This is a bento of firsts: my first time packing tonkatsu, and my first time making pickled okra. As for the tonkatsu, there's not really a reason not to pack it for bento. I mean, it's true that it's crispier when eaten immediately, but it's still tasty the next day, and when you let the kids dip their own tonkatsu sauce, you'll find that they eat the cabbage too. Besides the mess and hassle of deep-frying, it's not hard to make tonkatsu. I use thin cut pork and dip in flour, egg and panko, and fry until golden brown. And of course, kids LOVE it. About the pickles; I've actually been on a kind of pickle kick. I am obsessed with pickling. My favorite is red onions. It's super easy, and amazingly enough you don't need to add anything at all except rice vinegar -- the onions just magically become sweet and delicious after a day or so. And look at the color! I mean, how can you resist? I also shredded some carrot and daikon and pickled those together with a little sugar, and then I saw a recipe for okra pickles. I think they are meant to be eaten relatively soon after preparing, due to the slime factor, but the flavor was really good! It called for shoyu, which made a big difference. I thought the kids might be grossed out but they actually finished this batch first. Kids eating raw okra? Score! The other box shows off all the spring color: pineapple chunks, carrots, blackberries, and supersweet baby farmers strawberries.
Added to What's For Lunch.
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 13yo (8th grader) son & my 9yo (4th 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 ^-^!