bento box and carrot salad

I made myself a little bento box for lunch using a Lock & Lock container that came with little dividers and a couple of silicone muffin cups. I actually bought this container in Hong Kong last year because I couldn’t find them here at all, but now I see them in the stores all the time. From left to right is a portion of gallo pinto (recipe posted yesterday), a quick carrot salad (recipe below), dried cranberries and some Kashi Honey Almond Flax cereal.

bento box

bento box

Quick carrot salad

1 carrot, shaved with a peeler or shredded with a grater
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
dash of white pepper (black would be okay too)

Shaving a carrot with a peeler with give you more delicate pieces but grating would work just as well. Mix all ingredients together.

In hind sight I think I should have used fish sauce or maybe some black vinegar instead of the lemon juice. Ah well, something to try for next time!

Soy sauce marinade

My stepmother has this magical marinade recipe. It is a fairly flexible seasoning, and gives food like chicken wings or pork chops a wonderful flavour. I made pork chops with this marinade last night, but was too busy eating to take photos.

My stepmother’s soy sauce marinade

This recipe is for a large amount of meat such as 8 pork chops or 30 chicken wings; adjust as necessary for the amount of meat you are marinating. If you are preparing pork chops, beat them up with a meat tenderizer first. The marinade can also be customized to fit different flavours. My stepmother recommended adding various items like galangal, lemongrass, fresh garlic, etc.

1 cup of light soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
small pinch of salt (She claims it’s a requirement but I think the soy sauce is fairly salty already.)
white pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste (can substitute minced or pressed garlic, but the powder will integrate better with the rest of the ingredients and give a more even flavour)
water, if necessary

Place meat in a large, sealable plastic bag (easier for shaking) or in a large bowl. Add in all the ingredients and mix. If there is not enough liquid to cover the meat, you can add water. For a less salty marinade, substitute part of the soy sauce with water instead (no more than half of the cup).

The meat can be marinated for anytime from 1/2 hour to overnight; the thicker the meat the longer the marinating time needed. If you are marinating your meat in a bag, make sure to turn the bag over every so often to make sure all the meat has equal marinating time.

Remove the meat and discard the marinade. The meat can be barbequed on a grill or broiled in the oven on a baking sheet. Serve with your favourite carbs and veggies.