It’s apple bunny season! Well, almost. The grocery stores around here are starting to put out this years crop of fresh apples. I haven’t gotten my hands on a honey crisp yet, but it’s coming. I love adding apples to bentos because they’re so versatile. You can carve just about anything into the skin of an apple and it looks good.
For today’s bento I decided to make a few apple bunnies to go along with the last of my sticky rice, cucumber slices, sesame carrots, and pickles.
I have to make a confession. I love vinegar. I mean, really love vinegar. All types of vinegar. I also love excuses for eating a lot of vinegar, such as french fries dripping with malt vinegar... and pickles. Ohhhh pickles! My husband always yells at me for drinking the pickle juice before the pickles have been eaten and they get all dried out. Anyway, the point of this story is to say that I made pickles! I really need to make them more often because I love them!
This batch of pickles has cucumber, daikon radish, and carrot slices. I marinated them in a combination of seasoned rice vinegar (love this stuff) and ume vinegar. Ume vinegar is the leftover super salty vinegar from making umeboshi (pickled plums). I also added some preserved sakura (the pink thing on the cucumber in the photo) to give a little bit of extra flavor. Thank goodness I made a big batch because I can’t stop eating them!
Hubs isn’t the biggest pickle fan so I only put a small cup of them in his bento. The rest of the bento has bok choy, sticky rice, pork chop, grapes, a monster cheese, a cracked egg, and plum slices.
The sticky rice was a combination of Sheri’s recipe on Happy Little Bento and this Ochikeron cooking video. My version has brown beech mushrooms, carrots, corn, and onions and the rice cooking liquid has temari and mirin in place of some of the water. If you haven’t made Sheri’s sticky rice or any of the flavored steamed rice dishes from Ochikeron, you should! It’s a wonderful dish!