Monday, July 5, 2010

Why I Get Bento

Orangette introduced me to the best of the blog. Author Molly Wizenberg is a lovely writer who can write a post that straddles the personal and the best of food writing at the same time. This past year she and fellow food writer, Matthew Amster-Burton moved into the world of the podcast with Spilled Milk. Each episode leaves me laughing out loud and headed to the store to purchase ingredients for that she and Matthew used on their most recent venture. And that is how I discovered, in one episode, onigiri, Just Bento and Just Hungry, food sites that are, unintentionally, perfect for parents.Onigiri are rice balls. That is it. But what they also are is a perfect snack or lunch or picnic or working parents meal. You can fill them with tuna or grilled chicken or flakes of salmon. But Molly and Matthew reminded me how much I love "umboshi" or pickled plums, which is another common filling. They may sound odd, but think sweet and salty and vinegary in one bite. Making the onigiri all that much better? The Korean seaweed pictured on the left above. When I made sushi years ago, it involved grilling seaweed and it never tasted that good. But this stuff is better than pretzels. (Which is how I got my two year old to start grabbing and eating it by the handful.) Just make sure to buy the kind without MSG. (I have had the most success at H-Mart, but you still need to read the English labels carefully.)

Once you make a batch, the onigiri can easily be frozen or kept in the frig. You can eat them cold or warmed or grilled. You can fill them with almost anything. See? Perfect. Seriously-what kid doesn't like rice?? (Um, confession. My four year old won't eat rice. Really.)

Once I discovered Just Bento, I found the best news. It is an entire site dedicated to easy to make dishes that are healthy, tasty, and can be stored at room temperature. In other words, they can be pulled together quickly, can stay in a lunch box or kept in a bag for day trips.

I am a bit addicted to these things, already. Go. Check out Just Hungry. You can make them. Really! If not, at least listen to Spilled Milk. On this last episode I nearly had to pull over as I was driving and laughing listening to them actually analyze breakfast cereals.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I'd never had the Korean seaweed before, either, and I'm glad you were able to find it. We are pretty crazy for rice balls at my house.