Bento no. 65: Pink, Green and Yellow Spring Bento

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Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 460 (how calories are calculated)

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

Type: Traditional Japanese

I haven't shown a full bento in quite a long time, so it's about time I did! This is one I made a week or so ago, inspired by the fresh green peas at a farmer's market. To go with the green-and-whiteness of the green pea rice, I made pink salted salmon, a favorite of mine as long time readers know; bright yellow scrambled eggs, and asparagus tips just dressed with a bit of rice vinegar and a tiny pinch of sugar. Cherry tomatoes and slivers of blanched snow peas fill the gaps, and carrot stars that I'd made and frozen previously complete the bento. A very springlike palette, don't you think?

Pink, green and yellow spring bento

I originally set out to make onigiri with the green pea rice, but they sort of fell apart because I'd mixed in too many peas into the rice! So I just packed the crumbling onigiri into cupcake liners, which worked out well.

The green pea rice will taste best if you can make it fresh in the morning, but leftovers from dinner the night before will work just as well.

Mini-recipe for asparagus with vinegar

Just sprinkle a little rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar (a vinegar with a little sweetness in other words) on the cooked asparagus, with a small pinch of sugar.

Timeline and tips

The key to making this bento in 15 minutes or so in the morning is to reuse the vegetable cooking water to cook the vegetables successively. First you do the peas, then the asparagus, then finally the snow peas. The fastest way to do this it to have two saucepans on hand with a small sieve of colander. Put the colander on top of the empty saucepan, and drain the cooked vegetables in there. The still-hot water will drain into the pan, and you can proceed to cook your next vegetable in there. Top up as needed from your electric kettle.

If you make a bunch of carrot cut-outs and boil or cook them in orange juice, you can freeze any extras. There's no need to defrost them even! Just put them in your bento, and they will have defrosted by lunchtime.

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