My Lunch Can Beat Up Your Lunch!

Lunch Box 114: Brunch


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*Mostly* the way I intended it... The night I packed this I was feeling all hardcore. I had two new recipes I was gonna make, and they were gonna be totally kickin'. Plus, one of them was all seasonal too. I made this on March 2, and March 3 is Hina Matsuri, the Japanese Dolls' or Girls' Festival. I was gonna make hishimochi, the special rice cakes for that festival.

Well, the first thing I made was the omurice, because it was dinnertime. Omurice is an omelet stuffed with stir-fried rice and eaten with ketchup. Sounded like the kind of thing that could go wrong any number of ways, but it came out tasty and almost picture-perfect on the first try. Wow! That made for a good dinner. And then I realized that I couldn't put the omurice into the box in its pristine, uncut state. How would I eat it with chopsticks? I ended up gently but firmly pressing it to get the rice to stick together, then cutting it up into bite-sized squares to put into the box. They stayed together, mostly, so no problem there. Keeping the omelet company is some obimake enoki and edamame.

On the other side is the rice portion. At the top is some... well, it's sort of a rice cracker thing, but I don't find it that thrilling. A page described how to make little rice munchies by forming small balls and putting them in the toaster oven until they dry out. These came out nondescript, so we'll see if I can come up with a recipe worth posting later. The stuff on the bottom... well, hishimochi is three-layered, tricolored diamond-shaped rice cakes. I could find no recipes anywhere for that, so I figured I'd just fake it by making colored baked mochi. I found an easy-sounding recipe, and followed it. I separated the batter into three batches and added cherry syrup to the first one to make it pink, vanilla to the white part, and green food coloring to the third. I poured them into a greased pan as directed, making three stripes of color. Hey, the flag of Italy! For fun I added chocolate chips along the top. Then I baked it as directed. But when I took the pan out I saw that the mochi had browned a bit.  Hmm... well, no biggie. I tried to cut the diamond shapes. The knife wasn't cuttin'. Instead of the soft, chewy mochi I knew, I had hard stuff that cracked and broke when I levered it out with the knife. So, guess what, I invented mochi brittle! And it's actually really tasty, all crunchy and sweet-but-not-too-sweet. So, even though the recipe was technically a failure, I'm posting it anyhow.

Wanna talk about it?