The other day I posted a bento featuring tomato jellies for a caprese salad and I wrote that I had regretfully cubed the jelly instead of cutting out flowers. Well I made up for it with today’s version.
Tucked in next to the caprese is a star-spangled boiled egg and carrots. The second tier is white rice with takuwan flower… I already had the cutter out so why not? The brownish-red squiggle is umeboshi paste. I know it looks like an earthworm…that was not intentional but I had already taken the shot and packed the bento away before I realized it. Eww…
The third tier contains teriyaki falafels.
Really. Odd but very delicious. Just cook or heat the falafel as usual then dip in teriyaki sauce.
But going back to the first tomato jelly bento…I got a couple of emails asking how I made the jellies. It was pretty simple. I pureed enough tomatoes to yeild 1 cup of juice. Just add the chopped tomatoes to a food processor and give it a whirl, then dump the mix into a strainer and let it drip into a bowl. I used a spatula and pressed down on the blob to hasten the process
Heating up the tomato juice and agar-agar.
When I achieved a cup of tomato juice I added 2-3 tablespoons of agar-agar powder and heated while stirring constantly. ( I started with 2 tablespoons, but added a bit more)
When the powder dissolves pour into a flat container and chill. That’s pretty much it. Using a large flat container makes it easier to cut, especially if you want to cube it like in this bento.
Here’s a photo of the box of agar-agar powder and the jelly before it cooled.