Thursday, August 7, 2008

Last Day to vote for your favorite Bento!!

Dear Bento packers, friends and visitors,

You have approximately 24 hours more to vote for your favorite Bento! Please cast your vote if you have not done so. Your opinion is important!

We have a very close competition between three Bento packers on the poll and your vote may be the one that will emerge the winner!

All you need to do is vote for your favorite Bento out of the thirteen listed here!

Please do not procrastinate because there is no time left!

May the best Bento win!!

All purpose Dashi

Dashi is the most basic ingredient necessary for many Japanese recipes. I make dashi at least two or three times a week depending on how often I cook. There are various qualities of dashi and it can get more gourmet by adding Shiitake mushrooms and anchovies, etc, etc.

I've made a slide show on how to make an all purpose dashi. Personally, I never use packaged dashi because nothing beats fresh dashi. Once you know how to make it, it becomes very easy and becomes an asset in the kitchen because you can use it to cook in so many ways.

The ingredients are:

2 litres of cold water
2 inch kombu - wipe with a wet cloth, do not wash
One and a half cup of katsuobushi

  • Soak kombu in cold water for 15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes, the kombu will double up in size.
  • Bring water and soaked kombu to an almost boil (about 7 minutes).
  • Do not boil kombu in the water because it will give a bitter or awkward taste.
  • Once the water has almost come to a boil, remove the kombu.
  • Pour the one and a half cup of dashi into the hot water.
  • Bring to boil and switch off the fire immediately.
  • Skim of scum if any.
  • After 15 minutes, sieve dashi into another pot.
  • Use as required or keep in a Tupperware in the fridge. Can keep up to one week.

Click to play All purpose Dashi
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BENTO #119

Was busy the whole day. Didn't really have much time to post this bento.

I julienned some raw carrots, cucumber and turnip ("Bangkuang" - read in Malay). For added flavor, I fried a slab of Salmon and mashed it up, mixed them all up with the raw vegetables and stuffed them all into some Abura-age. I wanted to give #2 some chili sauce but she declined.

Below, you can see the julienned vegetables and mashed Salmon.

Here is the stuffed Abura-age close up.

I fried some Tamagoyaki and added some wakame and bits of pickled Chinese turnip ("Choy Poh" - read in Cantonese or "Chai Por" - in Hokkien). See the close up in this picture below.

The complete Bento box contains of 2 pieces of stuffed Abura-age with mashed Salmon and veggies, some blanched baby French beans, Tamagoyaki fried with pickled Chinese turnip and wakame, an orange and some Hijiki simmered with carrots (frozen stock).

A bland variety of flavors with an orange to save the day!


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