Number 39: A New Setting

(Barley rice with nori garnish, tororo-bacon fritters, tamagoyaki, broccoli, cherry tomato)

My first bento post in two months, and wow, I still cannot believe how much has changed (for better or for worse) since then.  Making bentos and writing for this blog are among the very few things that give me a sense of constancy at the moment.  But even then, there are a few small changes with this new setting.

Now that I have moved back to my hometown on the West Coast (man, how I miss the East Coast!), I have access to bigger and better Asian stores.  Hopefully I will be able to incorporate a greater range of ingredients in my lunch box.  For starters, I experimented with nagaimo (a type of yam) and made these tororo-bacon fritters this week.  I cannot wait to work with other vegetables and spices that I spotted at markets!

Instead of always having plain rice, I want to introduce other grains to my diet.  I must confess that I don’t think I will ever be able to give up white rice, but perhaps it will be possible for me to “kick it up a notch.”  Here, I added some barley to regular white rice.  Barley is a great source of dietary fibre and can be easily added to white: just soak it for an hour in advance and cook it with your rice like you always do.

This is part of my plan to adopt a better diet.  Overall, I want to take the next few months as a preparation period for the next stage of my life (read: law school).  Aside from the standardized tests and admission applications, I also want to, or need to, recuperate.  Non-stop work and late nights from the past two semesters and events from the past two months have taken a toll on my body and spirit.  It really is when the “storm” is over and you let your guard down that you start to feel the aftermath.

So let’s cheer for better health and brighter complexion.

P.S.: Somehow my tamagoyaki pan has gone missing in my transcontinental move (ugh, moving…).  Until I retrieve it or find a replacement, I will just have to use my mother’s giant wok.  Actually, the wok works just as well as the tamagoyaki pan, although I won’t get those nice 90-degree edges.  Oh well… I like rounded edges too. (苦笑)



  1. skimmer8

    Funny, I’ve been experimenting with mixed grains, as well. I bought premixed grains from Korea. The mix has glutinous brown and white rice with a small amount of red beans, barley and a few other things. The grain mixture had a pretty pinkish tint (from the beans) and it had a sticky texture. The taste was quite nice, a bit nuttier than plain rice. I even tried it in maki rolls. It was surprisingly good with seasoned vinegar, and the right filling. But only worked with some things .. not really a replacement for good ol’ white sushi rice.

    What does tororo taste like? I’ve seen it in the market..and wondered.

    Your tamagoyaki look perfect. Seems like you don’t need the pan. :)

  2. Good to see you update again :) I know what you mean about ‘recuperating’. Your body just needs a real good rest and a detox sometimes. Take care.

  3. That is the happiest rice I’ve ever seen!

    You must have really grown attached to the East Coast. This makes me want to visit Montreal even more =)

  4. Jennifer: The mixed-grain pack you described seems very tasty, and its pinkish colour must be lovely (esp. for a bento).

    To answer your question, I find tororo flavourless. I think its main “selling point” is its sticky texture! :D

    Nilmandra: Thanks; I definitely feel much better now.

    Melissa: I am very attached to the East. I suppose it could be a personality thing: I’m more of a nerdy and neurotic girl than a sunny and easygoing one. XD

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