Making ‘tamago-yaki‘ – Japanese rolled omelette – the traditional way may seem a little daunting, but here is my fail-proof, super-reduced version that‘s ready in 2 minutes (yes, really!). It was one of the first recipes Andy tested for this book and he makes it all the time now for his own bentos. Layering the egg with a nori sheet in the pan makes it easy to flip and fold, and adds both nutritional value and good looks.
Makes 1 bento.
Eat the same day.
1 organic egg
a little oil, to fry
a pinch each of sea salt and chilli flakes
1/2 or 1 nori sheet
Crack your egg into a glass jar with a lid, add salt and chilli, close the lid tight and give it a really good shake.
Heat a medium frying pan over a medium heat until hot, then drizzle with a little oil. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and quickly tilt to cover the surface like a crepe. Immediately (yes!) place the whole nori sheet on top and within seconds you‘ll see your tamago curling up at the sides, ready to fold in three.
Slide onto a clean chopping board and leave to cool slightly before cutting into bite-sized strips.
Instead of salt in the mixture, use 1/2 tsp tamari.
1 portion of pre-prepped quinoa-sunflower rice
a few radicchio leaves, or any other salad leaf
2cm cucumber, very thinly sliced (1–2mm), using a mandolin if you have one
tamari seeds or any toasted nuts and seeds
1/2 tsp brown rice vinegar
pinch each of sea salt and gochugaru (Korean pepper)
1 wedge of (blood) orange
toasted sesame seeds, to taste
herbs, to garnish, optional
Arrange the rice in one end of your box and use a piece of radicchio leaf as a bowl for the lazy tamago. Use baking paper to make a small pocket each for the cucumber slices and toasted nuts and drizzle the rice vinegar over the cucumber and sprinkle with a little salt and gochugaru. The cucumber will marinate slightly by lunchtime.
Add the orange and finish with a sprinkle of sesame and herbs, if using. Close your box and pack in a bento bag or furoshiki with chopsticks or a fork.
Flavourful sesame and linseeds combined with crunchy buckwheat here, making a delicious pretty finishing sprinkle in your bento, especially good on sweet ingredients.
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp water
50g sesame seeds (any type)
Soft white rice is studded with specks of nutrient-rich quinoa and surprise sunflower seeds here. A light and soothing rice that goes with everything.
Makes 2–3 portions.
Fridge life: up to 3 days.
150g white Japanese rice
80g quinoa (black or red makes a nice visual contrast to the white rice)
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
350ml water, to cook
To add to the cooked grains:
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp brown rice vinegar
Wash the combined grains with cold water directly in your cooking pot, trying to rub off as much of the cloudy starch as possible. Discard the water and repeat once.
Drain completely and add the measured water for cooking. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and leave to rest with the lid on for 5 minutes. While still hot, fold in the salt and vinegar, taking care not to crush the grains too much.
Let it cool before packing in your bento and/or a storage container.
More delicious and colourful recipes in Bento Power by Sara Kiyo Popowa