Saturday, June 27, 2015

Steak and Tamagoyaki Bento

Tomorrow is my bento demonstration at the Sonoma Marin Fair! I hope you can make it. I will be at the Chef's Tent at noon, showing you how to make a bento with both traditional, Japanese style foods, and with non-Asian foods. Here is my latest bento:

In this bento: sauteed zucchini and carrots, tamagoyaki rolled omelette, steak with pickled onions over rice, slices of cucumber (from a coworker's garden!), Hi-Chew candies, and a tangerine. I used a bit of cabbage as a baran (separator) between the zucchini and the tamagoyaki. 

Here is a recipe for Tamagoyaki:


1 egg
¼ teaspoon soy sauce
1 small pinch sugar
Oil for pan


Whisk together egg, soy sauce, and sugar in a bowl. Heat a small non-stick pan over medium low heat. When hot, add about ½ teaspoon oil (you can also substitute a little bit of butter if you prefer). Twirl pan to coat with oil. Add about ½ of the egg mixture. Tilt the pan to make sure the egg mixture coats the bottom of the pan. Allow the egg mixture to cook until mostly set, then use a rubber spatula to carefully roll the egg over itself, rolling until the egg is on one side of the pan. Add the remaining egg to the pan, allow to cook for a moment, and then roll the omelette back over the rest of the egg mixture to complete the omelette. You can flip it a few times to make sure the egg is cooked through. Remove from pan. Allow to cool (I usually put it on a paper towel and then put it in the refrigerator while I am assembling the rest of my lunch). When ready to add the omelette to your lunch, slice into preferred sizes, and place into your lunch box (bento box). Makes one serving. 

I hope to see you at the Sonoma Marin Fair tomorrow!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Beets and Sausage Bento

I used more of the delicious items from my weekend trip to the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market in today's bento. I roasted one of the chioggia beets from Singing Frogs Farm in a 425 degree oven, wrapped in foil, for about 45 minutes. I sliced big chunks of it and then cut those chunks with cookie cutters to make the flower shaped beet slices in this bento.

Also in this bento: beet greens, rice, Texas Style Hot Links from Franco's One World Sausages, sugar snap peas, and cherries. The little seeds in the middle of the beet are black sesame seeds.

I also sauteed the beet greens with olive oil, garlic, and shallots as a bed for the beets. After the greens were done, I squeezed a bit of lemon juice on them, then tossed them with a bit of crumbled Point Reyes blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and chopped Italian orange peel. Italian orange peel is preserved orange peel, similar to candied fruits you might find in a fruitcake. But not disgusting, ha ha. 

A big ol pile of assorted beets at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market.

I hope you will join me on June 28th at the Sonoma Marin Fair for my bento demonstration. It will be at noon and I will show you how to pack a bento, and I will also have a starter bento kit for a lucky member of the audience. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Steak and Berries Bento

I headed to the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market this morning to stock up on delicious spring foods. It's been a while since I've been, and it was a homecoming of sorts, seeing lots of faces I haven't seen in a while. Jill is back, and now she is part of the team behind Beet Generation. And Les was there with his wonderful salad mix. And I got some great strawberries, asparagus, and shallots from Tom. Of course I always check the One World Sausage stand to see what delicious sausages Franco has, and it was wonderful to see Dennis at the booth. I also saw Dominique setting up her booth with lots of sweet baked goods. I really missed my friends at the Market!

My bento today was filled with delicious foods from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market. There's rice with some grilled steak topped with a few tiny sprigs of green garlic, strawberries from Tom at Armstrong Valley Farm, cherries (the gentleman who sold them to me says he and his family come to the Bay Area during cherry season and stay from Tuesday to Saturday in different hotels, then travel three and a half hours home. He says it is tough, but it is worth it for the relatively short cherry season), oven roasted asparagus from Tom, radishes, tamagoyaki egg omelette, and a little container of homemade marinade for the rice and steak.

Whenever I buy strawberries, I always think of a tip from my friend Marcy. She says you should dip the strawberries in hot tap water for 30 seconds, then dry them and put them in the fridge. They will last up to 3 days longer with this method. Apparently it kills the bacteria on the berries. Check out Marcy's book Snacks for more cool facts!

Baskets of delicious cherries from the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market. Heads up: I will be hosting a chef demonstration about bento at the Sonoma Marin Fair in Petaluma on Sunday, June 28th at noon! I hope you can make it to learn more tips on how to prepare bento using seasonal ingredients. 

Have a great day!