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March 6, 2006
Rice cooker fun

[1-tier bento with chicken & tofu rice, chicken and veggies stir-fry]

Left: sliced cucumbers, stir-fried chicken, broccoli & grape tomatoes
Right: chicken & tofu rice
Not pictured: strawberries, orange segments, panda cake



I think I may have used up any cuteness mojo that I have on the sea party bento. Ah well. :)

So this particular bento is a snap to prepare if you have a rice maker. I have a 5-cup Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker, and I love it to death. We eat a lot of rice, and it cooks it perfectly everytime. Sushi rice, jasmine rice, brown rice...even steel-cut oatmeal and risotto. Every household should have one!

Anyhoo, if you have a rice maker, the recipe below is an easy one. You just toss all the ingredients in, hit cook, and then go about your day while the rice cooks up. The rice doesn't have a super strong taste, so it still works well as an accompaniment to other dishes. I also packed us mini bottles of Sriracha hot sauce to spice things up a bit. This is my first time using hijiki.

CHICKEN-TOFU RICE
Ingredients*
2 cups uncooked rice
1/3 lb. chicken breast
1 aburage*
1 tbsp. hijiki**
1/3 cup shredded carrots
2-1/2 tbsp. reduced-sodium tamari
1 tbsp. sake
1/2 tbsp. mirin
Steps
  1. Wash and drain the rice.
  2. Dice the chicken into 1/2" cubes. Rise the aburage in boiling water, pat out extra moisture, then julienne. Rinse hijiki then soak in hot water until it expands. If not pre-cut, cut the hijiki into short lengths.
  3. Place the rice in a rice cooker. Add the tamari, and mirin. Then add enough water to meet the 2-cup line specified by the manufacturer.
  4. Add the chicken, aburage, hijiki, and carrots to the rice, spreading out the ingredients so that they will cook evenly. Start the rice cooker.
  5. When finished, allow the rice to steam for a few more minutes. Open and stir gently, folding the ingredients into the rice.
*Use gluten-free products.
© Cooking Cute