A Hinomaru Bento with Heartwarming Dishes
360 ml short-grain rice
400 ml water
Red umeboshi (pickled plum)
160 g chicken thigh
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp mirin
Powdered Sansho pepper
Black sesame seeds
1. Put the cooked rice into the bento box and set the umeboshi, a red pickled plum, on the center of the white rice. This pattern is why it's called "Hinomaru Bento."
2. For the Tamagoyaki, a Japanese rolled omelet, pour the salted beaten egg lightly, like a sheet on a frying pan, and cook with high heat. When the egg starts to set, roll it up. Add some more egg in the empty space and repeat the process.
3. (left) For the chicken teriyaki, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and marinate for 5 minutes. Coat them with potato starch. Fry the chicken and coat again with the boiled marinade. Sprinkle powdered Sansho pepper to taste.
4. (right) For a delightful touch, boil the green broccoli and fry the wiener sausage. You can cut the ends of the sausage in 6-8 small sections to make them look like an octopus. Chef Saito recommends putting eyes on the sausages using black sesame seeds.
5. For the Ham-katsu, coat the rounded ham with flour, beaten egg, and panko, twice. Deep-fry them for 4-5 minutes each. Then, cut them into quarters to make them look like folding fans!
6. Put all the dishes into a bento lunch box as you like. Chef Saito recommends wrapping the box with cloth. A Furoshiki, or Japanese wrapping cloth, is best. Now you are a Bento Master. Enjoy!