[Anime Culture Monday] Anime Recipes: Bento Selection: Qualidea Code

Welcome one and all to a different sort of Anime Recipes article this week. Now that we have a slew of recipe articles all over the site, we are going to be showing you how to make your very own bento box that you can take with you to school, class, work, or just enjoy at home to the envy of everyone. We have already detailed before how to make the recipes, but this one will show you just how to make it all fit together in one delicious box of goodness.

Previously we have shown how to make excellent side dishes such as bacon-wrapped asparagus, tamagoyaki, onigiri, and octopus wieners/sausages. Now, today we will show you how to make a “balanced lunch” from the perspective of a Japanese person. We do say balanced within quotations because how nutrition is viewed in the west as we know it, and how it is viewed in the east, are different. In Japan, portions are often very small, as you can see if you go and rewatch the first episode.

There is most always carbs in the form of some overwhelming amount of rice making up at least 1/3 of the meal, but also a balance in veggies with some form of meat packed somewhere in the dish as well. You can catch all of the items mentioned above plus some lettuce lining the box, a tomato cherry, and what appears to be a dollop of potato salad, not ice cream. Though ice cream does sound good too. Today, we will build that box. Let’s go!

Bento Selection from Qualidea Code: Onigiri with Bacon-wrapped Asparagus, Tamagoyaki, and Octopus Wieners.

First up, you need a bento box that can hold all of your creations before you can even start cooking. Be sure to check out one from amazon, or other retailers!

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus appears in just about every single bento that exists because Japanese people love the combination. The best part too is that it is super easy. If you have bamboo or metal skewers, then it will be an even easier feat.

What you will need:

Bacon
8-10 Slices

Asparagus
8-10 Slices

Olive Oil.


How to Cook It:

  1. 1

    If you have skewers, simply wash and cut the asparagus into thirds.
  2. 2

    Roll them in the bacon and run the skewer through them.
  3. 3

    Heat up a frying pan, add oil, and then cook them for a few minutes on both sides!
  4. 4

    If you do not have skewers, then wash the asparagus.
  5. 5

    Twist the bacon around the asparagus going as high as you can.
  6. 6

    Heat up a frying pan with some olive oil in it and simply cook them turning them every minute or so till the sides of the bacon have been cooked fully!
  7. 7

    You can season them with salt and pepper too!

Yum!


Tamagoyaki

This recipe we have already featured from Kofuku Graffiti, but it is an absolute classic! Let’s go right through it all and get to making this. The trick to keep in mind is that you do not want your eggs to cook too much or you will not be able to roll them and you will have essentially just a sweet omelet!

What you will need:

Eggs
4

sugar
2 tbsp

mayonnaise
2 tbsp

milk
2 tbsp

Salt


How to Cook It:

  1. 1

    Heat up your frying pan on low heat.
  2. 2

    Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl or large cup.
  3. 3

    Pour your mixture into the pan and make sure that it coats the bottom evenly.
  4. 4

    Using a spatula, begin to fold the egg on top of itself as if you were rolling up a sleeping bag.
  5. 5

    After about 4-5 times, it is done! Cut it into thirds or fourths and place it somewhere to cool.

Yum!


Onigiri

Like we said when we originally introduced them in a previous article, Onigiri had a tragic debut in the US in the form of “Jelly filled doughnuts” from Pokemon. For some reason, the translators of this series mistakenly thought that Rice Balls would somehow not translate correctly.

While Onigiri do seem like a complicated dish at first, they actually are quite easy and you can put many, many things inside. Common flavors are tuna & mayo, pickled plum, fried chicken, seaweed, and pan friend salmon. Thankfully we are not going to assault your taste buds too much as we will be detailing the tuna & mayo route. This of it as a tuna sandwich!

What you will need:

Tuna
1 Can

Mayonnaise
Couple spoonfuls

Salt and pepper

Seaweed (nori) if you can find it

Rice


How to Cook It:

  1. 1

    Cook your rice and then let it cool down a bit. Hot rice is not good for this.
  2. 2

    Next, mix the tuna, mayo, and seasoning together. Do not forget to drain the oil before mixing it.
  3. 3

    Take a wide plate or a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
  4. 4

    Place a generous portion of the rice on top about the size of 1-1½ of your fist.
  5. 5

    Smooth out the rice and place a dollop of the mixture in the center.
  6. 6

    Now, gently form them into either a triangle or a ball. Most handmade onigiri does not form a triangle, but a ball! So, do not be discouraged if yours come out in a rounded shape.
  7. 7

    Wrap the onigiri with at least one piece of nori, but if you are a fan, you can cover the whole thing!

Yum!


Octopus Wieners

This is yet another and the final installment this time. Octopus Wieners/sausages have been around since the 90s when Sailor Moon was on air and there is a chance that they have been around before that. The best part too is that now that we are at the end, this is the easiest to do. You don’t have to flip anything, you don’t have to move anything around, you just have to cut and fry. Super easy.

What you will need:

Precooked Sausages or hot dogs.


How to Cook It:

  1. 1

    Heat up a frying pan and put a little oil in the pan.
  2. 2

    Cut your hot dogs/sausages into thirds or fourths.
  3. 3

    On the bottom, make a crosshatch for them. Cut about halfway into the sausage itself.
  4. 4

    Place them bottom down and watch them so that as they cook, the legs begin to unfurl looking like an octopus.
  5. 5

    Once they are done, you are done!

Yum!


Final Thoughts

At this point, it is just a matter of lining your bento box the way that you want to. Be sure to let everything cool overnight so as not to expand it too much. A great and handy tip is that if you do not want to deal with cleaning your bento box after using it, simply line it with wax paper or plastic wrap. Then you just have to take it out and throw it away when you are done.

Another good point here is to use leaves or lettuce or cabbage to separate parts of your box. Then you have a healthy snack that you can either wrap your food in and eat, or eat as is when you are done! What do you think? Is this something that you could do? Give it a shot and let us know how you did.

Nagareboshi

Editor/Translator

Author: Nagareboshi

American by birth; international by choice. I am trying to bring attention to one of my favorite causes; me. I translate by day and write by night. Aspiring polyglot. My dream would be to be the personal translator for Amuro Namie. Other than that, my hobbies include languages, weightlifting, sleeping, karaoke, GOOD coffee and music. When I’m not doing any of the above, I am most likely laughing hysterically at Willam Belli videos or EV farming. I ain’t gunna Rupologize for it neither. Waifu are Shirai Kuroko & Euaerin.

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