pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, deep-fried tofu, red onion salad
my wife makes awesome packed lunches. she brings to office most days and they are much healthier of course than eating at the cafeteria. sometimes she packed for 1 or 2 colleagues as well. 🙂
oven grilled big prawns
items for packed lunch
pan-grilled portobello mushrooms
mesclun = rockets, alfafa, spinach, purple lettuce
the centre-piece of the healthy packed lunches are the salads & vegetables. these could be standalone simple salad lunches, or often enough also, some meat items were added as a counter-point. sometimes i would cook miso cod, miso salmon, miso char siew (belly pork), miso ebi yaki (grilled miso prawns) or my pan roasted brined chicken breast for her. today she made oven grilled big prawns for herself 🙂
the pumpkin salad (top photo) was excellent tasting – sweet australian pumpkin with cherry tomatoes, deep-fried tofu, red onion. the pan grilled portobello (low heat slow dry grilling) was super, packed full of flavours, and together with the mesclun salad made for a very healthy delicious lunch.
Korean spicy sotong (squid) salad
was rummaging through my fridge one day and saw this bottle of gojuchang (a savoury and pungent Korean fermented red pepper paste) – see picture below. I must have bought that months ago from a Korean provision shop. It is supposedly such an indispensable universal seasoning condiment – and I do often take it at Korean restaurants eg for bibimbap (a signature Korean dish-a bowl of warm rice topped with seasoned sauteed mixed vegetables usually with a raw egg & beef) – but it seems that I have found no use for it.
gojuchang – Korean fermented red pepper paste
I googled the internet and chanced on this Korean Spicy Squid Salad Recipe. I tried it, and it was easy to do & good. I didn’t have watercress & cucumbers so I used what I had in the fridge – kang kong, celery and bean sprouts, and it turned out rather well, as seen in the above picture – my first & only attempt so far! 🙂
The bean sprouts & kang kong were just blanched, with the latter squeezed dry on a sieve to remove excess water as shown in the video. The celery & yellow onions I thought needed some sautee-ing, which I did to soften, and they turned out very well indeed.
After that it was just a matter of adding & mixing gojuchang & other seasoning. It made for a very refreshing & nice salad, a pleasant addition to dinner. 🙂
- 1 large squid (250g) skin, wings & head removed
- 1 stalk of celery cut 2cm size
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1/2 a bunch of kang kong
- a handful of bean sprouts
- 2.5 tbsp gojuchang Korean red pepper paste
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- sea salt to taste
- Prepare the squid – remove the head, wings & red skin. cut open the squid length-wise. for the chequered pattern cut, slice length-wise along squid 1/4in apart, careful not to cut through. then cut the squid in 1/2 length-wise. now slice across & cut through the squid every 4th cut – that will produce a 1in width cut with square-cut patterns.
- Make the salad – blanched the bean sprouts & the kang kong & squeeze out excess water from the kang kong by placing on a sieve. sauteed the celery & yellow onions. Cooked the squid in boiling water for 4minutes until cooked. In a large bowl, mix everything together – the squid, vegetables & the seasoning mix. serve.