Monday, December 3, 2012

Bento #4: Mini Lamb Meatballs, Steamed Carrots and Napa Cabbage Stems, and Black Gomoku Onigiri

Sorry I missed a couple blogs.  I had been ill and had a ton of doctor appointments and did not have the time or energy to write.  But now I am feeling a bit better, and can sit down today with a cup of Red Zinger tea and write about today's bento. 

This is my favorite mug.                         
This morning I made the bento was made of left overs from last night.  Mini lamb cabbage rolls, steamed carrots and napa cabbage stems (left over from wrapping the cabbage rolls), and black gomoku onigiri. 
I added a couple Lipton blackberry tea bags (we are trying to stop drinking soda pop).  I do not see it on their website, but here is a link to it just in case you want to shop.
Okay, onto the food!
This was a one level bento.  I used the bento sized mini cabbage rolls recipe from Just Bento. I can not express how much I love that site and her sister site Just Hungry!!  The recipe on just bento called for ground beef, pork, or a combination of the two.  I happen to live in a house where everyone LOVES lamb, so we picked up some ground lamb at The Holy Land in MPLS.  If you live in the twin cities you must go there!  So much middle eastern food stuffs, they have their own butcher shop, and they have a dreamy bakery/deli/restaurant with food to die for!  Their lamb prices make the trip super worth while for Lara and I, plus we always pick up some fresh feta, foule, and naan and spoil our selves with some yummy deli goodies! And I used a combo of vegetable broth and dashi.  For my steamed veggies I just put them on top of the cabbage rolls that way they get some of the yummy broth infused into them.  so easy!  The veggies, the cabbage rolls are a bit of work the first time you make them but I promise, they are WAY worth it!
The black gomoku onigiri I found on Ochikeron's YouTube channel.  She makes the best tutorial videos ever!  And she is super cute!  I also like it when her darling made chicken wings!  You could also go to her blog, Create Eat Happy.
I did not have black pork, so I used bacon.  I think next time I make this I will fry the bacon before I put it in the rice to cook.  I also used hijiki seaweed instead of kelp. I find sometimes the kelp I have used in the past to have a chewier texture than I like. Also if you do not have sake, you can substitute white wine. If you are looking for the black rice, kelp, black sesame seeds or anything else I recommend United Noodles in MPLS. They have lots of stuff I could never find anywhere else, and lots of stuff I do not even know what it is or what it is used for, yet!
Lara said it was her most favorite onigiri yet! 
I put two of the onigiri in her bento (not wrapped in nori) I had wrapped them in cling wrap because the cabbage rolls were still "juicy" and I did not want to have the liquid ruin her onigiri.  I also put a little container of ponzu sauce in a little container (ponzu is 1 part lemon juice to 1 part soy sauce).  We use it alot in my house and I am always making more, but it is not hard.  It also lowers the sodium in the soy sauce, and has a brighter flavor.  Also in her bento were 6 mini cabbage rolls, and about 1 cup of the veggies!
So easy and delicious!
Next week is my first review of a container I have been using for a bento for the past month.  There was a slight hitch, some puppy got hold of one of the containers.  We gave it a nice funeral in the back yard (not really).  If you have containers that you love, PLEASE beware of this adorable puppy that answers to the name Beau.