(Hamburger with a demi-glaze, honey-glazed sweet potatoes, and rice dotted with an umeboshi)
First things first: happy new year to all of you!
A somewhat uninspiring bento to start off the year with: I have to get used to cooking for and by myself again after spending three weeks with mum in my hometown. This three-week winter break was ridiculously unproductive. I was not able to do as many updates as I had promised, complete the research work for my professor, start sewing my apron, and finish the scarf that I promised my friend. In fact, I was so useless that I could not even finish watching Coffee Prince. Usually with productions of this high calibre, I should be able to run a marathon and blaze through it within three days.
To get back into the habit of bento-packing, I am compiling my stash of goodies that will hopefully save me from hunger and horrid cafeteria food later in the semester (if you are interested, Maki from Just Bento has written a helpful entry on johbisai). Items on my list include:
- bainiku and ume-miso (completed)
- salted salmon (completed)
- hamburgers (completed)
- vegetable patties
- homemade fish cakes, breaded but unfried
- potato croquettes, breaded but unfried
Among these things, hamburgers are the top essential item for me. Not only are they easy to make, they also freeze well and taste pretty okay at room temperature.
I am always in search for ways to improve my homemade hamburgers. This time, I was inspired by the “Hamburger vs. Fried Shrimp” battle on Dotch Cooking Show and decided to prepare the hamburgers following their way. I used both ground beef and pork (7:3 ratio) and caramelized half the minced onion before adding it to the mix. I also devoted more time to shaping the patties by tossing them between my hands. In my mind, this improved the texture of the meat (could very likely be a placebo effect). The resulting hamburgers were the most successful and the juiciest I had ever made, and I was glad that this special effort paid off.
If you have any sort of burger tips that you want to share, do tell!
Actually, if you have a good recipe for vegetarian patties, I’d love to hear about it as well.