I prepared meat soboro for Darling son KW when he first started school in the woods three years ago. He didn't like the chicken soboro which I prepared, although he politely ate a portion, and left a portion to be brought home. Neither did his little brother, who stayed home with me the whole day, since I didn't enroll him to any pre-school.
Since it was time to introduce some new dishes into the boys' packed lunch, I thought I could try including this dish. After all, it had been three years since they "Dislike" the dish. As the kids get older, their taste and preference change, don't they? In any way, when you are hungry and need to eat, you eat whatever that is packed. Ok, that's my crazy theory, and I'm putting it to test by including Egg and Chicken Soboro in the boys' packed lunch today!
Recipe adapted from THE JUST BENTO COOKBOOK by Makiko Itoh.
Chicken Soboro (Serves 6-8)
450g Finely Ground Chicken
2 tsp Peeled and Grated Fresh Ginger (I use Ground Ginger, just a dash)
4 tbsp Sake (I replace with Shaoxing)
4 tbsp Mirin
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Sugar
- Put all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Using two pairs of chopsticks held together, stir the meat mixture as it cooks.
- Keep stirring to keep the meat from clumping.
- The liquid will evaporate as the meat continue to cook.
- Remove the pan from the heat when the meat is cooked, and the liquid is almost gone but not totally dry.
- Let cool the meat before packing.
According to the book, extra servings can be kept in the refrigerator, well covered, for a week, and in the freezer for up to a month. I halved the portion as 450g of minced chicken was just too much for us to consume. The boys finished all the chicken soboro in their lunch! No complaints from them. This is one easy dish to prepare, with no oil involved in the cooking!
However, Darling son KW did say that he liked the egg soboro better!
Here's the recipe for the egg soboro, again, adapted from Maki's Just Bento Cookbook.
Egg Soboro (Serves 1)
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Sake (optional)
- Beat all the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour into a small pan over medium heat.
- Using two pairs of chopsticks, stir the egg mixture as it cooks, to form fine granules.
- As soon as the egg mixture has cooked, remove from the heat.
- Let cool before packing.
After packing, I realised the rice portion looked too white. Oops, I didn't prepare well for my nightly homework! So I added a mini cheese-tree, a feeble attempt to wipe out some of the whiteness present. The next time I prepare this bento, I would spread the rice out, and have it under the portions of egg and chicken soboro. That way, there will only be green, yellow and brown colours shown when the lid of the lunch box is removed!