This is the first bento that The Guy made entirely by himself, with no input from me. He made just the one bento instead of the two he usually makes, because there was only one tonkatsu left over from the night before. (I had something else for lunch.) For these reasons packed the bento with things that he loves, that I don’t necessarily like!
First up, the tonkatsu. In case you don’t know, tonkatsu is a breaded and deep fried pork cutlet or filet (an old recipe for it here, though I’m working on a more detailed version). I must admit that while I do like tonkatsu, The Guy likes it a lot more than I do. I can’t really stand to have it for dinner and then lunch the next day - a bit too much breaded fried goodness for me - so having just the one piece held over for his bento (on purpose of course) worked out great.
One of the conumdrums that arises when packing deep fried and breaded or battered food into a bento is, how to deal with the fact that the breading or coating gets a bit limp and no-crispy? One approach is to just embrace that limpness and coat it with a sauce. That’s what the guy has done here - he’s coated the piece on both sides with “Bulldog” tonkatsu sauce (you can use brown steak sauce), which melds with the breading to achieve an interesting texture and flavor.
The other thing he packed which I’m a bit unsure of is pickled round peppers stuffed with a mixture of goat cheese and a little mayonnaise.
The peppers come in a jar, and are hot and sour. The Guy loves them. The filling is just mashed fresh (not aged) goat cheese with a bit of mayo to loosen it up. You could use cream cheese for a milder flavor.
Rounding out the bento is some of the leftover shredded cabbage from our tonkatsu dinner, which The Guy stir fried a bit with salt and pepper, and some mâche (lamb’s lettuce, corn salad) for greenery and garnish.
The bento box he used is one that makes an appearance here frequently - a plain white one from Muji (Mujirushi Ryohin). I’m not sure they carry the same model anymore, but Muji always has a couple of bento boxes for sale; a plain single-tier, like this one, and a plain double-tier. Both are simple and functional like most Muji products.
So there you have it - rather filling bento with pretty strong flavors. What do you think?
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