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Posted on Mar 8, 2007 | 37 comments

Speed Bento: scrambled egg purses

Speed Bento: scrambled egg purses

It took about 10 minutes to make this and my son’s speed bento together as the only thing I actually cooked this morning was the scrambled egg purse (recipe and tutorial below). Packed in my 470ml Afternoon Tea box.

  • mini burgers that I previously made and froze when making meatloaf for dinner (microwaved before packing), plus ketchup for dipping
  • scrambled egg purse with green onions
  • blueberries (to plug the gaps in the bento — so there’s no empty space)
  • leftover pasta from last night’s dinner (tarako spaghetti with onions and orange bell peppers — all out of kaiware for garnish)
  • yaki onigiri (grilled rice ball) that I previously made and froze (microwaved before packing)

Speedy scrambled egg lunch お弁当

A lot of Japanese bento cookbooks show little “purses” made out of mashed kabocha, potatoes, rice, etc. The technique is extremely simple, and can add an interesting design to an otherwise unstructured dish. Here I’ve done a basic egg scramble, and used plastic wrap to give it shape before being packed in my lunch.

Scrambled egg purse

To make three scrambled egg purses, I chopped a green onion and added it to three eggs — scrambled as usual in a nonstick frying pan (without any additional liquids such as milk, cream, etc.). When the eggs were cooked and still warm, I put one third of them on a piece of plastic wrap, gathered up the ends, squeezed out the air and twisted up the plastic wrap as in the photo above.

I let it sit and cool for a few minutes while I prepared the rest of the bento, giving it a chance to firm up as a ball. The egg ball was still moist when I removed it from the plastic wrap, so I patted it dry with paper towels before putting it in my bento (this kept any egg condensation from getting on other items in the lunch). This worked a lot better than packing it still in the plastic wrap (like I did in my son’s bento below) as it was too moist when unwrapped — it was easier to eat when dry and already unwrapped and ready to dig into.

Speedy scrambled egg lunch for toddler お弁当

 

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  1. That looks like a great technique – thanks!

  2. thanks for the tip :D

  3. ooh, great idea!!

  4. Awesome idea thanks!

  5. Nice! I use this technique for making onigiri. Would you believe it hasn’t occurred to me to use it for other items?

  6. Nice idea! My daughter would totally eat both of these bento btw.

  7. so delicious looking. i might try egg purse when i beat up my fear of eating egg in public.

  8. i’m having way more fun packing my daughter’s bentos, thanks to all your speed tips! someday i’ll take photos…today it was frozen onigiri (wrapped with nori after nuked), kamaboko (sliced and frozen), snow peas, 2 mini carrots, thin egg omelets rolled up (froze this too), ONE mini corn dog, 1 strawberry, 3 grapes, and a mini laughing cow cheese cube. All packed tightly in her bunny rabbit bento container. I can’t thank you enough for the helpful tips.
    what do you think about adding faces to the food? i’ve tried this numerous times…it doesn’t make my daughter more interested in eating the food. the more i craft it, the less she appreciates it…I figure, living in america, she’ll have to get used to just eating unadorned food. i’m not sure how i feel about the extravagant bentos with characters…is food getting too entertaining? will kids need food to look like a toy to eat it? what’s your thoughts on this?
    julie

  9. Interesting fear! Good luck with that. ;-)

  10. Totally understandable! I’m not sure why it occurred to me to put scrambled eggs in there, other than an egg craving last year when I spied the plastic wrap technique in a cookbook.

  11. Cool! Is she in grade school?

  12. Seriously easy, and you don’t need any special hardware or equipment either.

  13. My pleasure!

  14. You’re welcome! It’s pretty fun to bag and twist things up, too.

  15. Thanks, outofthisplace!

  16. no, she’s 2 and a half :) I make her bento sometimes anyway for my husband to give her at home (I work).

  17. Sounds like a lot of kid-friendly variety in your daughter’s bento — she must have been really happy, no?

    On the food faces front, basically I’m too lazy to be bothered with that much unless it’s a special occasion. I can see going all-out for a birthday lunch, a Halloween or Valentine’s Day lunch, etc. but I think I’d burn out pretty quickly if I tried to expend that kind of effort every day. That said, I’ll admit that it’s kind of fun to play around with as a cook, and if your kid really gets a kick out of it (and you’re enthusiastic), why not? Depends on my mood. Here’s one that I actually did a while back to try out some new Anpanman onigiri molds. Nothing super-fancy, but enough that my son yelled, “Anpanman!” (yeah, okay, he should have yelled, “Currypanman!”)

