I tried making a bento a few days ago. I’m a big fan of Tokyo Tokyo – a local Japanese fastfood chain here in the Philippines. During my high school days I remember I used to save up just to eat my favorite pork tonkatsu at least once a month. I tried to make my version of mixed veggies and tonkatsu sauce that tastes almost the same as what they serve 🙂
For this bento, I made korokke, mixed veggies for side, homemade tonkatsu sauce, and rice rolls. I also added a few papaya pieces for dessert 🙂
|Korokke||Mixed Veggies||Tonkatsu Sauce||Rice Rolls|
|½ cup cooking oil||2 tbsp olive oil||Worcestershire sauce||Rice|
|2 medium-sized white onions||2 tbsp butter, unsalted||Soy sauce||Seaweed rolls|
|½ kg ground pork||1 head cabbage, small||Ketchup|
|Salt & pepper to taste||2 pcs carrots, medium||Garlic|
|½ kg potatoes||Sesame oil (optional)||Cornstarch|
Part A. Cooking the meat
- Saute onions.
- Add ground pork and cook until pale and uniform in color. Continue to mix until it’s slightly brown on all sides.
- Set aside and let cool while you prepare the potatoes.
Part B. Preparing mashed potatoes
- Boil potatoes until they’re soft to mash.
- In a bowl, mash potatoes while they’re hot. Mix in a little salt and pepper to taste.
- Set aside and let cool.
Part C. Making korokke
- Mix ground pork and mashed potato in a large bowl.
- Form them into balls with your hand. I used a tablespoon of mixture for each korokke ball.
- Coat the balls in flour then cool them in the fridge for about half an hour.
- Coat the refrigerated balls with egg then coat them with bread crumbs.
- Fry the korokke balls until they’re golden brown.
- Slice cabbage and carrots into thin strips.
- In a hot pan, add olive (or any cooking) oil and butter.
- Sauté onions for about a minute (you want them to still be crunchy) then add cabbage and carrots.
- Season with a drop or two of sesame oil, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.
There’s a lot of recipes for tonkatsu sauce available in the internet, this is just my recipe J You can also buy a ready to eat sauce if it is available in your supermarket (I only know of the brand Bulldog :))
- In a mixing bowl: add Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, ketchup and crushed garlic.
- I wanted the sauce a little bit thick (like what they serve in Tokyo Tokyo) so I put cornstarch.
TIP: When thickening sauces, dissolve cornstarch first with just enough water before adding to the mixture so you’ll get rid of lumps easily.
- Boil the mixture on low heat with continuous mixing. Once the mixture starts boiling, remove from heat.
TIP: I removed the fresh garlic once the sauce was done because garlic has a strong taste when it’s cooked. You can also use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic 🙂
- Place a seaweed mat on a bamboo mat (sticks parallel to you) with the shiny face down.
- Spread 2 tbsps of rice evenly on the seaweed mat.
- Take one side of the bamboo mat, lift it and roll tightly.
- Slice the rice roll using a damp knife.
You can add fillings to your own rice roll such as cucumbers, meat, carrots, etc like you would if you’ll be making kimbap or sushi. This is just the basic one; it looks prettier in the bento compared to plain rice 🙂