Skip to main content

Colours In A Bento Box

After my previous post about how to make a visually exciting bento, I have tried to adhere to the principle of 5 colours as much as I could. However, after merely eight bentos, I was reminded of the difference between theory and practice. So I thought maybe I would think aloud a few ideas on how to incorporate the colours in one bento. Yes, if you find yourself with two seperate containers, that's cheating! Two tier bento boxes excluded.

First off, black and white. This shouldn't be that difficult since rice, which is the popular form of carbo for bentos, is white. Sprinkle a few black sesame seeds on a bed of white fluffy rice or mold and wrapped with nori sheets, and you have it! Rocket science? Nope, but here comes the question: "Rice everyday?" Alright for those who choose other forms of carbo, here's another tip: I remember reading somewhere that purple or brown could stand in for black once in a while. So there you go, another two more colours to play around with. More on purple and brown later.

So here's my suggested foods in black and white colours:
~ molded rice wrapped in nori sheets
~ molded rice sprinkled with black sesame seeds
~ rice topped with nori sprinkles (furikake, if that means anything to you)
~ whole hard boiled eggs, molded or otherwise
~ chinese white cabbage, especially the stems

Next up: yellow. This is the one colour that eludes my bentos most of the time. On non-bento days, I would look hard at my takeaways for anything yellow, strictly yellow that I could include in my bento. Mustard on my hamburger? Yellow noodles in my bowl of fishball noodles? Curry? That's it! I don't really like the way it was going. I am not going to pack mustard into my cutesy sauce containers since I am no fan of it. Neither am I of yellow noodles. Curry? No way! Too much liquid to withstand transport. So I am back to the drawing board. The easiest way to fill up on this colour that I have seen so far is either from eggs or yellow bell peppers. Another variant for this colour is orange. More later.

So here's my suggested foods in yellow colours:
~ eggs (cut open hard-boiled or omlette)
~ stir fried yellow bell peppers
~ pan fried firm bean curd
~ cooked pasta
~ fried rice coated with beaten eggs
~ potatoes
~ onions
~ fresh ginger (not the pickled ones)
~ bamboo shoots (if you can handle the smell)
~ lemon slices (to go with deep fried stuff)

And there is red. How often do you find red coloured foods? I would imagine not that often, unless it has tons of preservatives or additives in it. I'm thinking artificially bright red chinese sausages, barbequed pork slices (肉干). But hold the horses! There has to be more than that! Read on.

So here's my suggested foods in red colours:
~ cherry tomatoes
~ radish pickle
~ strawberries
~ red bell peppers
~ red apple slices (skin on, dip in salt water to prevent oxidation)
~ sliced chilies
~ surami
~ raspberries
~ tomato sauce

And lastly, green. Ahh.... this HAS to be the easies right. So I shan't go any further. In case you are really clueless, just blanche some broccoli and tuck it into the box! Or an easy way out, pop a few green grapes as gap fillers.

Okay, let's get to those variant colours. Purple can come in the form of hijiki seaweed or eggplants. Some rice mixes could turn a whole batch of an otherwise boring white rice into purple. Brown is another easy colour if you are a meat lover. Think of all the juicy yakitori sticks and also meatballs that can be made in advance and glazed with special yakitori sauce to revive it before tucking into the bento. Even breaded stuff are considered brown. And there is orange. If you have time to kill, spend some time with your cookie cutters and a few large carrots. Punch out a few shapes and keep them handy. You could also include orange/tangerine segments, tomato wedges, grilled salmon or prawns/shrimps.

But before I forget, if anyone is like me, who is as creative as a robot, there is still hope. There are cutesy plastic and paper seperators to brighten up the box. But be prepared that you might get question such as: "What's up with the cartoons?"

So now it is back to packing my colour challenged bentos.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Post-meditated Pumpkin and Mushroom Soup

I cannot help but notice that recently the trendy words that seem to flood the wellness media always carry words like “self-care”, “meditation”, “gratitude”, and even “mindfulness” has been thrown in for good measure. Yes, all these single-word suggestions sound good. We all need to know how to take our stress level down a few notches at a time when we need to keep our face masks up.  So when I read the news about a nail being found in the pumpkin mushroom soup of an unidentified Asian passenger on board our national carrier bound for Auckland, imagine my dilemma. Should I feel grateful that my previous soups on board were served without any nails? Or should I feel grateful that I could not afford to fly our national carrier often enough to be served soups which might actually have carried nails or other specials in them? As you can see, I am pretty new to this wellness speak and hence very confused about this “gratitude” aspect of the trend.     Like any dutiful social m

Rosemary Cuttings

I think I am really bored with life. So bored that I am trying my hands are transplanting my rosemary plant! This is just after I killed by some mint off-shoots recently by transplanting them. I have black fingers, I think. Not that I need another rosemary plant. I am just plain curious why some people here are able to root a cutting from a Cold Storage pack . It sounds so easy that it is absurdly unfair. Maybe it is just my lack of technique and common sense when it comes to plants. Here's a link that I found helpful about transplanting rosemary . Seems that the chances of success for my transplanted rosemary doesn't look high. I didn't dip it in rooting powder (!!??), I transplanted it in medium sized container, and the soil is of highly questionable source (don't ask). Well, if the little fellow didn't make it, you will hear of it here soon.

Comparing Banana Breads

Most of the times, at least for the logical people, baking is the last thing on their minds as who would want their kitchens filled with hot air churning out from the ovens  in the land of eternal summer? If not for  those limp and blackened bananas sitting in their Tupperware coffins, dawdling towards its expiry, I would have happily nodded my head in wholehearted agreement. These banana were long gone their prime time for smoothies but these were ironically the best state to make banana-anything. If my helper was still around, I would have happily asked her to make those arteries-clogging Jemput-Jemput (aka banana fritters), unfortunately, she was not. So I cranked up my oven to 180 degC and got down to work. I have made banana bread many times with the recipe from Joy of Cooking ('97 edition) and was quite happy with it. So when I realised that JOC came up with a 2019 edition, I knew I need to get my paws on it ASAP and try out that version of Banana Bread.  So thanks to