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Simple steak teriyaki and miso aubergine bento box

by Louise Robinson
Steak teriyaki and miso aubergine bento box

Simple steak teriyaki and miso aubergine bento box

PT1H

 
 

Why not try?

Ask many people what they had for lunch at work today and they may struggle to remember. Lunch ‘on the go’ would probably be the most likely answer. A supermarket sandwich, hurriedly eaten at their desk, or perhaps a ready made salad or soup.

Instead of reaching for the same boring lunch options, why not try making a Japanese style packed lunch in the form of a bento box. Traditionally these compartmented lunch boxes contain rice, fish and/or meat, vegetables and pickles, but there are hundreds of variations.

While there are some incredibly elaborate bento boxes, the recipes below could not be simpler. Most of the recipes serve two, apart from the rice which serves four, as it is easier to make a larger quantity. If making a box just for yourself, you can always enjoy any leftovers the next day. If you are really pushed for time, decant some good quality shop-bought sushi into your bento box and add some pickles and maybe a little homemade salad.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

1
Begin by making the pickled cucumber. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Slice crossways into very thin slices
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2
Place the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and ginger into a small bowl and stir to combine
3
Add the cucumber to the bowl and stir to coat the slices evenly with the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour
4
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
5
Meanwhile, prepare the baked aubergine. Place the miso, mirin and sake in a large bowl and mix together to form a smooth paste. Stir in the ginger and spring onions. Add the aubergine slices to the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly in the sauce
6
Grease a large roasting tray with the oil and arrange the aubergine slices in a single layer to ensure they cook evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, until soft and golden brown. If the aubergine is drying out, splash with a little water
7
While the aubergine bakes, prepare the Japanese rice. Place the rice in a sieve and wash under the cold tap until the water runs clear. Rest the sieve on a bowl and leave to drain for at least 15 minutes
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8
Remove the aubergine from the oven and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chopped coriander. Set aside until ready to serve
9
Place the rice in a saucepan and add 180ml of cold water. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and immediately reduce the heat as low as possible for a further 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, do not remove the lid and leave for another 10 minutes
10
Meanwhile, cook the peas with a pinch of salt in plenty of boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain and place the peas in bowl of iced water
11
Place the spring onions, ginger, oil, rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt into a small bowl and mix to create a sauce. Fold the peas and sauce into the rice and allow to cool
12
For the steak teryaki, place a frying pan over a high heat until really hot. Add the oil and flash fry the beef fillet for a couple of minutes. It should still be pink in the middle. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate
13
Place the mirin, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, cornflour and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring continuously, and cook for 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Leave to cool
14
Place 2 lettuce ‘cups’ in each bento box and fill with radishes, cucumber and onion. Season with a little more salt and pepper and place the beef slices on top. Spoon over a little of the sauce and sprinkle with the chopped coriander
15
Divide half of the Japanese rice between the bento boxes, refrigerating any leftovers. Remove the cucumber from the pickling solution and divide between the boxes. Add the baked aubergine and serve
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