Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to - (and how not to) Salmon Bento

Last night I was feeling pretty motivated, and did a big bento session, trying to do more things at the same time than was a good idea.

These are my new favorite bento staple. Often times my local grocery store will run individual fish fillets for 11 for $10, and I usually stock up. These are just the right size for lunch, full of protein, and low in fat! Cooking is pretty fast, too, just a few minutes in the microwave, but they can be bland if you don't give them some pre-cooking TLC.

Warning: The handling of raw fish may cause you to need to fend off a cat.

First I unwrapped the fillet, stuck it on a plate, and added some lemon juice.

Next, a squirt of wasabi paste, which I rubbed in to the fish.

Last of all, some low-sodium soy sauce, which I also rubbed in.

Then, I covered it in plastic wrap and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. This would later turn out to be a bad move. I would not advise the use of plastic wrap for this!

Since my fillet was wider than thick, I grabbed a more shallow box to use to put everything together. This is the point where I heard a suspicious sizzle from the microwave.

My fish! You can't see it as well as I hoped, but some of the escaping marinade from the fish started to boil, causing the plastic to melt (but not on the fish, thank goodness). I tossed the abused plastic wrap, and since there was still a good 50 seconds left on the cooking time, I searched around for something else to cover it.

Aha! Overturned bowl will stand in for a lid!

While the fish was finishing cooking (and then cooling in the fridge), I lined the box with a spring mix.

As well as some cilantro. I love cilantro, and have found that if I sprinkle it on a salad, I don't need a dressing. Your mileage may vary on this taste point, but I find it an easy way to save on fat and calories.

The now cooked and cooled salmon fillet! I put it in the fridge to chill so that it wouldn't wilt the lettuce.

The salmon went in the box, but the lunch was still wanting for some decoration. It looks a bit plain as-is.

A few carrot slices and a decorative pick helped.

The good news - the salmon was nice and moist the next day when I ate it. However, now that I look at the pictures, I could have fit more lettuce in the box. Ah well. It was still an excellent lunch!


  1. Hehe, I know the problems of plastic foil in the microwave. But you managed it right, so it came out great ;) Looks really good!

  2. Yeah, I should have just used the bowl straight off. I was glad that my fish wasn't worse for it!