BentoNow is a service which delivers Asian dinner / lunch to your curbside in *minutes*. When they say "minutes'", they mean it too! I personally got mine delivered in 4 minutes! No kidding!
You get to pick your main and 4 sides. I believe their dinner time starts at 5pm!
Once you pick, enter your CC info and confirm your order, you'll receive a confirmation text which shows you where your food is! You get to track it all the way through it's journey....Then, fwah-lah, 4 minutes later I had my very first BentoNow in my hands!
This day I ordered: Seared Salmon (as a main dish), Asian Chopped Salad, Chicken Wings, Fruit and Vegetable Gyoza. Most of these dishes are Japanese; like the salmon and gyoza....I must say, being born and raised in Japan - I *approve* and want to thank BentoNow for serving such great Japanese casual food in San Francisco!
The Seared Salmon was absolutely the highlight. The ponzu sauce was fresh and real. Matched with the perfectly seared salmon! The Asian Chopped Salad was seasoned very well - not too sweet, not too dressed.
You can use "MARIKA1" to get a couple dollars off your first BentoNow!
Recipe: Japanese simmered Hijiki. Great way to eat this super food; high in iron and fiber!
I was surprised to see DAISO (Japanese $1 store) in San Francisco selling hijiki!
Hijiki is a very well known healthy ingredient in Japan; it's high in fiber, iron and calcium. The most popular dish which is made using this ingredient is a simple simmered dish. It's a side dish, not a main dish. People like to throw in carrots, garbanzo beans and even konnyaku. All of which can be found in the US. The ingredients are simmered in a sweet broth made of dashi, soy sauce and sugar. It's simple, tasty and very good for you. Great to pack in your obento too.
Hijiki is usually sold in its dried state. You'll have to soak it in water for 20-30 minutes. The amount will increase by 7 to 8 times; it's fun to watch :)
Ingredients (This makes a substantial amount, maybe around 6-8 servings)
Recipe: Japanese kabocha (pumpkin) cooked in a simple Japanese tasty broth. Too easy, too tasty, too healthy.
I was surprised when I saw a small Japanese kabocha being sold at a Farmers Market. Kabocha is a pumpkin or it could also be a winter squash of Asian variety according to Wikipedia.
If you follow my blog, you may have realized that I've been cooking a lot of "boiled" dishes lately. The technique is to "niru" (煮る). When you cook ingredients in a broth, the broth is sucked up by the ingredients, ending up in a very tasty dish. This technique can be used for vegetables, meat and seafood. The best thing about it is that it is so easy. You just prepare the broth (probably just a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, etc), toss in the ingredients drop a lid and wait for the broth to be soaked up!
The dish I'm introducing today is a Japanese kabocha nimono (煮物). Kabocha boiled in Japanese broth. It's sweet but savoury. The more you leave it in the broth, the more intense the taste will get. So be careful in boiling the ingredient too long!
Note: Mix while heating so that the pumpkin is heated evenly. Also, you can adjust the heat to low since the aluminum foil lid can contain a lot of heat.
I packed the leftovers in my bento the next day. Became tastier than the day before!
Practice makes perfect.
I've got multiple comments about Tamagoyakis, Japanese sweet omelettes.
According to some research, Japanese people only started to eat egg during the Edo period (16th to 18th century). Even then, I'm sure it was a luxury item. Now tamagoyakis are often made as a form of comfort food. Moms and Dads pack it in children's lunches a.k.a. obento. Every time I eat a tamagoyaki I always reminisce my mom's homemade lunches back in elementary school.
Just like an onigiri (rice ball), it's a dish which reminds you of your family. Somehow tastes different depending on the family though the ingredients being used are probably the same.
Ingredients being used are eggs and sugar with a dash of oil on the pan. Use a small pan for perfect results.
It may seem difficult at first but practice makes perfect. The more you try, the more easier it gets. I promise!
As I mentioned earlier, I sometimes make these at night, cut them, freeze them in saran wrap and take it for lunch in its frozen state in the morning. By lunch time, they are defrosted and taste delicious!
They go perfectly with rice; especially onigiri. I hope you check out the recipe I posted for this dish and try it out yourself!
Eggplants are in season! Make this super simple Japanese stir fry. Sort of like Teriyaki sauce. So tasty that my chopsticks just would not stop reaching for it.
One of my favourite destination in San Francisco so far are the Farmers Markets! There are so many around the city all throughout the week and the quality of vegetables and fruits you get there are outstanding. My favourite so far is the "Heart of the City Farmers Market" in Civic Center. If you follow my Instagram, you should already know that I got 2 large daikons, 4 apricots/peaches, bitter melon and zucchinis, all for $3. I also got a bag full of delicious onions and zucchinis for $1 each last week. You get fruits and veggies in season directly from the farmers, how amazing is that?!
One vegetable I've been seeing a lot at these Farmers Market recently are eggplants!
I've already introduced the ginger eggplant stir fry on this blog, but today I'll introduce something more simple and easy. A simple Japanese stir fry, somewhat like a teriyaki sauce!
May I warn you that my boyfriend and I just could not stop eating this. It was so tasty, went perfectly with Japanese rice; just unstoppable.
So I've begun my life as a fulltime employee in San Francisco. Absolutely loving it so far. Starting my second week, I decided to pack obentos to work! There are cute cafes around office but they are all crowded and the last thing I want to do is wait in line! I've never really packed true Japanese obentos myself. I've always watched my mom though. I decided to start simple. A bed of rice with furikake, tamagoyaki and some stir fried veggies. Absolutely perfect.
How to make a simple but delicious and safe to eat obento? Read below!
Tamagoyaki (Japanese sweet omelette)
Stir fry veggies
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