1/4 small carrot, cut into green bean-equivalent sticks
5 green beans, topped and tailed
6 slices salami (6 slices ≈ 1oz)
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
1 cup cooked sushi rice
1 clove garlic, diced small
2 oz baby spinach
1 pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
For Basic Tamagoyaki:
1. Mix together all of the tamagoyaki ingredients, except for the oil, until the egg yolk and white are amalgamated but not frothy.
2. Heat up the frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour in some oil and tilt the pan to spread it around. Take a small wad of paper towel and rub it around the pan to soak up any excess oil. Put the oil soaked wad on a small plate next to the stove.
3. Use cooking chopsticks or a fork to draw a little of the egg mixture along the bottom of the pan. If the egg cooks immediately, the pan is hot enough and ready to go. If the egg browns too fast, cool the pan down by putting the bottom of the pan on a moistened kitchen towel, and lower the heat a little.
4. Pour a thin layer of the egg mixture into the hot pan. Tilt the pan to spread it around the bottom. Pierce any large bubbles that form with the chopsticks or fork.
5. As soon as the egg starts to set, start rolling it to one side of the pan. Flip one end over with the chopsticks or fork and keep flipping until you have a skinny roll. If you can’t roll the egg, you can just push it along to one side until you have a skinny little omelette.
6. Leaving the first roll at one side of the pan, rub the oil-soaked wad of paper towel firmly along the bottom of the pan. This adds just enough lubrication while also cleaning up any stray bits of egg.
7. Add a little more of the egg mixture to the pan, tilting the pan around to spread it. Life the first roll up a little so that the uncooked egg runs beneath it.
8. Puncture any large air bubbles that form, as before. As soon as this layer starts to set on top, roll it around the cooked egg roll to the opposite side of the pan. As before, if the egg is browning too fast, place the pan on a moistened towel for a few seconds.
9. Repeat the preceding three steps until the egg mixture is all used up. The thinner the layers, the more delicately textured the tamagoyaki will be. Try to do a minimum of 4-5 layers.
10. When the tamagoyaki is done, turn seam-side down into the pan and press briefly to seal it. Flip the egg out onto a sushi mat or paper towel.
11. Roll the sushi mat or towel around the tamagoyaki, forming a rectangular shape. Leave to cool.
12. Cut into even slices before packing. Garnish with parsley.
13. Don’t despair if your tamagoyaki doesn’t quite look perfect. It will still taste great! Leftovers can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for a day or two.
For Salami and Cream Cheese Rolls:
1. Peel the carrot and cut into strips to same thickness and length as the green beans.
2. Bring a pot or pan of water to a rapid boil. Add carrots and green beans, boil for 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.
3. On each piece of salami, place a dollop of cream cheese, a green bean, and a stick or two of carrot. Roll into a little burrito. (If necessary, cut a toothpick in half and use it to pin the salami closed.)
4. If you have leftover carrots or green beans, dice them for sprinkling over the rice.
1. Pack rice into bento box and sprinkle with the excess vegetables.
For Garlic Sauteed Spinach:
1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30s-1m, until fragrant and infusing the oil.
2. Add the spinach and stir-fry rapidly. It will shrink down in mass in no time. When done, turn off heat, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper, and let cool.
3. Pack into a bento cup for serving.
To instead prepare as a rice bowl (when you’re eating it fresh rather than prepping a bento for later), just put the rice serving in a bowl. Fry the eggs, to a soft/gooey yolk, and put on top of rice. Dice the veggies after boiling, add to the spinach during cooking, and put the whole mixture on top of the eggs. Finally, large dice the salami and small-cube the cream cheese, and put on top of the bowl.
If you want a little more kick, add togarashi to the eggs, and/or drizzle some sriracha or other chili sauce on top of the bowl when done.