(Nanbanyaki chicken, mixed vegetables, grapes, wakame and sakura denbu onigiri)
Here’s a somewhat jumbled-up bento. I am happy with delicate colours of the onigiris, but perhaps the contrast between them and the other foods is too harsh? Maybe I should have paired the onigiris with foods that are lighter in colour (i.e. tamagoyaki) or the chicken and etc. with plain white rice dotted with black sesame seeds. The three-way division and the five-way division also seem random when aligned together. Oh well, so it goes.
(Just for the heck of it, I may redo this next time and have two separate bentos. Actually I think I will. You watch me go! :D)
Photographing my bentos provides me with an alternative method to document my daily life. At the same time, it allows me to stand back and appraise my choice of colour, food, and organization (ooh la la). Sometimes a bento looks fine at first, but then I would start to spot its imbalances and weaknesses as I view my photos. There are also bentos that look ordinary initially but turn out to be unique and charming in their own way. This is especially true for my type of “everyday bento” (rather than the “cute bento”), which can appear as ordinary and boring.
It is through this sort of “exercises” that I try to find ways to improve or learn about my “style.” Even though it technically is just a packed lunch, a bento can still very much be a puzzle and a work of creativity.
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I tried out this nabanyaki recipe, and it turned out to be quite delicious. I am not fond of raw onion, so I actually sauteed the onion before cooking the sauce. That worked out fine too. For those who like sweet-and-sour things with a hint of spicy, I highly recommend this recipe. I suppose the sauce would work marvelously with vegetables like eggplant and zucchini too.
The green onigiris are seasoned with some salty wakame furikake, which is my favourite blend among the ones I have in my pantry. The pink onigiris, on the other hand, are sweet because of the sakura denbu. I also added some extra toasted white sesame seeds; I find that they compliment sakura denbu nicely for both colour and flavour.