Japanese Bento Box

with Baby Octopus, Nori Wrapped Prawns and Glazed Edamame Beans

A collection of fresh Asian flavours that are brilliantly combined to make the ultimate Japanese feast

Serves 4

For the crispy baby octopus

300g baby octopi, prepared

500ml soy sauce

50ml sake

10g ginger, peeled and grated

1 garlic clove, grated

½ lemon, juice only

70g potato starch

For the pork and wonton crisp

16 wonton wrappers

250g pork shoulder, minced with fat

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

8g ginger, skin removed and finely grated

2 garlic cloves, grated

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp sake

1 tbsp mirin

½ tbsp sweet soy sauce

80g edamame beans, podded

Spring onions, sliced

Black sesame seeds

For the Nori wrapped prawns

16 jumbo prawns

1 sheet of nori roll

For the glazed edamame

250g edamame beans, still in the pods

1 large garlic clove, finely grated

5g ginger, peeled and finely grated

½ dried chilli flakes

2 tsps soy sauce

2 tbsps sweet soy sauce

To complete

Sunflower oil for deep frying

Sesame oil for shallow frying

Sea salt, for seasoning

Shichmi togarashi (mixture of pepper, dried orange peel, dried chilli, nori, black sesame, minced garlic - all dried and blitzed)

Japanese micro herb mix

  1. For the baby octopi, mix together the soy sauce, sake, ginger, garlic and lemon juice. Add the octopi and leave to marinade for 1-2 hours.

  2. For the coating, mix together the potato starch, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon shichmi togarashi. Leave to one side.

  3. For the pork and wonton; heat a large pan of the sunflower oil to 180°C. Deep fry the wonton wrappers one-by-one and leave to drain on kitchen paper.

  4. Heat a large frying pan to a medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil along with the shallot, garlic and ginger and fry gently for one minute. Add the pork and fry for a further 4-5 minutes. Turn up to a medium-high heat then add the light soy sauce, sake and mirin and simmer to reduce for 1-2 minutes. Finish by adding the sweet soy sauce. Place in the preheated Miele food warming drawer to keep warm.

  5. For the prawns, soak 16 small skewers in water for 10 minutes. Cut the nori roll into 1.5 cm strips, then cut each in half. Laying a prawn flat onto a chopping board, stick the skewer though the prawn lengthwise, starting at the tail end. Wrap 1 strip of nori around the prawn, sealing with a little water. Repeat with the rest of the prawns.

  6. For the edamame beans, fry the garlic and ginger in ½ tsp of sesame oil. Add the chilli flakes and both soy sauces then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.

  7. When ready to assemble the bento box, heat the sunflower oil to 190°C. Coat each octopus in the potato starch mixture. Deep fry for 1 – 2 minutes until crispy and golden then transfer to kitchen towel to drain. Keep warm in the warming drawer.

  8. Add the edamame beans (both in the pods and podded) to perforated steam containers. Put in the Miele steam oven and steam at 100°C for 1 minute.

  9. Once finished, add the edamame pods to the glaze and leave on a low heat on the hob. Add the podded edamame beans to the pork and again leave on a low-medium heat.

  10. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of shichmi togarashi over the prawns. Place the prawns on a perforated container. Steam the prawns at 85°C for 3 minutes.

  11. Serve the glazed edamame beans with a small sprinkle of sea salt.

  12. Divide the pork between each box along with the wonton crisps. Garnish with chopped spring onions and black sesame seeds.

  13. Add the crispy octopus and the steamed prawns to the box and garnish with the Japanese herb mix.

Food Tips:

  • If your fishmonger is unable to supply octopus, calamari rings can be used instead.
  • The prawns can be cooked on the Miele temperature control hob, setting 2 as an alternative to steam cooking.

About the Author

Every member of the Miele Team is a passionate home economist and an expert in their field, striving to provide cooking inspiration and knowledgeable product advice.

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