On Sunday several tweeps held a low-key minireadathon and some of us decided to buddyread Haruki Murakami’s Pinball, 1973 together. I think @Chinoiseries, @inspringthedawn and @Owl59 accomplished more than I did… I got distracted by the fine hiking weather (still rare these days) and this month’s Hello Japan! mini-challenge which seemed such a great conclusion of my Murakami day: cooking (and eating) Japanese.
After making shiromiso soup for January’s Hello Japan! mini mission I had an open packet of aburaage (bean curd bags) that desperately needed finishing, so I put inarizushi (tofu puffs) on this week’s menu plan. But who can resist preparing some maki rolls as well when making a batch of sushi rice? Especially now that I had some avocado waiting in the fruit basket!
Next to that we had steamed broccoli with sesame seeds and lemon wheels. Pickled ginger, soy sauce and sake could not be omitted. ;)
All recipes for our Sunday dinner came from a fabulous cookbook that I’ve mentioned before, The Vegetarian Table: Japan (Victoria Wise). For our sushi rolls I didn’t follow a recipe but picked the ingredients from what I had at hand:
- avocado – wasabi veganaise – leek sprouts
- shiitake mushrooms – cucumber – spring onion – pickled ginger
- avocado – wasabi ‘mayo’ – shiitake – spring onion – (white) sesame seeds
They were all very nice but I think no.’s 1 and 3 were my favourites. Having leek sprouts was a lucky coincidence — and I’m definitely going to remember that for next time!
The tofu puffs contained carrot, broccoli stem and black sesame seeds mixed into the rice.
A good thing about eating Japanese is obviously that possible leftovers make a great bento. And what a surprise, Mr Gnoe opted for a small Monday bento too!
Mr Gnoe’s bento (left container)
- Tofu puff
- Oak leaf lettuce
- Assortment of sushi rolls
- Soy fishy
- Pickled ginger
- Shiitake ‘slug’
- Japanese strawberry candy
Gnoe’s bento (middle container)
- Cherry tomatoes and shiitake mushroom on red leaf lettuce
- Maki sushi
- Shiitake mushroom
- Lemon wheels
- Soy container (hiding)
- Batavian lettuce leaf
- Pickled ginger
- Garden cress
- More sushi rolls
On the side (not shown)
Now I’d like to put the spotlight on those lovely chopsticks you see in the picture. I got them for a present from a kindhearted fellow bentoïst on my 3-year bentoversary. I use them regularly but rarely with a bento because most times a spoon suits my European-style lunches fine.
Don’t you love these bright sakura hashi? I instantly get a spring feeling when I hold them! And I even got another pair of chopsticks and some more goodies along with it. *Lucky grrl!* Months have past but I am still immensely grateful for this kind gesture.
Bentoïsts make the world a better place! ;)