Total calories (approx): 700 (how calories are calculated)
Time needed: 20-30 minutes
Type: Japanese, kyaraben-ish, special occasion bento!
This week actually marks the real first year anniversary of Just Bento. Although I officially opened the site in late October (see Welcome to Just Bento) I started writing up some articles and designing and installing the site after 2 years of procrastinating about it in early October. It’s rather like the olden days in Japan, when a baby would be officially registered some time after being born so that the official birthday would be a bit later than the actual birthday.
I’m planning a bigger celebration for Just Bento’s ‘official’ birthday later on, but in the meantime, to commemorate the moment when the site actually popped out from my head onto my server so to speak, I’ve stepped out of my usual pattern of quick-assembly bento to make a special occasion one, featuring an omuraisu (omurice) or rice omelette. The THX on the top is um, LOLspeak for Thanks (I meant to cut in Thanks but I cut the T in too far to the right, and too big) to thank all Just Bento readers for your support and encouragement. Without you, the site wouldn’t exist!
Since I’m no kyaraben/charaben artist, this bento can be assembled quite easily without any experience. It took me about 20 minutes to make. While the calorie count is a bit higher than usual, it is still loaded with vegetables and is quite a nutritionally complete bento.
Omuraisu (omurice) or rice omelette is a Japanese yohshoku (Western-style Japanese cooking) classic, and a perennial favorite with kids of all ages. This omuraisu is adapted for bento. It differs from the recipe for an omuraisu meant to be consumed immediately, since it’s safer to cook the egg through if you intend to use it in a bento. The omelette part is really a large thin omelette or usuyaki tamago, made without adding sugar or soy sauce.
For the wiener and broccoli ‘flower meadow’:
For the omelette:
For the rice filling:
Here are the steps to follow:
Now the fun part - assembling the bento!
Spread the omelette out on a plate (a concave one like this pasta plate is ideal):
Mound about 4 tablespoons of rice in the middle of the omelette. The rice shouldn’t cover more than half the area of the omelette.
Turn your bento box upside down on top of the plate.
Fiip the bento box and plate and take the plate off. If the omelette fell apart a bit, tuck the ends underneath neatly.
Arrange the rest of the rice around the omelette.
Stick the broccoli florets around the omelette into the rice.
Tuck the wiener ‘flowers’ in between the broccoli.
Cut a design into the top of the omelette with a sharp knife, or a cookie cutter. Clear up the edges of the bento box. (I actually messed up the H, but patched it up with the piece I accidentally cut off.)
Even if I made this bento myself, it was still fun to open up at lunch time. Try making something like this for someone special on their birthday, or to cheer them up - it’s just as fun, if not as sugary, as a cake! You could cut in their initials perhaps, age, or even their full name if you’re adept with a knife.
Alternative decoration for the omuraisu: Draw a face or other decoration on with ketchup! Note that the nozzle of a regular size Heinz ketchup squeeze bottle is too big to make a neat face, so you may want to transfer some into a fine-nozzle decoration bottle. I used the squeeze bottle pictured here.
While this bento may seem a bit complicated, it really isn’t! There are just two burners in use, 1 frying pan and 1 saucepan.
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And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.