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Fried Ahi Poke Bento (293)

I’m excited today because as I mentioned yesterday, we’re having a fondue party at work today for our team meeting. I don’t think I’ve ever had it, so I went to look on Amazon to see how much fondue pots cost and they’re a bit up there in price, but not too bad. This Cuisinart Fondue Makerhas solid reviews and costs 50 bucks, which normally would turn me away except for the big, glaring “You save 58%!” on the page. My Cheap-o-Meter started sounding alarms. Still, it kind of disgusts me that the MSRP is $120 and yet Amazon can sell it for 50.

One of my co-workers brought in this adorable separated Crock Potthat lets you cook two dips at once. Pure. Genius. I’ll let you know how that goes, she’s never used it.

I know I said I’d do a review today and start a new contest, but it turns out that I ended up just making a bento for Mr. Pikko. I forgot to eat the rest of my ahi shoyu poke and so this morning I fried it up and made a quick lunch for him. Lunch for him is surprisingly easy and painless since I know he doesn’t need pretty little things. I should have been doing this more often.

Also, there’s a light at the end of the Baby Girl tunnel, but I’ll get to that after the bento details.

If you don’t know what “poke” (pronounced poh-kay) is, it’s a Hawaiian raw fish “salad” of sorts that we love to eat here in Hawaii. My favorite is ahi shoyu, which I am guessing contains fish, salt, soy sauce, onions, green onions, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. I’ve never had the yearning to make any myself because the supermarket delis here all carry great poke. If you’re ever going to someone’s house and you forgot to bring something, showing up with poke is a great way to hide it, cause everyone loves poke.

When it starts to lose color, I simply toss it into a frying pan as-is and end up with this amazingly tasty fish dish. This is about 1/4 pound of poke, which would make the cost of this meat portion less than 2 dollars. I nuked more frozen rice and boiled a couple of pieces of broccoli and voila! To add color and garnish, I put in a little baby tomato and then topped the rice with some nori strips, which I bought pre-cut.

Before the broccoli, tomato, and nori, the lunch looked really drab and boring. Now, with the bright green, spot of red, and exciting nori flair, the bento looks much more attractive. This paragraph would mean a lot more if I had a picture of the bento without these things, but I simply don’t think enough in the morning. Just pretend you know exactly what I mean and we’re good.

I mentioned earlier that I may be getting the chance to make Baby Girl some bento. For those on the mainland, Hawaii decided that California is so awesome and trendy that as a state, we should go broke too. For the most of this year, there have been political bickerings about what will get cut, who will get laid off, and where the people get screwed all around. One of these places is in public education. After long and bitter negotiations, the HSTA (Hawaii State Teacher’s Association) came to an agreement to furlough the teachers two Fridays a month for the next two years. They get an 8% paycut, students get 3 1/2 weeks less education, and parents like myself are now left to spend 60-70 bucks a month for “Furlough Friday” daycare. Daycare for these two days costs more per month than an entire month’s fee for the A+ Afterschool Program, how crappy is that?

We’ve looked into several options and a couple have this phrase that just LEAPS off the page at me.

“Child must bring home lunch.”

YESSSSS! I know, it sounds stupid that I’m taking delight in what is an overall shitty situation, but at least I’m looking at the bright side of things. I sure as heck don’t like paying 60 bucks a month for the next two years, but at least there’s ONE thing I can look forward to on Furlough Fridays!

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  • Rebecca

    The Slow Cooker should work very well for fondue. 🙂
    My sister has a “Little Dipper” slow cooker that she makes fondue with a lot. It is awesome!

  • Kim

    “Hawaii decided that California is so awesome and trendy that as a state, we should go broke too”

    I love how you worded this. This summer, I just moved to GA from Hawaii. I taught there in public schools for the past 4 years. Looks like I got out just in time.

    I love your bentos, and have been pretty inspired by your site. I am not a cutsie bento maker, but I do use the boxes and the Mr. Bento to take my un-cute lunches out and about.

  • I don’t make bentos per se but love reading your blog! Alas, I’m in the ‘trendy’ state of California. Aargh. Not so fun being on the bleeding edge of things! I do pack a lunch for my high schooler these days as she switched schools this year. There’s no real cafeteria but she does have access to a frig and a microwave, which widens the options. A few Hello Kitty containers make it fun at least.

  • A nice simple bento. Your photos are very good

  • polymathamy

    Glad you clarified that _poke_ for you is a fish dish.

    Here in Kentucky, or pretty much anywhere on the mainland that has weeds, poke (pronounced with one syllable, like to poke somebody in the eye) is a weed. The cooked greens are a traditional Southern dish called poke salat. The berries are poisonous.

  • So is that like a 1/2 day of school every other friday? Not sure if I understood right. Wacky!

  • I am not really a fan of bento-ing. But I love your photos and I also love your adventures. Reading your blog releases stress. Keep it up!

  • It’s a small price to pay to be able to send bentos for your daughter — and she can’t complain, ’cause EVERYONE is doing it!

  • Hi Pikko, I have an award for you to pick up on my blog. 🙂