I don’t pack rice bento that often because it’s just too boring. It reminds me of the tired, same-y packed lunches I used to drag around in the days before I discovered bento subculture. Those meals were exactly the same as the rice & side dish meals we eat at home, but much more miserable – eaten cold out of a plastic box with plastic utensils.
Well, nothing has changed with respect to plastic boxes, plastic utensils and room temperature food, but a greater attention to appealing presentation and including a variety of foods (including some fruit or dessert-type item to round off the meal) has really made a difference.
This was a lunch I packed for a picnic last week and it survived being held sideways in my backpack for hours, thanks to being tightly-packed. It helps to have a shallow container so that the foods reach the lid and are held firm.
[Main section dishes sitting on a bed of iceberg lettuce.]
1) Thai organic Hom Mali brown rice. First time I’m trying this brand of rice, which I purchased from Eat Organic; produced by The Sukha House, a Singapore company, and has a cute blue elephant on the package. It’s really unlike any brown rice I’ve ever had before. Raw, it’s brown in colour but in every other respect, it’s doesn’t act brown: water ratio when cooking is like that of white rice, and when cooked, it looks and tastes like white rice. You also have to eat a huge amount to feel full!
2) Sukiyaki beef stir-fried with cherry tomatoes, chopped garlic, salt. Poured the extra topping and juices on top of the rice.
3) Stir-fried French beans with chopped garlic and salt.
4) Slices of starfruit and pineapple.
5) Mugicha agar-agar in sillicone baking cup.