Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Don't Laugh!


Supposedly that means "hello" in Japanese. I'll have to take their word for it!

The day before yesterday, someone on Two Peas asked a question about this product called the Laptop Lunchbox. Being a nosy pea, I followed the link and perused the site, thinking, what a cute idea! While cruising through there, I somehow ended up on a blog called Vegan Lunch Box, which in turn led me to Cooking Cute. Don'tcha just love how the Internet works like that?

Anyway, Cooking Cute really caught my attention. I'd heard the term Bento before, but I didn't really know anything about it except that it was lunch in a box, and Japanese. I read through the entire site, learning about Japanese foods, Bento, cooking methods, and I looked at all her pictures of her bento lunches. I have to say I was intrigued. The only thing that was detracting from it, for me, was the whole "you can't microwave most of these containers" thing, which was easily bypassed by just not using the fancy containers.

Inspired, I decided to try sushi.

This, apparently, is funny to some people. I told my friend I was gonna do it and she was like, good luck! When I went to the Asian market to buy some supplies, the lady checking me out held up my bamboo mat and asked, "You make sushi?" I told her I was going to try, which she responded to by LAUGHING and saying, "Good - you try!" Hmmph.

Here is the thing - sushi does NOT mean raw fish. What it really means is "vinegared rice" or items served on or in vinegared rice. Sashimi is the raw fish! So, I could make sushi without worrying about giving myself and my husband food poisoning. Kick butt.

After a little prep work, and a teensy learning curve (my first roll kinda cracked, but the second one was PERFECT) here are my results:

Yes, we have resorted to using a CAMERA PHONE. Don't laugh, it's sad, I know.

In addition to my California Rolls, I also made some Onigiri. That's right, check out Miss M tossing about Japanese cooking terms, HA! Onigiri are rice balls, but you can make them into shapes other than balls. (ha I said balls. Sorry. *ahem*) I made mine into triangles with this nifty little mold I picked up at the Asian market, and I stuffed them with Teriyaki Chicken, which I made from scratch, including the teriyaki sauce. I covered them in the nori (seaweed) which is kinda stinky, and they were cute little packets of goodness ready to go. My husband arranged them all on a plate to look pretty. I got the little dipping sauce bowl at Ikea.

Who's laughing now? Me!

Things I learned yesterday:

*The Asian market is stinky, but you do get used to the smell after a bit. Some days it is stinkier than others, because the last time I went we could smell that place out in the parking lot, GAG. Yesterday wasn't nearly as bad.

*The Asian market does not only sell Chinese and Japanese food. They have Indian (which I know is Asian also, but you know), Dutch, Guatemalan, Middle Eastern, Cambodian, and Peruvian foods also, among other things.

*You CAN devote half an aisle to Pocky and still not have every variety. Where's the Coconut Pocky, Lee Lee Oriental Supermarket???

*That sushi vinegar stuff is GOOD.

*Growing up in South Phoenix, and always being able to read what was around because it was either in English or Spanish makes it very frustrating when confronted with packages where the letters aren't even familiar!

*Sticky rice won't stick to wet fingers.

*Wet the knife before trying to slice the sushi roll!

*Plastic wrap on your bamboo mat makes a mess.

*Wonton wrappers are REALLY cheap.

*Teriyaki sauce is ridiculously easy to make.

Oh, and when I was at Target, I found the PERFECT (for germ-a-phobe me) Bento containers. They are made by a company here in Scottsdale called Lock & Lock. Not only are they the perfect size, one has little section dividers that you can pull out and rearrance as you choose, like the Laptop Lunchbox. Also, they are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe, odor resistant, stain resistant... brilliant! If I want freaking Hello Kitty on my box I'll print out a picture and run it through the Xyron so I can smack it on there.

The next thing I want to try are the egg molds. Apparently, you can shove a hot, boiled egg into these molds and when they cool they will retain the shape of the mold. You can get everything from hearts and stars to bunnies and Sanrio characters. How kick butt would that be for deviled eggs???

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

you frickin' rocked that california roll! i gotta try that. bailey loves those. i like the ones like that but with the raw salmon or raw tuna in them.


9:13 AM  
Blogger ............Aimeslee said...

Girl, you have lost your mind! OMG, but your food is very attractive and looks delish. So like are u gonna be eating japaanese for awhile now? winkwink

2:39 AM  

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