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Beef Sukiyaki Bento (341)

Lately I’ve felt like a chicken running around with both her hands and feet cut off. I have a billion things to do and not enough brain power to do it all. Then suddenly in the middle of something I’ll get super tired and end up being woken up on the couch by Mr. Pikko at midnight. Curses upon my body for needing so much sleep! Doesn’t it know I have two books, a blog, two kids, a very bad need to exercise (yeah right), and six episodes of Dollhouse to watch!?!

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Today’s lunch has no bentorial because all I did was plop things into the cute little sectioned boxes of this new bento box that I found at Marukai Marketplace on Dillingham. I don’t remember what it cost, but it wasn’t no $1.99 box like at the 99 Cent Store, that’s for sure.

I bought this box because it had the look of the kind of bento boxes you see in restaurants, but yet not because all the compartments come out. Plus, it’s pink! Oo la la! I put some rice into the top left and pressed a little ume into the middle. On the top left I have some leftover beef sukiyaki from Grandma J’s house last night with some fresh green onions cut onto the top for color and garnish. On the bottom right I have a little salad with two grape tomatoes and some Pietro’s salad dressing in the carrot.

As for the white stuff on the bottom left… I’ve managed to find another food that I can mess up just as much as eggs: haupia. For those unfamiliar with haupia, it’s a Hawaiian coconut dessert made from very simple ingredients. Made from coconut milk, water, sugar, and cornstarch, it’s something that I’m sure anyone around the world with canned coconut milk or even shredded coconut can make. Haupia is supposed to be firm, kind of like a pasty, sweet coconut Jell-O. In short, it rocks. If I see haupia at a buffet, it’s over. Before I know it, I’m eating like 4 or 5 squares.

Anyway, I’ve made it from the ready-made Noh packages and I’ve made it from scratch as well. I’ve tried to make haupia maybe 4 times and every time I’ve tried, it NEVER hardens like it’s supposed to after cooling. The other night I thought that maybe it’s cause I don’t cook it for nearly as long as I should, so I ended up cooking it on low heat for like 4 hours. FOUR HOURS! It still came out with a pudding texture. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. Maybe I’m using the wrong recipe. This one was supposed to be the topping for a sweet potato cheesecake, but it’s still way too sloopy to be a topping.

I guess I should add that one of the four hours was lost because I discovered my stove was malfunctioning and actually had no heat coming out of the burner while I stirred it around like an idiot, wondering why it still looked so liquidy. *sob*

At the very least though, it still tastes like haupia, so I put it in as a dessert.

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Here’s an aerial shot. As you can see I put two sliced strawberries on the top. Let me tell you, those darn things need the pudding. They’re so freaking sour. Maybe I can take the last of the miracle frooties just to finish them off because man, even for a tart fan like me, they’re just bad.

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