Collage Football National Championship 2015 Bento

Go Ducks!!!!!!!!!!!
Again, my husband is a big fan of Oregon Ducks;)
I don't know much about football, but I like Ducks mascot and their quarterback...Marcus Mariota!!!!! He is cute...:P

This no-meat bento is made with rice and teriyaki tofu hamburg!

Face parts: slices of cheese, nori seaweed
The cap of the Ohio mascot: quail egg and cherry tomato
The hat of the Oregon mascot: cucumber and yellow cherry tomato
Football: quail egg soaked in soy sauce for over night

Can't wait to watch the game!!!!


New Year's Character Bento

Do you know about Japan Up! Magazine?
It's a free monthly English publication introducing authentic Japanese cuisine, trend, culture and more!
I just picked up their January issue at Marukai market in Costa Mesa.

If you live around LA, please pick it up and see p.43....

Yes!This is my bento:) From this issue, I'm introducing character bento every month on Japan Up! Magazine.

Also I will be teaching classes at one of Japanese grocery store.
Dates and Detail coming soon!!!!


Big Hero 6 BAYMAX Bento

We were going to watch Big Hero 6 last night, but ended up not going....
I've heard a lot of good reviews about this movie.
Hopefully next weekend! Looking forward to it<3

Chicken with Sweet Chili Mayo sauce

1 Chicken breast
1bs Soy sauce
2tbs Sake
Potato starch, enough to coat chicken
3tbs Mayonnaise
1tbs Ketchup
1tbs Sweet chili sauce

1. Cut chicken into small pieces and marinade with sake and soy sauce for about 30mins.
2. Coat chicken with potato starch and pan fry.
3. Let it cool.
4. Mix mayo, ketchup and sweet chili sauce. Coat the chicken with the sauce.


Turkey Cupcakes with Cranberry Mashed Potato Frosting

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Time flies so fast...
In Japan, we do celebrate Halloween and Xmas, but not much Thanksgiving...
I had never had turkey until I moved to the US about 6 years ago!

I like this time of the year because I see fresh cranberries everywhere.
Love the tartness and the color so much.
I made cranberry sauce and mixed in white mashed potatoes...and see what I got!
This cute and bright color potatoes! love it.
It was so cute that I wanted to make something cute with it.

This turkey cupcake is full of holiday flavors.
Great finger-food for holiday picnic.
I wanted to make some side dishes to pack in the bento box, but I didn't have time....
However this cupcake itself has protein, carb and vegetables. Great one-dish picnic bento food:)

Mushroom and Leek Stuffing
Recipe here

Turkey Cupcakes
Recipe here

Shape into cupcake pan. Put the stuffing in the middle. Cover with the meat mix and bake.

Cranberry Mashed Potatoes

Steam Russell potatoes until very soft.
Mash with butter,salt,  mayo and some cranberry sauce to your taste.


Ramen Rice Balls

I finally had a chance to try ramen burger last weekend!
We went to Asian Night Market in Costa Mesa and tried a couple of different food there.
My husband had a lobster roll ( nothing to do with asian food...) and it was super yummy!
And ramen burger.....I know it's been popular for a while, but I was so excited when I saw their booth! There was a line, but it wasn't too bad. Ramen burger was really good too.

Today, I made Ramen Rice Balls. Yes, these are rice balls!
I saw Japanese moms making this and wanted to try:)

I didn't have naruto (fish cake with a pink swirl) at home so made with a slice of cheese and cut hum.
You just need to carve the cheese with a toothpick as shown.

One of the popular toppings of ramen is chashu (braised pork). 
I made chashu with chicken breast for this rice balls.
It's very easy! 

Chicken Chashu ( braised chicken breast)

1 Chicken breast
50ml  Soy sauce
50ml Sake
50ml Mirin (If you don't have mirin, you can substitute with sake and sugar. Sake3 : Sugar1 ratio)  
1/2tbs Sugar
1tbs Vinegar
1tsp Grated ginger

1. Tie chicken with string. Heat oil in a pan and brown both sides.
2. Mix all the seasonings and pour over the chicken. Simmer for about 30mins over low heat.
3. Let cook and slice. Marinate in the mixture over night.

How to assemble ramen rice balls: 

 Line a rice bowl with plastic wrap.
 Place a piece of nori seaweed, chopped green onion, chicken chashu and the cut cheese.
Make a thin egg sheet ( see this post). Roll up and cut to create the "noodle". Put over the toppings.

 Add rice and gather up the ends of plastic wrap.


Ice Cream Ghost

Made an apple pie with apples that we picked from trees yesterday!
I tried this recipe. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/apple-pie-by-grandma-ople/

I made the crust from scratch. I used only 80g butter for 200g flour.
It's much less butter compared to the amount in regular pie crust.
It wasn't as flaky as my husband likes, but it wan't heavy and I liked it!


Halloween Picnic Bento

Went to apple pick in Oak Glen yesterday.
It was crazy hot but we had a great time!
Made chicken bento for our picnic lunch.
I cooked rice, chicken, tomato cup salad in the morning, but it took me only 1 hour to finish this Halloween lunch box, including the decoration.
I marinated and froze chicken last week. Thawed the night before and just put them in a oven in the morning. I wanted to make Japanese fried chicken, karaage..HoweverI have to keep an eye on them while frying, so it's not great choice for the busy morning!
For the side dished, I packed tomato cup salad and edamame.
Since it was really hot yesterday, I didn't defrost edamame completely to keep the bento cool.
I also packed a lot of ice packs in the cooler box.


Bento ~Lion~

Love pulled pork sandwiches but feel bad when you eat it because of its greasy fat?
Then try this bbq pulled chicken breast!
Although canola oil is added, it's not animal fat, so much healthier I believe!
It turned our really good. You won't miss pulled pork.
The recipe calls for Italian dressing... Interesting, huh?!
I made bbq sauce as well as Italian dressing.
I like making everything from scratch!

Italian Dressing Mix 
Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue

Bento Menu
Lion: Mashed potatoes, BBQ Pulled chicken, Nori seaweed, Sliced cheese, Fried pasta
Peach&Kale salad

We made pizza with the leftover chicken. It was super yummy!