Thursday, August 12, 2004

More Bento

Continuing from my last post on bbq pork bento, this fourth bento has nothing to do with bbq pork. I had some leftover lean pork sitting in the fridge and so i decided to do a different bento.

♥ foodies date: 08 August 2004
♥ where: pinkcocoa's kitchen

7hearts; Shredded Pork in Peking Sauce Bento
In the bento were:
Shredded pork in peking sauce
Stir fried string beans
Corn omelette
Good old rice

I am not sure whether this is a truly pekingese dish. I merely did a direct translation from the chinese name of the dish 'jing jiang rou si' (peking sauce pork shreds). This is a quick and easy chinese dish, perhaps more towards a taiwanese taste.

This dish is served on shredded shallots originally and mix together with the cooked pork on the table before you eat. I didnt have shallots on hand so i omitted the shredded shallots.

Shredded Pork in Peking Sauce
300g lean pork, cut into shreds
onion, julienne*
carrot, julienne*

1tsp rice wine
1tsp soy sauce
1tsp corn flour
1/2 tsp sugar
few drops of sesame oil

Peking Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1tbsp water
2tbsp sweet bean sauce (tian mian jiang)**
1tsp rice wine
1tsp sugar

To make:
1. Mix marinade and shredded pork together. Leave to macerate for 10 minutes. The best way to save time when cooking is to marinade the meat first, then go on and do your other bits in the kitchen eg. wash and cut up veggies etc. Mix together all ingredients under Peking Sauce.
2. Heat oil in pan on high. Stir fry onion and carrot until soft.
3. Add pork and stir fry until white all over.
4. Add Peking sauce ingredients all at once. Let simmer for a while until the pork is cooked through and sauce is well coated on the meat.
5. Serve on bed of shredded shallots. Mix together before eat.

*The original recipes didnt call for onion and carrots. I reckon adding a little veggies help to balance out the dish a bit so i added just a quarter of an onion and about one third of a small carrot. you can add as much as you like, as long as the vegetables do not become the main ingredients. any types of vegetables would be fine.
**Sweet bean sauce tastes very much like hoisin sauce except that hoisin sauce is milder in taste. this sauce is very widely used in taiwanese cooking as marinade or even as a dip condiments.

I believe that good looking and well-presented food helps to stimulate appetite. Unfortunately, i still have not mastered the skill of beautiful bento presentation as observed at bento moblog. The only thing i could do is to make the bento as colourful as I can while making sure the diet is a balanced one.

While still on the topic of bento, a japanese bento is quite different from a chinese bento. 'Bento', translated as lunchbox in english is termed 'bian dang' in Taiwan. I take it to mean 'easy and convenient (bian) meal box (dang)'. In HongKong, such lunchbox is termed 'rice box' - 'fan hap'. In taiwan, school kids would usually bring to school a stainless steel lunchbox and hand it to the school kitchen before class. The school kitchen would then steam the lunchbox just before lunch break. Like so, kids are ensured a hot and yummy homemade lunch!

My understanding of a Japanese bento is that it's of the cold variety. Usually the bento is made in the morning on the day it is consumed. The taiwanese bento usually consists of food that is served the night before as dinner and reheated just before eating. At least, this is the way done in my family.

These days I am addicted to making bento. My dinner dishes are planned around bento, having to make sure the dishes will still taste as good after re-heating. Beef stew and Japanese curry are perfect for bento because they taste better after re-heating. Now, my next project: would it be curry? maybe not. Someone had *promised* to cook curry. ah-hem. It's been more than 2 weeks. *hint hint*

cute bento pics!