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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Korean Reflections Bento


This bento was made with elements from yet another fun Korean/Asian supermarket in our area: on Saturday I spent quite a while browsing Super H-Mart in Fairfax. This "Redbean Mammoth" pastry looked great--but was the size of a small pizza, so I opted for a small chestnut roll instead!



The prettiest frozen vegetable package I've ever seen:
Candies and a great variety of prepared foods...and for the purposes of today's bento--yummy panchan and crab and scallion cakes:



My idea of a great supermarket includes a food court where you can get a steaming, spicy bowl of seafood and tofu soup!

 

Among other options...

Today's bento features the crab scallion cakes in sesame leaves--such a fresh, green complement to Korean and Japanese dishes! Also, some of the panchan, including crisp, lightly marinated cucumbers, beansprouts and an interesting take on cabbage kimchi--this one finely shredded. A baby yellow tomato holds spicy gochujang. In the upper left square: sweet potato slices, rainbow chard, enoki, pea sprouts. For a sweet finish: papaya slices and kiwi, banana slices with honey, almonds, cinnamon and almonds...and a butter kitty cookie.




14 comments:

Judy said...

A light kimchi ?!?!? I am currently researching kimchi. Good friends bury theirs in their backyard. Is this normal?

Lovely box. Beautiful. Kitty cookie would be first in my mouth :D

Lil'chan said...

You are lucky to be able to eat such nice things!
I woulf like to go shopping in that store, too. ;)
Your bento, besides, looks really great! So much nice things are put in, can't decide what I would eat first ^-^

Lia Chen said...

Love Korean foods a lot, maybe because I am a fan of spicy and sour foods. The white beech mushrooms are cute ... I am wondering how to cook them? Just put that on the spicy soup?

bentobird said...

Hi Judy!
I saw an episode of No Reservations where Anthony Bourdain visits Korea, and we are shown the great family/seasonal ritual of making kimchi and burying it in beautiful ceramic urns to cure/pickle...
Glad you liked this one!

bentobird said...

Hi Lil'chan!
Thanks for stopping by...I love the bentos you make using your local food sources :)

bentobird said...

Hi there Lia!
For sour and spicy, its hard to beat Korean!I've been enjoying scrambled eggs with a mixture of mushrooms and dark leafy greens recently...one thought for these cute beech mushrooms :)Your idea of adding them to the spicy soup is a great notion...

jokergirl@wererabbits said...

Yum! This makes me crave Korean food even though I've just eaten. :)
Hm... maybe a Bibimbap bento is in order...

;)

bentobird said...

Hi jokergirl,

A "Bibimbap Bento" is worth making for the name alone!

Anonymous said...

A lovely autumnal study! Great colours and the setting gives it a meditative quality. I love how you have done the bananas - I'd love to pinch that idea! I'm interested too in your use of sesame leaves - I haven't come across them - I've used shiso (perilla) leaves in much the same way. Can you tell me more about the sesame leaves?
Another beautiful bentobird production!
Carolyn x (Blorgie1)

megan said...

hi jenn, this bento is BEAUTIFUL!! i bet hapa bento's mouth was watering, too -- we are both big korean food fans. i'm so jealous that your H mart appears to be more robust than mine -- lucky you! and i loved this informative post; your sense of food and culture exploration is always so jubilant :-)

bentobird said...

Hi Carolyn-Blorgie1!
Wow, such a lovely comment--thank you! According to Wikipedia, Korean cookbooks often translate shisho/perilla as sesame leaves, perhaps explaining the "sesame leaf" label on the H-Mart perilla I used in this bento? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perilla
I love these leaves! We just enjoyed some with scrambled eggs and enoki mushrooms. They have such a special, subtle taste--glad you've discovered them, too!

bentobird said...

Hi Megan!
So nice to read you comment as I settle back in after travelling for the holiday...it's true that the H-Mart in NYC is small, but what a fabulous street its on, with all those Korean restaurants and related, fun places!It's a joy to visit. Korean food is indeed unique and awesome...so glad you enjoyed this post :)
Best wishes,
Jenn

Katrina said...

Hi, I just recently found your blog and love all of the detail you put into your food! I'm also from No VA and was wondering if you've been to the Korean Bakery in Fairfax called Shilla Bakery? They have delicious boba teas (the strawberry boba tea is the best), tasty croquettes, and very good bulgogi there!

Bentobird said...

Hi Katrina,
Thanks for your visit! Yes, We've been to Shilla--will need to try the specialties you mention next time!