Vegan Bento Field with Tamagoyaki
A bento field is a clean canvas into which you’ll be able to pack a scrumptious and nutritious meal to tackle the go. Because the co-host of the tv sequence Bento Expo, I’ve made lots of of bentos over time, and immediately I wish to share a few of my methods with you so you can begin packing your personal vegan bento field lunches. I’m additionally going to be sharing some bento aspect dishes, in addition to an eggless tamagoyaki recipe that’s each vegan and vegetarian pleasant.
What’s within the Bento Field
- Vegan Tamagoyaki – Bento containers don’t essentially should have a major dish, however the vegan Tamagoyaki could be it if I needed to choose one from this field. It’s additionally the first supply of protein and fats on this bento.
- Multigrain rice – I prefer to fortify the dietary content material of my rice by including in a multigrain combine. The one I used has 16 totally different grains, seeds, and legumes. Should you’re not into rice, quinoa makes for a nutritious substitute that’s filled with protein.
- Kinpira Gobo – This can be a stir-fry of julienned burdock root and carrots, seasoned with a savory-sweet sauce.
- Fast pickled cauliflower – This fast pickle is made by boiling purple cauliflower florets for a few minute and a half after which draining and soaking them in seasoned sushi vinegar. You’ll see the colour change from indigo to magenta nearly immediately because of the anthocyanin within the cauliflower reacting to the low pH of the sushi vinegar. This can be a enjoyable experiment to do with youngsters. You may as well soak uncooked purple onion, radishes, bell peppers, carrots, cucumber, in seasoned sushi vinegar to make a colourful number of fast pickles that may final for weeks. Seasoned sushi vinegar will be bought, or make it your self by following step 7 in my sushi rice recipe. Try the video under for extra specifics.
- Goma-ae – Goma-ae means “mixed with sesame” in Japanese, and it’s a scrumptious method to take pleasure in inexperienced veggies like spinach, swiss chard, kale, or inexperienced beans. By mixing the blanched greens with a great deal of floor sesame seeds and a few seasonings, it creates a aspect dish that’s creamy and nutty with a great deal of nutritional vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
- Watermelon radish– Watermelon radish is loaded with fiber, vitamin C and anthocyanins, and it makes for a surprising visible distinction in our vegan bento field. I’ve used just a few slices of it as a partition to maintain the tangy cauliflower pickles from making contact with the spinach (the vinegar will discolor the spinach).
- Shiso leaf – Inexperienced shiso is a Japanese herb within the mint household that’s usually used as a garnish in sushi eating places. It has an exquisite recent perfume and enticing leaves that make it a fantastic partition to make use of in bento. Should you can’t discover it, any darkish leafy inexperienced will work.
Components for Vegan Tamagoyaki
- Tofu – Tofu varieties the bottom for the vegan Tamagoyaki, and it additionally offers the majority of the protein. I like to recommend utilizing silken or mushy tofu (the one with a custardy texture) to get the appropriate consistency.
- Rice flour – Since tofu received’t set firmly sufficient by itself, I add some rice flour to assist it bind collectively into elastic layers that may be rolled. I used rice flour milled from Japanese short-grain rice, however mochi flour can even work. I don’t suggest utilizing flour milled from long-grain rice because it has a better amylose content material that may make your Tamagoyaki arduous and brittle.
- Chickpea flour – Utilizing rice flour to set the Tamagoyaki leads to a chewy mochi-like texture. Utilizing a 50:50 combination of chickpea flour with rice flour creates a agency elastic texture nearer to cooked egg. Chickpea flour additionally has a yellow colour whereas contributing protein and fiber to our Tamagoyaki.
- Vegetable oil – The richness of eggs comes from the fats within the yolk. To realize an identical mouthfeel, I’ve added some vegetable oil.
- Dried shiitake – Chickpea flour and tofu present protein and substance to our Tamagoyaki, however they each have a definite taste that doesn’t style like egg. By grating dried shiitake mushroom right into a powder and including it to our Tamagoyaki combine, it helps cowl up the bean-like taste of the legumes whereas including umami.
- Candy corn powder – Candy corn powder is made by both freeze-drying candy corn after which grinding it right into a powder or by spray-drying recent corn juice. It has the style and sweetness of recent candy corn and shouldn’t be confused with cornflour, cornmeal, or cornstarch. The corn powder provides umami and a few pure sweetness so we are able to reduce on the added sugar.
- Sugar – Conventional Tamagoyaki has a stability of tastes between candy and savory. The sugar helps present this stability.
- Soy sauce – Soy sauce seasons the Tamagoyaki whereas lending a barely reddish hue that shifts the colour of the Tamagoyaki from yellow to golden. You need to use tamari to make this gluten-free.
- Konbu cha – Konbu cha (to not be confused with kombucha, the fermented beverage) means “kelp tea” in Japanese. It is available in granules that may be added to scorching water to make a savory kelp broth. That is a straightforward pure method so as to add a great deal of umami to any dish. Should you can’t discover it, it’s also possible to steep complete konbu in water for just a few hours to make kelp broth after which use this instead of the water.
- Salt – I used desk salt for this, however black salt will give the Tamagoyaki a extra egg-like taste.
- Turmeric – That is non-obligatory, as there are different yellow elements on this recipe, however including a really small quantity of turmeric provides the Tamagoyaki a extra vibrant yellow colour. Simply watch out to not add an excessive amount of, or your Tamagoyaki will flip fluorescent yellow.
