CRISPY TOFU BENTO BOX WITH SESAME BEANS, RICE & PICKLED RADISHES

30 MIN
Masterclass
Vegetarian

INGREDIENTS:

Serving amount:
  • 1 silken tofu pack
  • 1 mushroom dashi sachet
  • 1 mirin sachet
  • 1 cornflour pack
  • 1 liight soy sachet
  • 1 Japanese rice sachet
  • 1 sesame seeds sachet
  • 1 green beans bag
  • 1 ginger piece*
  • Radish
  • 1 spring onion bunch*

Pantry staples: Cooking oil, white or rice vinegar, white sugar

Allergens: Wheat, dairy, nuts, sesame, yeast, soy

Specialised equipment: Absorbent paper, slotted spoon

Chef's note: A bento box is a traditional Japanese lunch box found everywhere from the home to convenience stores and even train stations!

 * Use half of the ginger provided.

* Spring onion may be split across various dishes so make sure you read each recipe carefully before you begin cooking.

Method:

1. Prepare the ingredients

Wash the vegetables. Very thinly slice the radish. Thinly slice 1 spring onion* per 2 people on a diagonal. Remove the ends of the beans and cut into 5cm pieces. Cut the beans into 5cm pieces. Cut the tofu into 6 pieces. Peel and grate the ginger*. Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan. 

2. Cook the rice

Cook the rice in a rice cooker according to manufacturer instructions, or use the following method. Place the rice in a bowl and wash with cold water 3 times. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Put the washed rice in the boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Stir halfway to stop the rice from sticking. When cooked strain through a sieve.

3. Make the radish pickle

Meanwhile, place the radish, 1 teaspoon of vinegar per person and 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar per person in a bowl. Stir well and let sit for at least 3 minutes or until you are ready to serve. Drain the liquid.

4. Cook the beans and dashi soup

Mix the dashi, mirin and 1/2 cup of water per person in a saucepan. Season to taste with the soy (we used 1 teaspoon per person). Gently bring the soup to a simmer then add the beans and simmer for 3 minutes or until just cooked. Remove the beans using a slotted spoon.

5. Dust the tofu

Meanwhile, place the cornflour on a plate. Carefully coat all sides of the tofu pieces in the flour, so that they become more durable. Avoid over-handling the pieces as much as possible so that they do not break.

6. Cook the tofu

Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Gently place the tofu in and cook for 1-2 minutes or until one side is golden. Carefully flip over and cook the other sides for 1-2 minutes each. Drain on absorbent paper. Place the tofu into serving bowls, top with the grated ginger and a couple of spoons of the dashi soup.

7. To serve

Divide the tofu, rice, radish pickle, beans and spring onion between serving plates. Serve with the dashi soup. Sprinkle the beans with the sesame seeds.