Top | Roza Herrera — Blog
(post, Roza Herrera)
A recent trip to Japan has totally changed my view on bringing my own lunch to work. Before, I was content to just go to the sub shop next door and get my usual sandwich, never mixing it up and always sitting at the restaurant with my phone in my left hand, my sandwich in my right. This stale routine was comfortable, but I definitely needed a change. Now that I realized that bringing lunch can bring just as much pleasure, I am happy to present you with easy recipes you can bring to work. # Cold Noodle Salad The ingredients in this recipe are varied. Just as long as you have an udon noodle base and a Japanese sesame oil vinagrette dressing, you’re all set. My favorite way to make this recipe is to bring a pot of water to boil and put the noodles in for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, I chop up a variety of Asian and Western veggies. In terms of Asian veggies, I like bean sprouts and ginger shavings. Most of the vegetables I use for this recipe are Western, though. I add spinach, celery, cucumbers, carrots, and red cabbage to finish it up. After the noodles are boiled, I strain them and put them in the container that I’ll be using to bring them to work. Set the vegetables aside—you’ll be putting those in the container in the morning as not to affect their taste if they come in contact with the hot noodles. Chill the noodles overnight, and put all the vegetables in the container with the noodles first thing in the morning. Add the dressing, shake it up, and there you go! Cold udon noodle salad. # Bento Box: Rice and Vegetables A bento box is a traditional Japanese take on bringing lunch. In a small box with three different compartments, you can put one grain and then two other types of food—usually either vegetables or protein. Since the Japanese tend to eat lightly, the vegetable is usually either lightly boiled or just raw. For your bento box, you can make some brown rice, boil some baby bok choi, and then add some salmon. The salmon and the bok choi have great complimentary flavors and will liven the brown rice, whose natural smoky flavor will come to life the second it comes in contact with the other two. The bento is light and portable and usually dishwasher safe! # Onigiri Onigiri is a rice ball wrapped in seaweed, filled with anything you’d like. A popular onigiri is a tuna salad filled rice ball enjoyed for lunch. These are perfect for lunch because they are compact, utensil free, and absolutely delicious. After boiling some rice, put it in a bowl and add a little bit of apple cider vinegar to make it stick. Take out a piece of saran wrap and put a ball of rice about ¾ the size of your wrist onto the paper. Without directly touching the rice, you can mold it through the saran wrap so your hands don't get sticky. Create a hole in the middle of the rice ball and put in the tuna salad. Then, wrap the rice ball in seaweed. Delicious!