I always thought of bento as a creative way of packing lunch to bring along with you. Surprisingly enough, it never occurred to me that it was also a great way to share food with others. Instead of just sticking food in a plain Tupperware or take-out bag, arranging it nicely in a bento box adds flair and makes it more delightful.
We had copious amounts of food leftover from a large dinner I cooked sometime ago, so I decided to let J bring some home. We had kamameshi, a steamed rice dish that’s loaded with all sorts of yummy stuff like meat and veggies. Only, it’s not as traditional as it usually is since I cooked it in a rice cooker, instead of the cast iron kamameshi pot. For this version, I added lots of shitake mushrooms, sliced green beans and carrots. I wanted to add ground chicken as well, but J argued that we could skip it because we had two meat dishes lined-up already.
To go with it, I cooked some Gyu Asupara Maki, asparagus and beef rolls, that’s drizzled with a teriyaki like sauce. I never tire of eating it and because it’s relatively easy to prepare, I chose to cook it as my vegetable dish.
Of course, the star of the night was tonkatsu, hands down, J’s favorite Japanese dish. Incidentally, it was the first one I learned to cook, back in my mid-teens. Of course, it won’t be complete without the requisite Bulldog Tonkatsu Sauce sauce so, I made sure to pack some in a little squeeze bottle as well.
Lastly, to round the bento box off, I added a small fresh salad with iceberg lettuce, plum tomato slices, cucumber slices and ebiko (shrimp roe), drizzled with a Japanese soy and shiso (perilla) based dressing.
Sharing food has never been this pleasing to the eyes, I bet. Of course, there’s the matter of getting your bento box back, but then, there are disposable boxes you can use. I guess it’s all a matter of how you put it together. That and the generous, thoughtful act of sharing.