Chicken Shogayaki Bento is a great meal to have for lunch or dinner. A bento is a typical Japanese meal which indicates a single portion of home-packed or take-out food. It usually contains side dishes together with rice or noodles, all in a box.
The food can be either in disposable containers or lacquerware, which are handcrafted and widely sold across bento shops, railway stations, convenience stores and restaurants in Japan. A popular bento culture in Japan is that housewives will wake up early in the morning to prepare bento lunch boxes for their family. Japanese children will bring their bento boxes to school and share with other children at school.
What is Chicken Shogayaki Bento
Chicken Shogayaki Bento is one of the popular choices of bento with ginger chicken sauteed with soy sauce. The cooked chicken is put on warm rice, with its soy sauce flowing into the rice, making the dish flavourful. A variety of side dishes come along with the rice and chicken to make it a balanced meal.
Elements in a Chicken Shogayaki Bento
Rice is the most crucial element in a bento box. The best way to prepare the rice is to cook it in the morning and pack them in the bento box while the rice is still warm. This enables the rice to form your desired shape easier. Leave some space above the rice for the chicken shogayaki.
The chicken used in this dish can be leftovers from dinner or prepared fresh for the day. Chicken breast or drumsticks are the parts commonly used in this bento. Lotus root and spinach salad are usually made as side dishes. A nice boiled egg is included in the bento box by cutting it into half. Shredded lettuce and baby tomatoes are also included to give the bento a better visual appearance.
History of Bento Box
The origin of bento can be traced back to the late Kamakura period when cooked and dried rice, hoshi-ii was common to be taken to work. Hoshi-ii was kept in a small bag or container and can be eaten as it is or boiled with water to make cooked rice. While in the Azuchi-Momoyama period, pretty wooden lacquered boxes were produced and widely used, and bento would be eaten during tea parties.
The culture of bento grew popular in the Edo period. This was when people would carry a bento on the waist known as koshi bento, which consists of onigiri wrapped in bamboo leaves or put in a bamboo box. While in the Meiji period, the train station bento known as ekiben began at the Utsunomiya train station.
During the Taishō period, the silver-like aluminium bento box became a symbol of luxury due to its appearance. The disparities in wealth also spread across Japan during this period, following an export boom during World War I and subsequent crop failures in the Tohoku region. The act of bringing a bento box to school too often reflected a student’s wealth as they may compare with each other. This may also influence them physically and mentally, thus causing the ban of bento boxes to school for some time. The culture of bento also spread to Taiwan in the 20th century, and it is known as bian dang in Mandarin.
Where to find Chicken Shogayaki Bento in Malaysia
Chicken Shiogayaki Bento can be found in most sushi franchises in Malaysia. It can also be found at other restaurants selling Japanese cuisine. You may try the bento at Ishin Japanese, which is a speciality shop that sells bento.
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