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 likeâ€”the absence of green is noticeableâ€”but it was a nice meal that mixed textures and flavors well. Plus, it had Singkamas! How can I not be happy with Singkamas?
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ Quail Eggs to fill in the gaps. Since I hate seeing empty spots in my bento.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ Corn in Cajun seasoning. It’s normal to put salt on corn. I figured, why not Cajun seasoning? It works 😀
Take a Tip:
Add instant cute to your bento with vegetable cutters. These steel cutters that measure from Â½ to 1 Â½ 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.