  18. I don’t think making food pretty or fun is making it into a toy. I think in the US we are too quick to plop food down on our plates and shovel it into our mouths. I have learned that Japanese cuisine is as much about aesthetics as it is about the taste. When I make food pretty, I take longer to enjoy it and to think about what I am eating. For my daughter, when I do something cute like flower shaped carrots or shaped onigiri she knows I put in a little extra effort just for her, and it has also been useful to get her to try things she didn’t like before!

  19. This is a really neat technique. I’m guessing it works with something like mashed potatoes for instance? I’m actually impressed it stayed so together! That’s neat. I wonder what else you could do it to.

  20. I do wonder if one reason Bug (I’ve decided to call him that here) is such a good eater is because we have so much fun with our food. He “helps” me cook when possible, I let him pick out some interesting-looking fruits and vegetables at the market, etc. (i.e. he chose the teeny tiny apple from the pasta lunch a few days ago). He loves dipping things, using the little sauce containers by himself, recognizes fun onigiri shapes, reacts really positively to molded eggs, etc. I try to balance that with the level of effort I’m comfortable with — molded eggs are basically no trouble at all, for example, once I’ve got the molds.

  21. Bwah hah ha! I’ve done that before with my husband, who is then very grateful that he doesn’t have to think about what to feed Bug. :-)

  22. In Japanese bento cookbooks I usually see this technique with mashed pumpkin and mashed potatoes, so I’d say definitely! It’s ripe for experimentation…

  23. That is true. I love how japanese make things pretty! It sure elevates the experience.
    I guess you gotta figure out what each kid is attracted to. Mine doesn’t go for cute faces! oh well.
    happy bento-ing.
    julie

  24. So, when is your quickie bento cookbook coming out? Seriously. With all your great tips, you really should make one! I’d buy it.

  25. Can you recommend any good literary agents?

  26. Um, not right at the moment…sorry…but I’ll see if I can find any info – since I DO work at a library!LOL

  27. Very cool idea- I’m now thinking of all the foods that I can shape like this- risotto, mashed potatoes, mashed kabocha…. hmmm… Interesting! I have a few books on bento but no fast bento ones- I do like Orange Page, though- sometimes pretty decent recipes. I lived in Japan for two years, so I was interested to come across your page. ;)

    Best wishes,
    Sea

  28. thank you for sharing your tips! i’ve been following your blog for the last month since I found you linked on cookingcute. really enjoying your posts.

    hope you don’t mind me adding you as a friend. i just signed up w/lj, planning on making bentos for myself soon and hopefully posting them too.

  29. I absolutely don’t mind the add — very flattering. I was going to say once you start posting your lunches, be sure to put them on the LJ bentolunch community http://community.livejournal.com/bentolunch/ , but I see on your profile you’ve already signed up. You’re so on top of it! Welcome!

  30. Yeah, the Japanese have lots of cool presentation ideas that work for all kinds of food — just need to get creative! I’ll have to get a few Orange Pages from the library next time I’m there — I’ve been reading a lot of Lettuce Club and Shufu no Tomo. Where were you in Japan? I was in Osaka and Tokyo, 1989 – 1999.

  31. I saw your lunches on Flickr, and scanned through your journal a little. I really appreciate all the helpful tips you give. I’m going to add you as a friend if you don’t mind.

  32. Thanks for the kinds words — I’m very flattered for the add. I should probably add something to my profile about that…

  33. You might want to look into Lulu.com. It’s self-publishing, but less, mmm… sleazy… than the traditional self-publishers that kind of take you for a ride while they make your book a reality. You’ve got more control at Lulu, and can market your book from there as well as here on LiveJournal.

  34. Thaks for the info, sff_corgi, I appreciate it.

  35. the food looks great keep up the good work

  36. Thank you for the kind words!

  37. @37 from Mimi: Yay, glad you like the little egg balls! :-)

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