Monday, 30 May 2011

Festive Sushi Bento


The last few weeks I have been very much into sushi. After work I quite regularly visited Maruyasu, a chain-sushi restaurant, located in Frankfurt Hauptwache. I really like the rice there, very well-cooked and seasoned. I wrote a bit about the bento boxes that they sell here.

Maybe some of you still remember my older post about a current bento contest which is held by two Italian blogs, Kitty's Kitchen and Semplicimente Pepe Rosa and that it is going to be over quite soon - Thursday, 2nd June...!





I've thought about participating, so here's the bento box meal which I want to enter to the contest: sushi bento. Overall, I quite like the festive mood of this bento box, but I find the piggy temari sushi (ball-shaped sushi) too red - I guess, I used too much beet juice :(.





I made some temari sushi (ball-shaped sushi) and maki sushi (rolled sushi). The piggy shaped temari sushi is filled with prawn tempura and mayonnaise and the three temari sushi behind some maki sushi are sushi rice and prawn tempura wrapped in kimchi leaves and fastened with a string of green onion. The two little piggies sitting on top of the kimchi temari sushi are made out of quail eggs which are tinted with red beet juice. The ears and snouts are made out of deli meat and the eyes and nose holes of nori. The rosy cheeks are chili sauce.

I made three different types of maki sushi: prawn tempura maki sushi (of course, because I simply ADORE prawn tempura...!), chasu maki sushi and chicken teriyaki maki sushi.


Basic Sushi Rice
  • 3 cups short grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • a pinch of salt
Instructions
  • Wash the rice until the water almost runs clear.
  • Cook the rice/water mixture in a rice cooker.
  • Make the vinegar/sugar/salt mixture in a separate bowl.
  • When the rice is cooked, pour in the vinegar mixture and gently mix the rice.
Prawn Tempura
  • Prawns,
  • 1/2 cup cold (non-dark) beer /cold soda water
  • 1/2 rice flour
  • 1/2 tbs oyster sauce
(You can also use Tempura instant mix instead of making your own tempura batter)

Instructions

  • Whisk cold beer, oyster sauce and rice flour in a bowl.
  • Coat the prawns with flour before dipping them in the tempura batter mixture.
  • Deep fry for 12 seconds.

Simple Chicken Teriyaki

  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 100-150 ml of soy sauce
  • 2 tbs sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
  • 2 tbs sake
  • 4 tbs mirin
  • A slice of ginger
Instructions
  • Oil your skillet, add chicken breasts.
  • When the chicken breasts are slightly brown on both sides, add all the other ingredients.
  • When the sauce thickens, you can turn off the heat.
  • Slice before serving.

Kimchi
  • 2 Napa cabbages
  • App. 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour (if you don't have this, change with tapioca flour or normal all purpose-flour)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4-6 cups hot pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fish sauce
  • 1 cup minced garlic
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 tbs sambal oelek (optional)
  • 1 cup green onions, cut into 7 cm pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
Instructions
  • Soak the cabbage pieces in water, drain and transfer them to a big bowl.
  • Sprinkle the cabbage with salt. Make sure all sides are salted.
  • Turn over the cabbage pieces every 30 minutes. This process takes 1.5 hours.
  • After 1.5 hours, rinse the cabbage in water - make sure you get rid of the salt covering the cabbage. Drain and set aside.
  • Kimchi paste: combine the glutinous rice flour and water together and mix it well. Cook this mixture under medium heat. You have to keep stirring (very important) until it gets thick and somehow sticky and translucent like glue.
  • Transfer this mixture into a bowl.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Add fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, minced garlic, ginger and onion.
  • Add sambal oelek, green onions and carrots. Mix everything well. Keep tasting the paste, and adjust to your liking.
  • The last thing to do is to add the cabbage pieces into the kimchi paste.
  • Mix, mix, mix...and your kimchi is ready! Keep it in an airtight container and save it in the fridge until you want to savour it another time...:)!

Chasu (Japanese BBQ pork)
You can find the original recipe in Nami's wonderful website - Just One Cookbook
  • 250 - 300 grams pork belly
  • 1 tablespoon dashi powder
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-2 inches ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk spring onion, sliced
Instructions
  • Cut the pork belly into 6 cm pieces and rub with dashi powder.
  • Brown the pork belly pieces in a non-stick pan.
  • While browning the pork belly, pour water, soy sauce, sake, sugar, ginger and spring onions to a saucepan.
  • Transfer the browned pork belly pieces to the saucepan. Cook the meat over medium heat and when it starts to simmer, lower the heat and continue cooking (and occasionally turning the meat) until the liquid is almost gone.
  • When bubbles start to appear, you'll notice that the liquid starts to caramelise and gets slightly sticky. You can turn off the heat now.
  • Cut the meat into thin slices and serve.



