Steamed Herbal Chicken Bento

January 30th, 2009


A few days ago, I packed a really really simple bento for my hubby.  I had tried making steamed herbal chicken a couple of weeks ago with prepacked herbal ingredients, but this second attempt saw me using just the ingredients stated in the original recipe from

I managed to get yok chok (dried polygonatum) from the Asian grocer here and of course, I added my all-time favorite kei chi (wolfberries).  Simple and delicious, this bento is nutritious too!

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Pyrex Bento

January 27th, 2009

One of the things that irk me most about bento-ing is the cleaning up of the bento boxes after.  It gets tougher to clean if I had prepared a bento with gravy which is rather oily, or curry.  Because most bento boxes are plastic, oil and grease tends to stick to the surface and since I only get to wash them after I get back from work, I have to use a lot of detergent (and strength!).

Most of the time, I would rinse it out with a little bit of soap after I am done with lunch at work, but that does not happen all the time.

So what do I do to minimize the hassle?

I recently bought a set of Pyrex containers, that came with covers (they were on sale!).  Pyrex is made of glass and so cleaning oil and grease off of glass is a breeze! 


The downside is, of course, glass containers tend to be rather heavy, and there is a (slight) tendency of breakage.  But apart from that, these containers work rather well.  They are safe for the freezer, microwave and steamer – just don’t put them directly over the stove though!


Yesterday I packed my hubby’s bento by including a small Pyrex bowl of Chicken Six-Flavor Soup.  In the main bento, there was some Hainanese Chicken rice, with slices of cucumber, and a side dish of leftover tofu from our restaurant outing the day before.

The Pyrex bowl is a great substitute for the thermos flask, if you are a soup-lover like me.  You’ll need to be able to heat it up before you drink it though!  And soup has such a feel-good factor to it, don’t you think so?

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Bento packed with protein!

January 15th, 2009

Today I prepared a bento jampacked with protein goodness for my hubby.  Not intentionally, of course, but only because we had some barbecued and roasted pork left over from last night’s dinner.  I had bought the pork from a local Asian grocer here.

Instead of the usual steamed rice, I made him some simple egg fried rice, seasoned with just soy sauce, sesame oil and dark soy sauce.  Vegetables were in the form of green lettuce and sliced cucumbers.  And yes, I didn’t forget the chilli sauce either!

It will certainly be a very filling lunch!

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Chicken Serai with Egg bento

January 13th, 2009


Today, I made a very simple and quick bento with some leftovers of the chicken serai (lemongrass chicken) stew we had for dinner last night.  I added a hard-boiled egg and topped off my steamed rice with some gravy from the chicken serai.  I do so like gravy on my rice. 🙂

I don’t own any fancy egg moulds yet, but I am on the lookout for some, so hopefully I will get to produce some more aesthetically-pleasing hard-boiled eggs soon!

And for the first time, I used my simple white bento lunchbox.  It has 3 removable partitions: 1 large and 2 smaller ones, and I have not used it since I bought it.  It doesn’t hold much food, but it works well with me now that I am in my third trimester of pregnancy and cannot really eat a lot at one sitting.  I do so love this box because it looks so classic and neat.  Wouldn’t you agree?


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“Char-siew-fun” bento

January 8th, 2009


I made some homemade “char-siew” (baked pork slices) yesterday evening.  Of course I had the help from some Lee Kum Kee “char-siew” marinade.  I marinaded 1lb of pork slices with 5 tablespoons of sauce and left it in the refrigerator for a good 5 hours or so.  Then I baked the pork in the oven for about 45 minutes, sliced them up and voila… yummy “char siew”.

It was way too much for us to finish last night during dinner, so I packed some for my hubby’s lunch today.  His bento today is “char siew fun” with sliced cucumber.  For dessert, I threw in some seedless grapes.  The “char siew” looks a wee bit too dry, so I drizzled some of the marinade on it too.

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Hainanese chicken rice, stir-fry bitter gourd and rice bento

January 5th, 2009


I tried stir-frying some bitter gourd with eggs and shrimp last night, and since it turned out okay, I packed it for lunch today.  I also made some Hainanese chicken rice with some steamed chicken.  What was missing was the cili padi!

