© 2016 kit

A Temarizushi Bento for a Quiet Celebration

For anyone paying attention: yes, I’ve not been keeping this blog up to date. As usual – when I bother to I’ll migrate the rather large volume of past entries eventually.

It looks like the general consensus for 2016 has been rather grim – which I’ve also not escaped. Let’s just say I’m going to have to pay more attention to my health going forward; even now I’ve been avoiding the normal Christmas/New Year pitfalls for overindulging. That and certainly we’ve been neck deep in shenanigans since October; it’ll be nice to be more relaxed while we can.

This entry is purely down to NHK doing another Bento Expo motivating me to go a little beyond my current flow – which I may add has been interrupted with previously mentioned health scare. So it may be a little underwhelming compared to last year’s single entry with 9 okazu.

This time round, I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking to mostly “unexotics” here – English village facilities sees to my appreciation for independent shops with okra and bitter melon stays fresh (even if I hate bitter melon! Bleh!). A combination of left overs, frozen veg and fairly ‘ordinary’ staples turned out looking pretty good.

Top tier – the okazu

Bottom tier – the temari sushi

Top tier: Korean style spinach (spinach goma-ae with added gochujang and garlic), broad bean (and a few tiny slices of onion) tempura, tomato, red cabbage coleslaw (red cabbage, carrot, onion, yogurt, mayo, lemon juice), steamed broad beans and veggie nimono (carrot, shiitake, potato).

Bottom tier: Temarizushi – egg; “kappa” (cucumber and sesame); beef tataki (garnished with ginger and spring onion); smoked salmon.

According to the interwebs, temari sushi was developed in Kyoto – another land-locked area where they had to make do with less-than-fresh seafood. This definitely strikes an affinity for those like me similarly inland without a population interested in anything but white fish. And I’m also almost completely out of nori, so maki was out of the question.

The steak was hoarded from my dinner 2 nights before, which was already cooked perfectly – I didn’t want to eat the normal amount after feeling ill a few hours beforehand. A portion that I didn’t eat that night was marinated in soy and sake. Being stored in the fridge helped with slicing it thin where the best pieces can be selected. Everything else was pretty standard – thinly sliced cucumber, smoked salmon with a smear of wasabi and an egg sheet. I still like the idea of egg sheets but I find the making tedious – thankfully only a small amount was needed for this.

This lunch was all prepared last night; for presentation the sushi were all individually wrapped just before photos/serving and also for the toppings to adhere to the rice more effectively. I think the selection of temarizushi are repeatable for a small and relaxed get-together – perhaps with a total of 5-6 different toppings per person.

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