Besides sushi, there are also two cheese daisies, deli meat sakura flowers, two pieces of radish, four baby carrots, two pieces of strawberries and a piece of grape.

Now, last but not least, I'd like to say thank you to LynTrinix for bestowing me with these two awards below....:D). She has been most kind and one of the most supportive bento friends I have. Thank you, Lyn, I am deeply honoured to get these awards from you :)!





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30 comments:

  1. I love your Bento, CG! Good luck in the contest! ;) Actually, I am not that familiar with bento making, but perhaps I am gonna join this contest too, since it sounds like a lot of fun :D
    Just have to check if I have enough time ^^

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  2. Hi and nice to meet you!
    Thank you for participating in our contest. Your bento is beautiful and the little pig is so cute! :)
    Auf wiedersehen!

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  3. hmm beautyful. I must admit i would have problems to eat something that pretty O.o and thx for the how-to-do!

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  4. Wow. I am in awe of your creativity and patience! Good luck with the contest, I'm sure you'll do great!

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  5. Hi CG! All the best for your contest! This sushi bento looks great for it! :D
    Love those little quail eggs piggies (u're always that gd with the eggs!)
    Congrats on your awards and tks for all your lovely compliments for me! ^.^
    Good Luck! :D

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  6. This is fantastic! You are so creative when it comes to Bento!

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  7. Oh, this just looks too adorable. You are very creative.

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  8. Your contest submission looks amazing! Good luck!

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  9. Wow, this one is soooooo elaborate! I can't believe how many different things you put into there, AND you made it look so cute! :D

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  10. Amazing bento! I wanted to go to that contest too, but I may have no time... I may just have to enjoy looking at all your lovely bento instead!

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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  11. Ohhh I would definitely vote for you! I love this bento... it looks perfect to me! I adore your piggy temari sushi... it doesn't look too red to me, it is just adorable! Good luck/in bocca al lupo (as we say in Italian) for the bento contest!

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  12. Congrats on the award! Well deserved. Hope you went the bento boxes too! Very cute bento, the pigs are the perfect color :)

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  13. Just stopped by to tell you that you have some awards waiting for you by my fruit salad http://www.gourmetfashion.net/2011/05/spring-fruit-salad-bowl.html

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  14. the little piggies are adorable! and it think its great u use natural coloring. a work of art

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  15. Love this bento so much, looks delicious and cute. Amazing!!!

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  16. Your bentos look very cute and too good to eat :)

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  17. This bento is super! Very cute and delicious! Thank you very much for partecipate to our contest! Have a nice week! :)
    Elisa

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  18. Wishing all the best! 1 vote from me for sure!

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  19. Oh I've missed your amazing posts. This just looks so good! You have such talent!

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  20. Your piggies are awesome especially the quail egg ones! I think you should enter this bento into a bento contest because it's a work of art!

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  21. Hi CG! Your sushi bento looks awesome! And thank you so much for the link back to Just One Cookbook as well (always very polite and I appreciate it). Good luck with the contest. I believe in you!!! ;-)

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  22. Oh my, you're a fabulous maker ever. These look just so cuteeeeeeee..... :o) Hope you're having a great day ahead, dear.
    Kristy

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  23. Your bento is even more impressing when you put all the instructions... It would take me a whole day and of course would end up in a total mess, instead of a cute bento.
    Prawn tempura in kimchi leaves sounds fantastic! (By the way, thank you for the prawn "straigthening" tip. I keep on trying this and it never works... Maybe I don't dare squashing the shrimp hard enough?, anyway thanks for the answer!)

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  24. This is a perfect picnic bento CG, good luck with the contest :D

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  25. cute bento, good luck with the contest
    drücke dir die Daumen ^_^
    grüsse bento mania

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  26. Pretty, pretty, and yummy too! Love it!
    BTW, I separated my Bento page :)
    http://boxedmeal.blogspot.com/

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  27. I adore yours Bentos dear always look amazing and beauty!!! xxgloria

    http://canelakitchen.blogspot.com

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  28. Danke dir. ^-^ So gut wie deine sind sie aber bei weitem nicht. XD Da kann man schon ein bisschen neidisch sein. ;) Aber ich werde mich anstrengen. :3
    Dir auch viel Glück, ich bin sicher, dass du gewinnen wirst. ;3

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  29. you truly deserved the beautiful blog award! everything looks amazingly beautiful!!

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