Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bento Fillers - Tea Eggs, Miso Peppers and Chicken Karaage

We went to J-Con today, my daughter in cosplay wearing an outfit I made over the last couple of weeks out of an old school shirt and an old sheet.

Seeing as it is a Japanese-themed convention, I packed bento lunches. Homemade sushi - inari zushi and cucumber rolls. Vegetable gyoza bought frozen from Hoo Hing. Tea Eggs. Chicken Karaage. Miso Peppers.

Here are the recipes for the last three, all of which are pretty easy bento fillers that will keep in the fridge for a couple of days after making.

Tea Eggs
  • Half a dozen eggs
  • A good slug of soy sauce
  • A couple of teabags
  • A couple of peppercorns, a piece of cinnamon stick, a couple of star anise
Hard-boil the eggs and then cool in cold water.
Bash the eggs all over with a spoon to crack the shells without opening them.
Put the cracked eggs into a saucepan with the rest of the ingrediants and add enough hot water to cover them.
Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes to infuse the tea and spices, and then leave to soak in the liquid til cold - or even overnight in the fridge.
Drain and peel. The eggs should have a marbled effect where the marinade has penetrated the shell along the network of cracks, and absorbed some of the savoury spicy flavour.

Miso Peppers
  • Mini sweet peppers
  • Miso
Slit the sweet peppers open along one side and carefully dig out the seeds with the end of a teaspoon.
Spread a little miso inside each pepper through the slit.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the peppers.
Cook over a high heat, turning regularly, until the skins blister and start to blacken all over.
Cool and then chill.

Chicken Karaage
  • A couple of skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • A small piece of fresh root ginger
  • A couple of tablespoons of soy sauce
  • A couple of tablespoons of sake or sherry
  • Cornflour, to coat
Finely grate the ginger and combine with the soy sauce and sake/sherry to make a marinade.
Cut the chicken into bitesize pieces and coat with the marinade.
Let marinade in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Drain the chicken and dredge in cornflour.
Deep fry the chicken pieces until crispy.
Let cool, then chill.