Last week, Luna joined a cooking class with renowned Japanese cooking sensei (teacher), Chisato Kamegi. Due to the popularity of her class, Luna and her friends had to reserve their seats a few months prior.
As hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) has arrived in Osaka, Luna and her friends learned the art of making bento boxes to take on a hanami picnic!
A Special Hanami Bento
The tasty and colorful hanami bento menu included many dishes, like:
- Steamed mix rice with salmon and pollock roe
- Chicken roll-ups with egg omelet with green pepper stuffing
- Skewered taro yum balls in a sweet soy glaze
- Boiled bean sprouts seasoned with red shiso
- Hijiki seaweed and tuna salad with edamame and carrots
- Burdock root with pork
- Boiled wakagobo in bonito-flavored soy sauce
Everything looked stunning and of course, the taste was also oishii!
If you’re now hungry and craving bento, you can make your own! You can be creative making your bento for yourself, or for your loved ones.
A typical Japanese bento contains rice, as well as many other dishes such as
- tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelet) *Luna’s favorite!
- karaage (Japanese fried chicken)
- broiled salmon
- hamburger steak
- kimpira (carrot and burdock root)
- hijiki seaweed salad
The taste of tamagoyaki differs in each family home, like miso soup. Some families love sweet tamagoyaki and the others like it salty. It is a very simple dish, but there is an art to it!
Let’s make Luna’s favorite, tamagoyaki.
The sweet tamagoyaki recipe is recommended for bento, as it contains sugar and therefore will last longer before it goes bad.
Cooking with Luna: Sweet Tamagoyaki
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
*For the salty tamagoyaki, adjust the ingredients slightly to ½ teaspoon of sugar and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
A tamagoyaki pan - if you don't have one, a regular pan is fine!
What to do:
- Beat the eggs with a fork or chopsticks, add the salt and continue beating.
- Mix in the mirin, sugar and soy sauce.
- Heat up a square tamagoyaki pan (you can order through Zenmarket). You can still make tamagoyaki with a regular pan, but it can be difficult to fold and roll the omelet.
- Heat the pan over a medium flame and add oil. Make sure to heat the pan, as the oil moves quicker when heater and this is very important.
- Spread the oil, then pour in about ¼ of the egg mixture. Tilt the pan to spread a thin layer of egg evenly over the pan and then let it cook until the egg is no longer runny.
- Gently begin rolling the egg from one end of the pan using a spatula. Roll it as tight as possible so that there are no air bubbles inside.
- Add a bit more oil to the pan and then pour in more of the egg mixture, lifting up the rolled egg and making sure the egg mixture gets underneath it.
- When this new layer is cooked, repeat step 6 and keep going until all your egg mixture is finished.
- When it is done, place the egg roll on a cutting board and let it cool for a few minutes before you cut it, because it is difficult to cut them nicely when it is still hot
Meshiagare (buon appetito)!
Photo credit: Just One Cookbook
When making bento, make sure you prepare and store the food properly so it won’t go bad.
What do you want to cook with Luna?! Let us know!