :)

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

So yummy!! I am always hungry whenever I read just bento blog!!

Bento-making for school

I've been reading your blog for a while, and I LOVE your site! Cooking is my passion, and I've recently gotten into Japanese cooking as a result of being a manga fan. I've made a few bentos this summer, and I really enjoy it.

I'll be going into 9th grade this year, and I'd really like to keep making bentos to bring to school. The problem is, I'm the only bento lover in the family, and it's hard to buy a lot of ingredients just for bento-making with all of the other stuff we need. Also, I'm concerned about making time for bentos when I have to work on homework. This is going to be especially hard this year, since I'll have to get used to high school life. Plus, I'm involved a lot with theatre at school, so some nights I get home pretty late from practice. Any tips?

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

Wow! It looks great. It appeals to both my eyes and my stomach. Definitely a bento hit!

Re: Bento no. 68: Picnic bento with chicken lollipops and ...

This bento looks great and picnic food is what I'm looking for. I've been following your blog via email for almost a year and love it. I miss getting a recipe all the time in light of recent contests but its still great!

I was wondering what type of picnic food could you bring to a potluck type event. I'm going to a Japanese Cultural festival this Sunday and am suppose to bring a dish to pass but it is a picnic.

What can I bring that will feed a crowd and still be authentic?

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