Saturday, July 24, 2004

love love love

Havent been out to munch much lately so I am digging out pics from my photo album to see if there is something I can blog about. Finally I found this bento (lunchbox) that I made for ShinChan on 'white day'. More pinkcocoa's home cooking!

© foodies date: 14th March 2004 - white day
© where: pinkcocoa's kitchen

♥ white day bento
we enjoyed the bento along with starbucks mocha frappucino on a sunny day in darling harbour.

ou must be wondering what is 'white day'. White day falls just 1 month after St Valentine's day. I havent yet heard of any other countries celebrating white other than japan. Yup. This is just another excuse for me as a japanese fanatic to pamper my sweet tooth.

The japanese celebrates St Valentine's day a little different. On St Valentine's day, ladies of all ages present the special gentlemen in their lives with chocolate (usually homemade) to express their affections. This type of chococlate gift is titled 'honmei choco'. On the other hand, there is also 'giri choco' otherwise known as 'obligatory chocolate' or in my own words 'friendly chocolate'. These are given to guy friends, superior at work and colleagues.

White day was believed to be invented by a marshmallow company in a 1965 campaign to urge gentlemen to 'repay' ladies of their Valentine's gift. White day balances out the one-sidedness of st valentine's day in japan. I have also heard of another version of white day. Guys who receive honmei choco on st valentine's would in return present the ladies who gave them honmei choco with gifts if they agree to accept the ladies' love. On acceptance of white day's gifts, they officially become an item.

In simpler term, st valentine's day: ladies express their love to the gentlemen they admire. White days: gentlemen express their gratitude and love in return.

And now you must be wondering why I was making a white day bento for ShinChan. No, I do not have sexuality confusion. Thank you. hmm. I guess I just felt like making something for ShinChan that day.

pinkcocoa's white day bento
♥ taiwanese 'three-cupped chicken'
(braised chicken in sesame fragranced sweet soy sauce & basil)
♥ blanched asparagus
♥ seaweed salad
♥ ham & corn scrambled egg

♥ taiwanese 'three-cupped chicken'
This is another typical taiwanese dish. The funny name is translated directly from its chinese name. Just as the name indicates, it consists of 1 cup each of 3 different ingredients: sesame oil, soy sauce and cooking wine. Now you dont have to use up to 1 cup of each ingredients. Simply make sure that the three ingredients are of equal parts and you shall be fine.

This is my own recipe and I havent actually followed any recipe. I heard about the concept and just decided to try making it at home. Surprisingly, it was a success. Again this is done with the 'agar-agar' (estimation) method so you can always adjust the quantity to your liking. By the way this is a healthier version of the original where the chicken is deep fried first. The sesame oil and fresh basil are what gives this dish its unique tastes so they must not be left out.

4 chicken wings. chop into 3 sections of drums, middle wings & tips*
3 tbsp sesame oil**
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp cooking wine
1-2 tbsp sugar***
2-3 slices of ginger
2 cloves garlic
a bunch of fresh basil, pick the leaves and discard the stems.

1. heat sesame oil in wok and sautee the ginger and garlic until it is fragrance and a little dry.
2. add the chicken and brown all over.
3. stir in soy sauce, cooking wine and sugar
4. let simmer for 10-15minutes until the sauce is reduced to a thick sticky caramelised consistency
5. turn off heat and stir in fresh basil.

*use any chicken pieces you wish. this recipe can be used to cook squid, fish, pork, pippies etc. it is really versatile. when cooking seafood, reduced the sauce first then add in the seafood 5-8 minutes before it's done.
**i used less than 3tbsp of sesame oil. i dont quite like using oil in cooking but using equal part does produce a very unique fragrance to the dish. it's up to you.
***i like my dish sweet so i actually added in 2tbsp of sugar. if you favour more of a savoury taste, simply add in 1tbsp or even less if you wish.

O. Oops. After i typed up this recipe, I realised that i have post the same recipe a long time ago here. Aiks.

Sorry for the lack of pics in this blog. I didnt manage to snap a lot of pics for white day. By the way I received a large bouquet of beautiful flowers from ShinChan on White day. *excited*

♥ lovely flowers on white day - pinkcocoa is one lucky girl
Speaking of bento, I recently spotted a very cute bento box at the mca shop. It costs $29.95 for a two tier bento box by Hakoya. It comes in pink (rabbit icon), green (frog) and yellow (dog). Hakoya produces really cute and amazing bento box (like the purple and pink one there!). Some other favourites from the website are wooden bento box with rabbit imprint and 3 tier bento box - love the red and pink one at the bottom. now, with k working at mca...*grinning with evil thought*