Okay. So I had a hard time in planning out this bento, mainly because of budget constraints, and also because I had a different bento in mind yesterday afternoon, and I found out later that I lack most of the ingredients needed for the bento I wanted to make for today. I guess that bento'll be for another day.
Anyway, my bento today took me, more or less, 45 minutes to make. It's a really long time to make a bento this simple, but hey, I'm new to cooking and I'm new to bento-making. I spent roughly about 25 pesos for this bento. The total cost of this bento (if all ingredients were taken account for) would be 35-40 pesos. Depending on the quality of products that you would use. Take note that this cost is for 2 bentos already.
Today's Bento Menu:
- Pork Meatballs
- Luncheon Meat
- Cheese-stuffed Bell Pepper
- Spicy Chicken Yakisoba
The luncheon meat is free, since it's today's breakfast. I used up 2 slices of Purefoods Luncheon Meat. 1 for each bento.
I forgot where I got the idea of stuffing a bell-pepper with cheese, but that's what I did.
Here's my recipe for it:
- 1 medium sized bell pepper
- 2 triangles Laughing Cow spreadable cheese
- 1 pinch onion powder
- 1 Tbsp grated cheddar cheese
- Core the bell pepper (it would be great if the bell pepper were small, so you could have 2 of this babies). Wash the insides of the bell pepper. Make sure there are no seeds left
- On a small bowl, mix together the cheese, onion powder and cheddar cheese
- Stuff the cheese mix inside the bell pepper using a spoon and a butter knife. Make sure that the whole pepper is stuffed
- Optional: Grill or sear the bell pepper.
My Spicy Chicken Yakisoba is big downplay of any authentic yakisoba. I actually cheated a bit on this one. Since I don't know how to cook yakisoba, and I'm on a tight budget, I bought 2 packs of Nissin Spicy Chicken Instant Yakisoba. CHEATER! I know! I did however upped the game a bit by putting various vegetables in the yakisoba, and tried to make a sauce to flavor the veggies.
Here's what I did:
- 2 packs Nissin Spicy Chicken Yakisoba
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 4 pieces sweet peas
- 3 pieces baby corn, chopped
- 1/2 medium bell pepper, cubed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/8 cup Lee Kum Kee Premium Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 1/8 cup water, room temp. or warm.
- Cook the yakisoba noodles according to the instructions indicated in the pack
- Heat oil in a pan on low. Put in the carrots and the baby corn. Saute until you see a minimal change in color. Add in the onions and the sweet peas. Saute until onion is becomes a little transparent
- Add the soy sauce and sugar into the pan. Simmer for a few seconds, add in the water. Saute the vegetables until everything is well coated. Simmer for a few minutes or until the sauce is reduced.
- Turn off the burner/remove pan from heat. Cut out the remaining sauce in the pan, leaving at least 1 tsp of sauce. Vegetables shouldn't be saucy since the yakisoba pack already has a sauce pouch with it it.
- Mix the yakisoba sauce and podwer in the veggie-sauce you made. Do not use the dried up vegetables that came with the pack.
- Add the sauce to the noodles and mix to evenly distribute the sauce.
Since this bento wasn't what I wanted to make, I made the combinations haphazardly. I really have no idea how to put this together with the lack of ingredients. I wanted to add a few tamagoyaki but or even just a plain boiled egg, but I couldn't find an egg last night and this morning to save my life. I couldn't afford to buy by the carton, so I had to omit the egg. Also, you may have noticed that one bento doesn't have a stuffed bell pepper. That's due again to my budget constraints, I ran out of cheese.
The taste of this bento was surprisingly good! For something that I thought out of whim (well, considering how much time I thought out the other bento menus). The veggie sauce I made complemented the yakisoba sauce well. The meat balls also blended well. Actually, if you eat the noodles where the meatballs sat, it tastes really good! Next time I'll dice the meatballs and include it with the veggie-yakisoba sauce. The Luncheon meat added a great salty taste to the sweet yakisoba flavor. All the meat used in this bento worked well with the sweet-spicy-salty taste of the yakisoba. I was surprised with how good the cheese-stuffed bell pepper tasted. It-was-freakin'-awesome!!! SDEHBF ate his bento with me, so I got to taste the cheese-stuffed bell pepper! The sweetness of the bell pepper worked well with the sour-salty taste of cheese stuffing! It was an explosion of flavor in my mouth! I think it will be doubly awesome if the cheese-stuffed bell pepper was grilled or seared for a few seconds. YUM!