Total calories (approx): 525 (how calories are calculated)
Time needed: 5 minutes in the morning for assembly
Type: Japanese, meat-free, gluten-free (see notes
This bento brings together the two dishes that I’ve described this week, eggs in treasure bags and namul made with spring greens. Actually, I made a batch of both at the beginning of the week and they served for 5 full bentos (2 days of 2 bentos each, plus one where I only made one bento) over the course of 3 days. I kept them both well covered in the refrigerator, the eggs covered in their poaching liquid. The namul held its color and flavor very nicely, and the eggs got even deeper in flavor.
I made 6 eggs-in-treasure bags all at once (using 3 whole sheets of aburaage cut into half) incidentally, and poached 3 carrots and 2 chikuwa, a sort of bamboo-shaped fish sausage that you see often in oden, along with them. This gave me three items for one pot’s worth of cooking, for 3 days worth of bentos! To keep this lacto-ovo-vegetarian leave out the chikuwa and add a few more carrot slices, or fill the space with something else. (On day 2 I had just half an egg and more chikuwa; on day 3 I had no more chikuwa left, so I put in a couple of premade and frozen meat-stuffed mushrooms.)
The yellow slices you see are takuan, a type of pickled daikon radish. No I don’t make my own takuan - way too much work! (They are made in a very drawn out process that involves salting, drying, and then pickling.) Pickles of all kinds are available at a Japanese or general Asian grocery store, either in the refrigerated section or vacuum packed, and they are very handy to have around to use as filler and contrast.
Here’s the same bento, Guy size:
There’s more rice in there (about 1 1/2 cups or more), 2 eggs worth of treasure bags, and more of other things. The calorie total is around 800.
No timeline for this, since everything is made in advance. But the takeaway here is - by having some staples around, plus pre-making some things you intend to use up within a couple of days, assembling a healthy and varied bento lunch can be a snap!
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