Microwave mixed rice & fried chicken
Bug’s lunch: Quick mixed brown and white rice with asparagus, kamaboko fish cake, and green onions (recipe below). Strawberries, green grapes and Ajinomoto-brand Japanese-style fried chicken (“kara-age”). Pre-cooked frozen fried chicken was great in theory, but not very good in practice as it turned out soggy and greasy — yuck. It was moist and the flavor was good, but the breading was unappetizing. Didn’t bother Bug, though, as he devoured the chicken but left the rice untouched for reasons yet unknown…
Morning prep time: 8 minutes, using frozen fried chicken and microwave faux “fried rice” using leftover cold rice.
Packing: For the fried chicken, I used paper-lined cups specially designed to absorb the oil from fried food (bought at Daiso in Daly City, CA for US$1.50 — look for the cartoon shrimp on the package). I was pleased with these as they absorbed a lot of oil from the chicken. This was too large for Bug, but the leftovers didn’t go to waste…
My lunch was the same as Bug’s, with bigger pieces of chicken and halved strawberries instead of quartered.
I used a shortcut to make cheater’s 5-minute “fried rice” in the microwave that I adapted from Japanese bento cookbook “Kindergartner Bentos” from Kodansha, a variation on this version that I made a while back.
Loose Recipe for Mixed Rice
- 1.5 cups leftover cooked rice (white or brown, refrigerated, frozen or fresh)
- a few slices of kamaboko fish cake (or any protein, such as roast pork or chicken)
- a green onion
- a vegetable (asparagus, frozen green peas or corn, etc.)
- sesame oil
- soy sauce
- roasted, ground sesame seeds (optional)
- Chop up a handful each of protein (kamaboko), green onion and vegetable (if cutting is necessary).
- Put the leftover cold white rice in a microwave-safe bowl, and top it with the protein, green onions, and vegetables. Cover with plastic wrap and heat for one minute in a 1100W microwave (times will vary depending upon how much food you’re nuking and the power of your microwave). If you have fresh rice made up, just nuke the protein and veggies on their own, and mix them together with the hot rice afterwards.
- When hot, add a couple teaspoons or so of soy sauce, a dash of salt and a drizzle of sesame oil to taste, and mix it all up.
NOTE: I keep a cheap sesame seed grinder filled with roasted sesame seeds for freshly ground sesame. If you don’t have a sesame seed roaster , you can use a frying pan covered with a splatter screen to toast your own sesame seeds (cheaper and fresher than buying them pre-roasted, but slower).
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