A lot of my friends think cooking Japanese food is difficult or complicated. It can be, but a lot are easy to make and I would like to show you some of the simple foods I cook and hopefully get others interested in cooking them too.
I had to pack lunch for us this morning but I did not have a lot of time to prepare something fancy lunch. I decided to make Tori Soboro Bento (pictured above) which I often cook when I don't have a lot of time and not many ingredients available.
If you know how to cook rice, scramble eggs, and boil water, you can make this in 30 min! Here is the recipe:
Tori Soboro (For 2 adults and 1 child)
- 1-2 tbs of vegetable oil
- ground chicken (I used 1 chicken breast and 1 chicken thight ground in a food processor)
- 1 tbs sugar
- 2 tbs mirin
- 2-3 tbs soy sauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- a pinch of salt
- Heat the pan with 1-2 tsp of vegetable oil and when it is ready add ground chicken and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add sugar and mirin to the chicken. Continue cooking.
- When chicken is cooked add soy sauce and cook until all the liquid evaporates. Set the chicken aside.
- Make scrambled eggs with 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp sugar, and a pinch of salt and set aside.
- Boil salted water and cook frozen peas.
- When you are finished cooking the chicken, eggs, and peas, you just need to arrange them on the warm rice.
When you eat this dish, please mix everything and eat.
Feel free to play with the recipe and experiment with some of the ingredients, such as the salt and sugar, to fit your tastes. That is one of the great things about cooking. It is much more forgiving than baking.
My parents are from Ehime, the southern part of Japan and the foods from south are sweeter compared to that of north. Even though I was born in the southern part of Japan, I lived most of my life in central Japan and lived the past 10 years in the US. For that reason I am sure my Japanese cooking is different from my mother's.
Since I did not have a chance to go to the grocery store yesterday (I don't like to go grocery shopping with my 2 years old), I really did not have anything else to put in our lunch box except some apples. I cut them and decided to make little rabbit shapes.
My mother used to cut apples like this and put them in my sister's and my lunch boxes. I use lemon juice to prevent oxidation but I remember my mom used to soak them in salted water. When you live on an island in the pacific, salt is a much more common solution to food problems than sweet or sour.
Kids are easily impressed. Just adding a small touch of love to these apples by making them look like rabbits will light up their faces and make them smile. And isn't that why we do it?