Jack has chosen (quite emphatically, I might add) Tuesday as his stay-for-lunch day at school this week, so I made this bento box for him while I was prepping dinner this afternoon. This is packed in an Easy Lunchbox.
It contains shaped onigiri (rice balls) with seaweed “expressions,” made with this mold and nori punches, grape tomatoes, orange bell pepper strips, and graham crackers filled with strawberry cream cheese (I saw the idea on Wendolonia a little while ago, and it’s become a favorite around here! I just mix some strawberry jam and softened cream cheese, then spread it between two graham cracker sections). I used cute baran sheets to separate the onigiri so they don’t get all smushed together. Oh, and the reason one of the onigiri looks different is because I ran out of plain rice, so I made a fourth using some leftover fried rice.
There are a lot of different ways to make onigiri. I’m sure it’s not the authentic Japanese way, but I just give white rice a little flavor by stirring in a splash of seasoned rice vinegar and a dash of salt. It’s easiest to do when the rice is still warm. Sometimes (like today), I fill the rice mold halfway with seasoned rice, put in a dab of filling (scrambled egg, diced ham, seaweed, pickled radishes, flaked salmon, what have you), then fill the mold the rest of the way.
I also decided to make Johnny’s lunch for tomorrow a little more attractive. Usually he gets the short end of the stick and ends up with the previous night’s dinner leftovers thrown into a container. Tonight, I whipped out the partitioned container I got on clearance at Target and filled it with homemade fried rice, sliced and peeled persimmons, and grapes and strawberries. Yum!