For today's bento I had made pork spareribs using a recipe I saw on the Japanese Time-Saving Show. It's a funny show that features hilarious tips for saving time in all kinds of areas. There is usually a cooking segment with chefs who sometimes try to copy the recipes from celebrity chefs while using strange substitutes. Sometimes there are regular housewives and husbands who want to share a quick tip for getting the kids ready for school in 5 minutes, or even bento ideas. Once in awhile there is an idea that I might be willing to try, like the Marmalade Pork Ribs here. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the exact ingredient measurements, but it was so straightforward I thought I could wing it. Basically all you do is put the ribs (I used country style pork ribs) in the pot with yakiniku sauce (but I used a shoyu/mirin/white wine sauce [2:1:1], splash of lemon, sesame oil, ginger and garlic) and a "big scoop" of marmalade. The idea is that the pectin will tenderize the meat quickly and you can have your meat ready in 18 minutes on the stove. First I poked the meat all over with a fork, then browned them in the pan. Then I added the yakiniku sauce and approximately equal volume of marmalade, lowered heat to simmer, covered and let cook until done, turning a couple times. Well, it didn't come out SUPER tender, but it was pretty tasty! I sliced it into smaller pieces and lay them in a lettuce leaf in one section of the bento. I also included pickled cucumber, steamed kabocha (which I added to the rice cooker about 10 minutes before it was finished), peapods and a carved carrot. Last section has cherries and a mini mandarin. I think I may be getting back into the bento swing, slowly. ^_^
I am a former research scientist turned stay-at-home-mom of 2 who got started with bento in an effort to help my kids learn that eating healthy and nutritious foods can be fun and cute. I make a bento lunch for my 10yo (5th grader) son & my 6yo (1st grader) daughter every school day, and post the pictures on my sherimiya ♥ flickr photostream. Here in this blog is where I describe each bento, and you'll also get a peek inside our family adventures. Thanks for taking a look, and please let me know what you think ^-^!