Sometimes I can be really surprised where I find my bento documenting volunteers. One day I randomly walked into the Santek store after a lunch at Izakaya Sakura not having ever been...
A myriad of higher end Japanese electronics, household to cell phones. Games, massage chairs and top line vacuum cleaners to suihanki rice makers. It's where I found (and purchased) my brain explodingly adorable bookshelf toaster oven for one. So cute! Will have a separate post for it soon, but anyway when I found out the sales lady was a bento-ist, I did my speil with the blog up on iPhone and surprisingly all went smoothly! :)
Ayako-san actually is a part-time employee at the shop where her main profession is a homeopathic practitioner as well as a Japanese teacher on the side. Naturally her bento would prove a healthy and well balanced assembly. Salads maybe are relatively rare for a bento but here we have one with arugula, prosciutto, olives and boiled egg. A nicely simmered kabocha to the side and of course some hakumai rice. The salad's dressing is an original, explained made with rice vinegar, canola or grapeseed oil, S&P and grated onions. The day's was yellow because grated carrots were also used.
And again some casual Q&A...
Q: What are your favorite food/s?
A: Sea cucumber (Namako). I enjoy it as a sunomono with ponzu and grated daikon.
Q: Favorite restaurant in San Diego?
Q: Do you have any favorite guilty/junk foods?
A: Yes, a lot. Chocolate, karinto, flan (purin), shu cream (cream puffs) from Nijiya, Cakes from Sage.
Q: If you were in Japan right now, what would you want to eat?
A: Takoyaki from Takoyuu in Minase, Osaka!!
Q: Where do you like to shop for groceries in San Diego?
A: I find cooking time meditative for me. Plus, eating quality food is much easier when it's a homemade meal.
Q: When you cook, what are areas you take particular care in?
A: Having a large variety and contrast within is very important to me. For example, simmered foods vs. raw or grilled. Meat ingredients, root vegetables vs. leafy, marine vs. things harvested from land. Then there are all the different seasonings. Soy sauced, vinegared, salt, miso, garlic, ginger and spice heat to name a few.
Q: What other things do you tend to fill your bentos with?
A: Since they are usually leftovers from dinner, almost anything. Oden, pasta, cold udon, fried rice, Japanese curry.
Q: Any other comments you would like to share?
A: I've made bento for my children every morning for seventeen years. I really think the culture of bento making in Japan is great.
Wow, this was really nice Ayako-san. Thanks again so much for sharing!