Bento recipe cookbook

Caramelised red cabbage and onion

This recipe was kindly given to me by the chef at a café where I had dinner a wee while ago. It was a garnish on a plate of paté and bread, and totally delicious. I thought it'd make an excellent bento dish. Quite closely related to Maki's cooked to death peppers.

1/2 red cabbage, sliced finely
1 red onion, sliced finely
1 tsp garlic, chopped finely
1/2 tsp fresh chili, chopped finely
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup cider (or red wine) vinegar
1/3 cup ginger wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup redcurrant jelly

Method continue reading...

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls (not fried)

My kids and husband really like these in their bentos and they are great way to use up small quantities of cooked food. These are spring rolls made with fresh ingredients and not the fried variety. Here is how I do them:

Spring Rolls wrappers - can be found at Asian markets. I like the medium size which is about 8 inches in diameter.

Glass noodles (also called cellophane or bean thread noodles; look for the thinnest ones)

Filling: can anything really, there is usually a meat and a leafy green. Here are some combinations we like:

Smoked Chicken
Fresh basil leaves continue reading...

Cheeseburger Musubi

Spam musubi are popular around our house, but I had an idea to add a little variety.

ground beef
short-grained rice, cooked
American cheese slices
dill pickle, diced and well-drained (optional)
onion, diced (optional)

I used the musubi mold to make thin (1/2" thick) hamburger patties.
Season (I used Montreal Steak Seasoning), then fry. They'll shrink some as they cook, so when you flip them press down on the patties with the spatula to spread them out a little bit. When done, set on paper towels to drain well. continue reading...

Spicy Baked Tofu

Born out of laziness and the unbearable heat we had last weekend. I decided that I could only handle making one thing at night using heat in my cracker-box apartment for my bento prep for the week, so this is what I went for:

Spicy Baked Tofu
-1 block of drained and pressed firm Tofu, thinly sliced
-5 Tablespoons of Dark Soy Sauce
-2 Tablespoons of Sriracha
-1 Tablespoon of dried Red Pepper
-2 Tablespoons of Lime Juice
****Note: This very spicy, if you don't like that much heat add less Sriracha and Red Pepper or more Lime Juice**** continue reading...

Beetroot and bean korokke recipe

Here's a korokke recipe that I invented (or at least I didn't get it from anywhere, which doesn't mean that somebody else didn't think of it before!).

I'm entering this as part of the vegetarian bento contest.

Right, to the recipe itself!

Two medium-size beetroot
200g cannellini beans (cooked; I had mine out of a tin)
One egg, beaten
Panko continue reading...

Potato & Tuna Pudding

Another recipe from my mother. Yeah, she is a GREAT cook!

This can be eaten during the whole year: you can eat it either cold or ready made. But it's perfect for summer and you can have it in your bento :) And it's also easily made. This recipe goes to taste, you can add more tuna or more garlic if you want.
You'll need:

- 3 or 4 big size potatoes
- 1 can of tuna
- 1 garlic clove
- olive oil
- Mayo
- 1 egg, beaten

- 1 oven pot (better if it's not metallic).
- your oven!

- Preheat the oven (like 180º will be ok)
- Boil and peel the potatoes.
- Grat the garlic. continue reading...

Prune & Chestnut Stuffing Ball Recipe

I'm entering this for the May vegetarian competition. Photos and expanded instructions here.

100 g peeled roast chestnuts
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped finely
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped finely
a little milk (or vege stock to make vegan)
4 prunes, quartered

Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F)
Process all ingredients except the milk and prunes in a food processor, until the mixture has the texture of fine breadcrumbs. continue reading...

Cauliflower salad

My friend Stacey's recipe. continue reading...