Mini Onigiri & Singkamas with Kiamoy Powder Bento


The rainy season is beginning in Manila, so it’s much much harder to get up from bed in the mornings. Luckily for me, I was able to prepare half of my bento last night, so I only had the vegetable layer to put together. It’s not as colorful as I’d like—the absence of green is noticeable—but it was a nice meal that mixed textures and flavors well. Plus, it had Singkamas! How can I not be happy with Singkamas?

Mini Onigiri and Singkamas with Kiamoy Powder Bento

Bento #127 • 29 May 2007

Top Tier:
• Pepper Spam topped Mini Onigiri. The onigiri was made by hand-rolling cooked Koshihikari rice then topping it with Pepper Spam that has been fried after cutting.

• Quail Eggs to fill in the gaps. Since I hate seeing empty spots in my bento.

Bottom Tier:
• Singkamas slices. Singkamas is the Filipino name of the Jicama, a very refreshing root crop. Jicamas can be used as an ingredient for cooked dishes like spring rolls, or it can also be eaten raw. To eat raw, simply peel the papery skin with a knife or a vegetable peeler, wash, then slice. Raw Jicamas are very crunchy with a texture close to raw apples. It has a very bland taste but it’s all right since its strength lies in how refreshing it is. Chill it after slicing and you have the perfect summer munchy.

• Grapes.

• A Hello Kitty container of red Kiamoy powder. Red Kiamoy powder is a sweet, sour, and salty powder version of Kiamoy, a Chinese dried plum candy. I brought it for dipping the singkamas in. Like the powder, Kiamoy has a very intense flavor. Putting it in your mouth whole will definitely make it pucker up so you’ll end up looking like Kiamoy yourself. Intensity-wise, it reminds me of its close relative, the Umeboshi aka. Japanese pickled plum. Curious about Kiamoy? Check out this entry from Market Manila to see how it looks like.

Kiamoy Powder

• Corn in Cajun seasoning. It’s normal to put salt on corn. I figured, why not Cajun seasoning? It works 😀

Take a Tip:

TIP: Vegetable Cutters

Add instant cute to your bento with vegetable cutters. These steel cutters that measure from ½ to 1 ½ inches are available at Asian stores, 100-Yen stores, and online. To use, simply slice your vegetables to the desired thickness, then punch away. Its use is not limited to vegetables. You can also use it for processed meat, eggs, cookie dough, bread slices, and more. I’ve even used mine as stencils. Just place it on top of the surface you want to decorate then sprinkle your powder inside. Try to get stainless steel ones as not all plastic cookie cutters work with thicker vegetable slices.

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17 Responses to Mini Onigiri & Singkamas with Kiamoy Powder Bento

  1. Naomi says:

    wow!!! i didn’t know there were cutters like that!!!

    • kaoko says:

      I didn’t even have an idea they were for veggies! We’ve had a set lying around since I was small. I always used the set for making cookies. Only when I finally got into this bento thing did I learn that they’re actually for vegetables, as shown by my various Japanese cookbooks. No wonder they were sharper than the usual cookie cutters.

  2. Tony Lou says:

    Where did you buy the kiamoy powder? i want to try singkamas with kiamoy powder. i could already see myself looking like a kiamoy. hehe!

    • kaoko says:

      Some Chinese medicine and sundries store in Virramall. It’s behind Watsons and is not DEC but I’m sure DEC has it too. I last saw some at Binondo but I’m sure other Chinese stores have it as well. A friend once told me it had therapeutic uses too. I’ve no idea as to its veracity but who cares? It’s yummy!

  3. Brandi says:

    My family loves jicama too! A squeeze of lemon makes them even better/more refreshing. I also like the with a bit of this Mexican chile powder blend that is easy to find in grocery stores here in California, but apparently impossible to find on the net!

    • kaoko says:

      I haven’t tried it with lemon yet but I have tried it with a bit of vinegar. I’m on the fence regarding vinegar, but since lemon has a fruitier sourness, I think I’d like it better. One way to find out 😀

      Any idea what’s in that Chile powder blend? It never occurred to me to try Jicamas with something spicy, but then, eating it with Kiamoy powder was something I only learned to do in college. Maybe it’s time to go spicy 😀

  4. Brandi says:

    Well this is the stuff (why I didn’t think to google Mexican grocery first, I have no idea).

    http://www.mexgrocer.com/8950.html

    You can see on the label that it’s used as a flavoring for many fruits and veggies, including jicama! Ingredients show it as just powdered chile peppers and salt, but it may have some citric acid in it as well.

  5. aloi says:

    just found your blog, and linked you up right away! (hope you dont mind …) i’ve always loved bento, i think you are the first manila-based japanese cuisine focused blog i’ve come across. keep it up, and more power to your yummy yummy blog.

  6. lalalady7 says:

    even though I knew this procedure I love ur new step by step instructions! I dont know if i could ever do that lol

    • kaoko says:

      Step-by-step instructions are useful in showing people how easy it really is so I try to include them when I have time. That way, world domina spreading the food love is easily done 😀

  7. Pingback: Bento 130 Teriyaki Fish Bento | bento, restos & recipes at http://www.kitchencow.com

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  9. dondon says:

    hi! just wanted to know the procedure and ingredients in making a delicious homemade kiamoy.

    • kaoko says:

      I’m sorry but I have no idea. I’ve always bought them pre-made. All I know is that they’re from plums, but my knowledge stops there. Sorry. :(

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