There is an absolute moratorium on buying new food in my house right now. Unless it’s a staple, and we’ve run out, of course. For you Cupcake Friday! fans, this is how serious it is – I can’t close my baking cabinets. There, I admit it.
So, right now, not only am I focusing on the usual bento love, it’s all about managing to use up the gazillion packets of food that are taking over the kitchen! Here’s what I managed to do with the last of a packet of soba noodles:
Soba noodle salad (adapted from Nigella Lawson’s soba noodle salad recipe in her Forever Summer series):
- 1 ‘bundle’ of soba noodles – this will be more than 1 bento’s worth of noodles, although appetites vary (there were 4 bundles in the package I bought, and the whole package is said to serve 6 according to the nutrition facts).
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp mirin (sub honey if you can’t find it)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil is what the recipe requires – the brand I have (President’s Choice) is tasty but strong, so I use 1 tsp sesame and 1 tsp canola
- Cook soba noodles according to package instructions. Watch them carefully – they are incredibly prone to boiling over in an instant.
- Drain the noodles in a colander and either rinse very well in cold water, or plunge the colander into a bowl full of cold water. Don’t skip this step, or you may end up with a tummyache! They need to be well-rinsed and cooled.
- Place noodles into a bowl or a bento, and toss with the dressing and let sit half an hour (if you can) if eating right away. If bentoing, place the dressing in a cup to not run the risk of the dressing disappearing. I actually only used 1/3 the dressing, saving the rest for the hub’s bento and the rest of the soba to snack on.
- The original recipe has toasted sesame seeds and 5 spring onions, but today I just sprinkled about 1/4 of a spring onion over the top of the salad.
I have a hard-boiled egg, grilled orange pepper slices (in the panini press – takes about 8 minutes or so), raw broccoli, and the soba dressing in the pig cup. I had planned some apple slices, but there was no room, so I snacked on those as well as leftover noodles while making bentos. It’s supposed to be a carrot star to decorate, but I messed it up…
Snacks are trail mix for the morning, and cucumber/carrot/sunflower seeds/home-made hummus for the afternoon.