The way to Make Vegan Tamagoyaki
In a blender or meals processor (or in a beaker for those who’re utilizing a hand blender), grate within the dried shiitake mushroom utilizing a Microplane. Should you use a full-size blender or meals processor, it’s also possible to grind it right into a powder utilizing the machine.
Add the tofu, rice flour, chickpea flour, water, oil, corn powder, sugar, soy sauce, konbu cha, salt, turmeric, after which puree till clean. You need the combination to be in regards to the viscosity of a crushed egg. If it’s too thick, add somewhat water at a time till it reaches the appropriate thickness.
Also read: Good vegetarian picnic food ideas
Fold up a small piece of paper towel to kind a pad after which saturate it with just a few teaspoons of oil. This will probably be used to grease the pan between layers, put it in a bowl, and set it takeoutfood.finest Vegan Tamagoyaki combination could be very sticky, so it’s essential to make use of a pan with an excellent non-stick coating, or it is going to make a multitude. You need to use an oblong tamagoyaki pan, or a spherical omelet pan will work as nicely (although the form received’t be fairly as good).
Preheat the pan over medium-low warmth till a drop of water added sizzles. Use the oiled paper towel to wipe down each inside floor of the pan, after which add sufficient of the Vegan Tamagoyaki combination to coat half of the pan. Rapidly swirl the combination round to coat the remainder of the pan.
Let this fry undisturbed till the perimeters begin to brown. I don’t usually cook dinner Tamagoyaki for as long as it is going to make eggs dry and hard. Nevertheless, this plant-based combination has a gooey mochi-like texture that must be cooked till it’s simply shy of burnt to agency up like egg.
As soon as the layer begins to brown across the edges, use an oiled spatula to roll the sheet from one aspect to the opposite. Then you definately wish to wipe down the pan once more with the oiled paper towel and add one other layer of Vegan Tamagoyaki combination.
When the following layer has began to brown across the edges, roll the primary layer to the opposite aspect to wrap it within the second layer.
Now you possibly can repeat the earlier steps till your Vegan Tamagoyaki reaches its desired measurement. What number of layers it takes will depend upon the scale of your pan. This full recipe makes sufficient batter for 2 small tamagoyaki or one bigger tamagoyaki made in an even bigger pan.
When you’re proud of the scale, switch the Tamagoyaki to a slicing board or plate and let it cool fully. It can nonetheless be mushy and gummy whereas scorching, which can make it very troublesome to slice. Because it cools, it ought to set and tackle a agency texture.
The way to Pack a Vegan Bento Field
The beauty of conventional Japanese bento containers is that they don’t have partitions. The comparatively small measurement helps management parts whereas permitting you to make use of your creativeness to pack your bento field the way you prefer it. Conventional Japanese bento containers are often filled with rice, a protein and a few vegetable aspect dishes, however trendy bento are filled with every part from sandwiches to pasta. Listed here are just a few pointers to get you began.
Read more: Low carb vegetarian instant pot recipes
- Pack a rainbow – It’s rather a lot simpler to maintain monitor of macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fats) than it’s to maintain monitor of micronutrients. Since pigments in meals have a tendency to indicate the presence of assorted micronutrients, having quite a lot of colours in your bento field often means you might have an excellent stability of vitamins. On this vegan bento field, the rice is the first supply of carbs, whereas the tofu and chickpea flour within the Tamagoyaki ship the protein. The fats comes from vegetable oil used within the varied dishes. The varied yellow parts of the Tamagoyaki and the carrots within the kinpira present tons of carotenoids. The watermelon radish and purple cauliflower are loaded with anthocyanins, and the spinach is wealthy in Lutein, Folate, and Vitamin Ok. I at all times prefer to to have the fridge stocked with a colourful assortment of bite-sized fruits and veggies comparable to berries, grapes, cherry tomatoes, and snap peas so as to add a pop of colour to my bento.
- Pack it tight – Since a bento field is supposed to be taken on the go, the contents must be safe, so that they don’t shift round in transit. That’s why it’s essential to make use of a comparatively small container and pack it with little or no room for the contents to shift round. I often do that by selecting an orientation for the field and packing it in layers from again to entrance. If it helps, you possibly can sketch the place you propose to place your varied aspect dishes. I prefer to mentally divide the field into triangles, making for a extra thrilling presentation than lining every part up in rows.
- Use separators – Some meals go collectively, however others won’t, so it’s useful to have edible partitions like lettuce, kale, cabbage, and many others., to put between varied meals. This helps maintain the flavors separate and offers a pleasant visible distinction whereas including much more vitamins. If the meals you wish to pack could be very moist, I typically don’t suggest packing it right into a bento because the excessive moisture content material will make it spoil rapidly, and it’ll make the meals round it soggy.
- Meal prep – A method I cut back the quantity of labor to do within the morning is to make additional parts of aspect dishes that may be packed into your bento field for the following day. This might be something from boiled broccoli to a pasta salad. I additionally prefer to meal prep sides that may final for just a few days just like the Kinpira Gobo or Fast Pickles used on this vegan bento field. Preserving your pantry stocked with wholesome snacks comparable to dried cranberries or walnuts is one other straightforward method so as to add an additional merchandise to your bento with out doing any cooking.
Different Vegan Bento Field Concepts
- Tofu Karaage
- Tofu Steak
- Takikomi Gohan (Japanese mushroom rice)
- Vegan Unagi
- Vegetable Gyoza
- Daigaku Imo (glazed candy potato)
- Japanese Pickles 3-ways