Another year has gone by and the next one has come in! Years go by so fast...it can be sad sometimes. But you just have to think 'well, time flies when you're having fun!'. This year has held many great things for me, including starting this blog. While I haven't been too active with my posting, I plan to find more time for it. In fact, that's one of my resolutions! I guess the big highlight was our visit to Colorado and meeting up with all my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Some of my cousins have gotten married, and it was great to meet their spouses and in some cases their cute little babies! I also got to see my parakeets who we left with my sisters during the move, one of which was very ill and died a few months later. Needless to say, I can't wait until the next reunion.
But the year always ends happy, because every year we make jyu-bako!
You may be familiar with the Japanese bento, which is a meal in a little box consisting of many different things. It is made in the morning or the night before and is usually brought as lunch for students or working men/women. The thing with bento is, you want to make it as pretty as possible! Some mothers even compete to make the coolest bento for their kids.
So the New Year's Osechi is basically that, but for three days. Yup, we make a big bento and use it for three days. And it is awesome.
We try to make it as nice as possible, despite the fact that we don't get much Japanese food here. So I'm going to share some nice substitutes you can make even out of Asia!
Here are the boxes!
Top to bottom, left to right:
Egg-veggie rolls, shiitake mushrooms, carrots cooked in shoyu-marinade, snow peas
Meat and veggie roll-ups, fried codfish, salmon, meat and cheese roll-ups
Cheese ball, carrots and daikon marinated in vinegar and sugar, ham, more cheese ball, chicken loaf
Clockwise starting from top: Boiled shrimp, kojiro eggs (quail eggs cooked in soy sauce, named after our stuffed chicken Kojiro who is brown), Koya-dofu (little sweet tofu), tarako (codfish eggs),
Hijiki (seaweed dish made with European ingredients)
And now the bento that I made: Egg rolls, marinated carrots and peas, kamaboko (the pink and white things, sliced fish cake) and konnyaku cooked in shoyu and twisted all fancy (konnyaku is kind of impossible to describe, it's really gummy and chewy and yummy I guess...)
And now onto the making! Here's the egg rolls:
Beat 4 eggs and fry them into extra thing pancakes. We got 5 pancakes out of 4 eggs.
Spread them out flat and add some extra thin cheese and ham, snow peas or beans and boiled carrot sticks.
Roll it up and slice!
Cut two slices like so, and one that acts like a hole in the middle. Be careful not to slice it in half!
Take one thingy and push it through the hole. Push the other thing in the whole too, but coming in from the opposite direction. Exuse my cut finger :D
Pull both ends and voilá!
Also you can do this: Take 1 slice of kamaboko and cut a bunch of thin slices into it. Bend every other slice over.