Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Restaurant Inspiration - Asian Fusion

For this week's lunch we are all doing Restaurant Inspired food.  Well, I also wanted to celebrate our home team's return to the Grey Cup here in Canada.  The Roughriders are headed to the Grey Cup against Montreal, a rematch of last year - and my entire city is alive and vibrating green and white!  So I wanted to incorporate that in my lunch somehow.  Cue the bento:

So my restaurant inspiration comes in my top two compartments.  In the top compartment I have my own take on these fantastic lettuce wraps that they serve at a pub I used to work at (random that they serve lettuce wraps at a pub, yes, but that is why it is "asian fusion" lol).  All you need for these is some romaine hearts - I used the ones from close to the middle of the lettuce heart - they have more of a "C" shape that makes it easier to pack in a lunch.  If you are serving them at home you can use any of the leaves, as you are eating them right away.
The filling is cooked cabbage, green onions and rice with ground round.  Flavored with a bit of garlic and soy sauce.  I have made them with ground turkey as well and they are delicious.  But I was feeling a vegetarian flavor to this.  I sprinkled some shredded cheese over top just to add a bit of extra flavor.

The second compartment, traditionally where you would put the drink, was the perfect size for quartered green onion cakes.  Which are surprisingly easy to make.  My family loves this simple addition to a stirfry or soup.  To make green onion cakes you will need:
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • sea salt and pepper and garlic to taste
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Then all you have to do is:
  1. Use a fork to mix flour and boiling water in a large bowl. Knead dough into a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; let dough rest for 30 to 60 minutes.
  2. Evenly divide dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1/4 inch thick circle using a rolling pin or your hands. Brush each circle with oil, season with sea salt, pepper, and garlic and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of green onions. Roll up, cigar style, and pinch open ends together to form a circle.  Then roll the dough in your hands to form a ball after that; then roll each circle flat to 1/4 inch.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet. Fry cakes until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side.  
Also included in the bento is a Rider "cupcake" (I am a health nut - it is actually a delicious fibre filled muffin with some icing on it!  lol).  I made a dozen to send to work with DH.  Some baby carrots, and tiny little mandarin oranges.  Restaurants always love to serve "mini" things, and so I thought the mini oranges and carrots fit well.  lol

Hope you enjoyed my post and it inspired you a bit for you own lunches this week!  There isn't much time left, so don't forget to enter our contest to win your own Goodbyn!