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Silicon Cups

January 3rd, 2009


I was at Daiso several days ago, and took the opportunity to grab a pack of these silicon cups. 

Initially when I started bento-ing, I figured these silicon cups were rather redundant and thought I could make do without them.  When I wanted to pack fruits or food items which I did not want to mix with the main food item in my bento, I would use those jelly moulds or baran dividers.  But I soon discovered that jelly moulds were hard and not flexible.  As for baran dividers, I couldn’t use them if I had gravy for my main entrée.  I tried using the little bento box dividers or even those that came with my Lock ‘n Lock box, but sometimes I just wanted to pack a small amount and the rigidity of the dividers did not serve the purpose well.

So I finally saw the need to get these silicon cups.  They are mouldable and I can fit them into any crevice in my bento.  The silicon cups feel kinda rubbery to the touch, and the packaging indicated the color could fade due to wear and tear.  These cups supposedly work too, if you use them for baking cupcakes in the microwave or conventional oven.  And in my opinion, they are definitely an essential addition to any bento enthusiast’s collection.


Steamed chicken with noodles bento

December 16th, 2008


Today, because I woke up late, I decided to pack a quickie bento for hubby.  I call this a quickie bento because almost all the items can be prepared and cooked at the same time:

  • Instant noodles: I boiled the noodles and while waiting for it to cook, I prepared the noodle sauce on a separate plate (soy sauce: dark and light, oyster sauce, sesame oil, dash of pepper)
  • Steamed chicken drumstick: I rubbed some salt on the chicken drumstick and let it steam in the wok till cooked.
  • Broccoli and carrots: lightly boiled in a saucepan for a few minutes.

I also threw in a container of chilli sauce for good measure.  Having basic ingredients in the fridge comes in handy when we are short of time and need to pack a quick lunch.

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What I did with Turkey Leftovers

December 9th, 2008

Yesterday evening, I roasted the pre-marinaded turkey breast I bought from the supermarket before Thanksgiving.  I believe it had herbs and spices, and because the instructions seemed so easy, I could not resist trying it out.  Besides, another reason I bought it was because I wanted it as a backup in case my Thanksgiving roast turkey failed.  But my roast turkey turned out okay, and I was left with this turkey breast to roast now.

Anyway, I roasted the turkey breast last night and we had it with steamed rice for dinner.  The flavors were just right and the meat was very tender, but since it was such a huge serving, we obviously had leftovers, which I refrigerated.

And so today, hubby and I had our lunch comprising turkey leftovers!  His was a double-decker turkey sandwich. 


I toasted the bread and spread some butter on one slice, and some cranberry sauce on the other.  Then I cut the turkey into pieces and mixed the meat with some mayo, added a piece of green lettuce and voila!   A delicious healthy lunch!  Cherry tomatoes were also added for fiber and color.


As for me, I didn’t feel like having a sandwich for lunch, so I made myself some instant noodles with some sliced turkey meat on the side.  I threw in an English muffin too, because I wanted to have that in between meals.

I used the double-decker Bento box I recently purchased from Mitsuwa, simply because it come with a pair of chopsticks.  I bought this box primarily for my hubby because it looks more masculine compared to the other ones I have.  Looks kinda stylish too, huh?


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Mickey Mouse Bento Boxes

November 25th, 2008

Right now there is no need for me to pack bentos for my son yet, but in future, if I do need to, I’ll probably have to invest in some cute bento boxes themed for kids.


My son is currently very into Mickey Mouse, and so when I saw this set of three bento boxes on sale at the Disney store in the mall, I simply couldn’t resist getting them.  The signage said it was on offer at USD4, and I thought it was USD4 per lunch box, making it a total of USD12 per set.  The store had an additional 25% discount that day, so I figured it was still a good bargain.

However, when the cashier rang up the total, I found out it was USD4 for the entire set, PLUS the additional 25% discount.  What a great bargain it was!

Now I use the boxes to store crackers and snacks when we go for outings, and my son is none the happier.

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