Today I made a bento with something called “SHINODAMAKI”. You see those three
round things on the right hand side. They are Shinodamaki. In Japan, Shinodamaki
is usually a vegetable dish. You use a thin fried tofu (Aburaage) and you roll
vegetables in it and then cook it in Dashi soup. You can also use chicken or shrimp
to add more volume and taste as well. Today I used some chicken minced meat and
vegetables mixed together.


2 Aburaage
200g Chicken minced meat (about a half pound)
50g Carrot, cooked
30g Green onion
3 dried Shiitake muchrooms
Sake, Soya Sauce, Dashi powder, Mirin, sugar, salt



1. This is Aburaage.

In Norway where I live, I can buy frozen Aburaage. In order to defrost it,
I take it out from freezer and place it on my kitchen counter for 15 minutes.
They defrost very quickly.

2. Then boil a pot of water and pour it over Aburaage. I use quite a lot of
hot water over them. This will take away excess oil and you kind of “wash and
clean” your Aburaage before you cook it. If your Aburaage has been frozen for
a long time, do this twice to take away the smell from the freezer.

3. Do you see the color has changed as well?
Drain well and put it on kitchen paper for 5 minutes to dry.

4. Then, put it on the cutting board. Cut off the both ends.

You can put a thin bladed knife and open the aburaage. What we are trying to
make is a flat piece of Aburaage. Since it has been deep fried, the air bubble
has created a room inside Aburaage. Try to be gentle and do not pull too hard.
Aburaage is thin and you can easily get a hole.

I am trying so carefully….

I am almost there!!! Yeah!

5. If you get a flat sheet like this, you are ready to fill the filling. Put some
flour on the surface of Aburaage before you paste the mixture of meat and vegetables.

Mix Chicken minced meat, carrots, green onion, Shiitake mushrooms (You need to soak
the dried mushrooms in water about 25 minutes before you can use them) in a food
processor. Leave some chunky pieces of carrots to add some colors. Food processor
is a useful machine, but it sometimes cut everything too tiny and you do not taste
it or see the color of it. Add 1 table spoon of Soya Sauce, Sake and Mirin. 1 tea
spoon of salt will also come in. If you like ginger, you can put some ginger in this, too.

6. Place the aburaage ends that you cut off lengthwise like this and you can
roll it in. Try to squeeze air between the layers.

7. Use a toothpick and fix it well, cut into half and they are ready to cook.

8. Put 250 cc water (25 cl) in a pan, bring it to a boil, add 1 table
spoon of dashi powder, add 1 table spoon of sake, soya sauce, sugar and
mirin each. Bring it to a boil again. Carefully put in the Shinodamaki
in the pan. Place the end (where you have the toothpick) down so that
it won’t separate in the hot dashi soup. Chicken minced meat will expand
and you need to put that in calculation.

9. I am cooking some green beans in the same pan for my bento here.

Cook them for about 10 minutes. I took out the green beans after 3 minutes.
While Shinodamaki is cooking, we make Onigiri. Do you have a mold like this?
You can put some furikake in the mold before you put rice in it.

Fill in some rice and press it with the lid.

Voila! Small onigiri with different furikake for your bento!!

10. Shinodamaki is ready. If you need to cut Shinodamaki to fit in your bento box,
wait 5 minutes before you cut it. When it is hot, meat will not be cut nicely.
Take it out from the pan and place it on a plate and let it cool.

Place your onigiri and Shinodamaki nicely and here is your bento for today!




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