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31 July 2006 @ 09:00 pm

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27 July 2006 @ 06:11 pm
Some of you may be wondering if I've abandoned this journal since I haven't posted a new bento or recipe in several weeks. Rest assured, I'm still here! :-) However, some recent medical issues have resulted in my doctor suggesting I try a wheat-free diet for several months. This is not as restrictive as a gluten-free diet, which is followed by people with coeliac (celiac) disease, but it's still having a major impact on my meal-planning and bento-making (after all, what's the main ingredient in most kinds of soy sauce? Wheat, of course!).

There will be a shiny new wheat-free bento posted on Monday. Until then, if anyone out there has any wheat-free recipe suggestions, I'd be pleased to hear about them in the comments!
10 July 2006 @ 08:01 pm

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09 July 2006 @ 05:46 pm
I was making tonight's/tomorrow's bento when I realized that I hadn't posted my tempura recipe, as I'd promised in my last entry. Oops! Here it is, finally :-)

1 cup ice water
1 cup plain flour
1 egg
assorted sliced vegetables (e.g. carrot, sweet potato, zucchini) and/or uncooked fish (e.g. any white fish, prawns)
oil for shallow frying
sea salt or Japanese seven-spice

Set the wok to medium-high heat. (This varies depending on the type of wok, but the instruction manual should indicate the appropriate setting for shallow frying.) Meanwhile, beat the egg and mix with the water. Add the flour, stirring to combine without overmixing. When the wok has reached the correct temperature, add the oil to a depth of several inches. Dredge about 4 vegetable pieces in the tempura batter, then drop into the hot oil. As they become crisp, they'll float to the top. Remove when they start to turn a light brown, and place on absorbent paper. Repeat with remaining vegetable and fish pieces in batches of 4, cooking the fish last. If using prawns, insert skewers along the spines before putting them into the wok to ensure they don't curl up when cooked. Sprinkle with sea salt or Japanese seven-spice to serve.
02 July 2006 @ 08:13 pm

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18 June 2006 @ 08:22 pm

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11 June 2006 @ 12:40 pm
Yesterday I took a cooking class at Kei's Kitchen, where we learned to cook a traditional seven-course kaiseki meal. There were nine of us in the class, including me. We arrived just before 10:00 and were greeted with hot cups of green tea, which we drank while getting acquainted with each other around Kei's dining room table. We then spent the first 15 minutes going over the "early winter" menu that we'd be cooking, with Kei and her daughter Masako drawing our attention to any special cooking techniques or unusual ingredients we'd be using.

Kaiseki menu & photos!Collapse )
06 June 2006 @ 07:56 pm

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04 June 2006 @ 08:24 pm
Inspired by the soup-bowl-style bentos I've been seeing around lately, I decided to come up with a recipe that would be suitable for one. I cheated a bit and packed mine in a round Tupperware container - I'm still hunting for just the right bento box - but it still tasted great and was easy to prepare, too!

½ bundle (45 g) soba noodles, cooked and drained
carrot, sliced and cut into flower shapes
1 tbsp green onion, finely chopped
1 tsp dried wakame
2 tbsp tofu cubes, fried
2-3 shiitake mushrooms
¼ tsp garlic, finely chopped
1½ tbsp white miso paste, rolled into a ball
1 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 drops sesame oil
powdered dashi stock

Arrange the soba noodles, carrot, green onion, wakame, tofu, mushrooms, garlic, and miso ball in a round bento or Tupperware container. Combine the soy sauce and sesame oil and pour into a small plastic container (e.g., plastic bottle, fish, or pig) that will fit inside the bento. When ready to eat, add boiling water, the soy/sesame mixture, and a pinch of dashi stock, and stir well to combine.
22 May 2006 @ 05:57 pm

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