Friday, March 1, 2013

Bento Boxes To Lose Weight

My New Year's resolution is to lose weight and eat more healthfully. Yes, I know it is March 1 but better late than never. In addition to regular exercise I plan to pack more lunches to the office. I purchased The Just Bento Cookbook to get ideas.

I have not yet tried any of the recipes in the book but they look good. I was inspired to create three bento dishes today. At left is tofu fried in a wok with bottled teriyaki sauce and green onions. Next to it is rice with fried egg (eggs beaten with green onions and salt). Behind it is a chicken stir fry made with a packaged stir fry mix in the produce aisle with sprouts, soy sauce, and honey (I didn't have sugar.). The stir fry mixed vegetables helpfully provided the recipe. All three dishes were delicious.

The lunch containers were all available at the 2012 International Housewares Show in Chicago. The red and green Aladdin Insulated To-Go Food Containers were designed to look like deli containers. The white OXO bowl with lid is from their children's collection. I cannot wait to see what I see at this year's show.

Disclosure: I received a sample of the red Aladdin container at the Housewares Show. The other two containers were purchased by me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Korean Gochujang Tasting Menu

I am trying to catch up on blogging which is why I am blogging about the National Restaurant Association Show which took place back in May 2012. At the show, I had the opportunity to enjoy a gochujang tasting menu at the CJ Foods booth. For those of you not familiar with go-chu-jang, it is a Korean hot pepper paste made from red chili peppers, rice, soybeans, and salt that is fermented. CJ Foods, a huge food producer in South Korea, has developed a partnership with Annie Chun's, a California-based all natural pan-Asian food company that markets instant noodles and the gochujang sauce.

At the booth, they served samples of bulgogi (Korean grilled beef) with chapchae (made with sweet potato noodles) and ahi tuna tartare on crispy wonton. They also served a five-course gochujang tasting menu created by executive chef David Yeo. We were also treated to a short visit from celebrity chef Akira Back, a Korean-American chef at Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant and Lounge at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

The tasting started off with a soju Bloody Mary shooter: soju is a distilled rice spirit and gochujang provided the kick. Steak tartar was the first item: Waygu beef, quail egg, micro sprouts, nori (seaweed) topped with gochujang mustard. Popcorn shrimp was next with jicama, fresh cucumber kimchi, soy bean leaf, and gochujang aioli.

The risotto was my favorite course. They stuffed the gochujang-risotto inside a piquillo pepper and served it with spring vegetables and herbed sesame oil. Cioppino contained shrimp, mussels, clams, seaweed, and kimchi in a gochujang-dashida broth. Pork belly was the final course: doenjang-soju marinated pork belly, salsify, baby carrots with sweet and spicy gochujang sauce. Doenjang is Korean fermented soybean paste, very similar to Japanese miso.

Disclosure: I received a gift bag with product samples from CJ Foods.