Wednesday 21st July
After a late shift at work I arrived home at 8pm on Tuesday. My father had prepared supper but we still had a few details of my parents’ trip to finalise and at 10:15pm we waved them off on their big Scandinavian adventure. I went straight to bed with my daughter. This morning the little one spent most of the time sleeping rather than feeding from me in her usual ‘standby mode’ giving me a bit of extra time - just enough to have a glorious bath. My husband had prepared some white rice the night before in the rice cooker. Tier 1 Stir fried rice bento with douban jiang Tier 2 marinaded cucumber pieces, finely sliced raw cabbage and kimchi Time taken 20 minutes I had half an aubergine, a courgette, two fat spring onions, a small green pepper, garlic and some preboiled potato pieces left over from Tuesday’s supper. Apart from the potatoes, I cut the vegetables up, threw them in a hot wok with a little canola/rapeseed oil (the pepper pieces first so that they would cook thoroughly), and once the vegetables had started to brown I added some finely chopped douban jiang (a generous tablespoon) and the potato pieces. Once stirred through I added about two cups of cooked white rice and mixed the ingredients together. Once mixed, I shifted the rice aside, added a couple of tablespoons of bottled concentrated dashi (you could use the powdered stuff or any other powdered stock or buillon), added a drained can of tuna, mixed again and then stirred through a tablespoon of tomato ketchup for the sweetness. Once cooled a little I made up a bento tier with this rice. The cucumber I sliced thinly, salted, left for 5 minutes then rinsed and squished it dry. Then I added it to a marinade made of lime juice, fish sauce garlic and a spoonful of sweet chilli sauce and left it for 15 minutes. I finely sliced a couple of leaves of green cabbage. To make up a second bento tier I placed the shredded cabbage inside and topped this with the marinaded cucumber and added some packet kimchi on the side.