Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Posted by Biggie @ Lunch in a Box
Pre-packing some or all of the next day's lunch is a practical way of speeding up daily lunch packing and making hectic mornings more manageable. Here I pre-packed leftover pasta the night before and stored it in the refrigerator overnight, briefly warming it in the microwave the next morning to restore the texture of the pasta.
Contents of my lunch: Tarako spaghetti with onions, red bell peppers and kaiware (daikon sprouts). The top tier holds a section of corn on the cob, plum tomatoes, broccoli with red wine vinaigrette, black Mission fig, and grapes. Tarako is salted cod roe, but I often use jarred Greek tarama for this dish instead.
Morning prep time: 7 minutes, using leftover pasta and corn. I pre-packed the pasta when cleaning up from dinner. In the morning I briefly microwaved the pasta to restore texture, garnished with fresh kaiware, steamed the broccoli in my microwave mini steamer (speeding up cooking time by 50%), and arranged food in the the top tier.
Packing: I used tongs to twist the spaghetti into two large loose nests, making the pasta tier a little nicer looking. Nothing in the top tier was particularly wet, so I didn't use food dividers (edible or otherwise). Packed in a 580ml two-tier Urara Dragonfly box.
Cooking: Here’s a tarako spaghetti recipe with good notes. I start by sauteing an onion and bell pepper if I have some on hand for color contrast. When I lived in Osaka, I often had it with a little Kewpie mayonnaise stirred into it. Other variations omit the cream in favor of sauteing in butter and tossing in mirin/tarako/mayo (that's what I did here). However you vary it, it’s bound to be good — just get the sauce loose enough to lightly coat the noodles.
Preschooler lunch: Contents are the same as mine. For packing, I used kitchen scissors to cut up the spaghetti into smaller bits (right in the box) that are easier for little hands to manage. Packed in a 270ml one-tier Thomas the Tank Engine box with one hard plastic sub-container removed to fit more pasta, and a 150ml Anpanman side dish container for the fruit. After taking the photo I tucked in a little Anpanman pick for the fruit. Verdict: 5 stars. Bug ate all of this at preschool, nothing left over. Success!
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This Post was written by Biggie from Lunch in a Box: Building a Better Bento.