Here in bento-deprived Perth it’s hard to find “real” bento boxes. So much so I’m thinking of importing some and selling them myself! In the meantime, for bento variety I keep my eyes open for potential alternatives, like these mini tempered glass food storage containers.
They have plastic lids with rubber gaskets, so they seal really tightly. I love the solid square chunky look of them, and they are a perfect size for a bento, about 10 centimetres square. In fact this lunch of massaman curry leftovers was nearly too much for me! When I’m reheating something like a curry I always use glass, I’m not convinced of the safety of plastics.
Do you ever make massaman curry? It’s a Thai specialty and so easy if you buy a packet or jar paste mix. Fry a big spoonful of the paste (more if you like it) gently in a little oil and add cut up boneless chicken thighs. When the chicken is starting to brown add a small can of good coconut milk (I use Ayam brand, the best tasting one available here, IMO). When it’s bubbling gently add chunks of peeled potato and onion. Simmer until the potatoes and chicken are cooked and add a small spoonful of fish sauce and a big one of brown sugar. Stir in a spoonful of lemon or lime juice, or, if you have it, tamarind puree (the tamarind is more authentic!) Taste and adjust the flavours, it should be spicy, salty, a little sour, a little sweet. This curry is another quick menu item that my family loves so much I wonder why I don’t cook it more! And the leftovers heat up so well…perfect for a bento the next day.
Finally, if you’re wondering, the green cup holds a pepita snack called “Mrs. May’s Pumpkin Crunch”…a not too sweet healthy treat.