Building Better Bento
Juicy and Succulent, Eight Hours Later!
Burgers are the most popular meat entrée in Japanese lunches or Banto. But consumers often complain about burgers that are hard, leathery and tasteless.
Japanese food experts have been researching better ways to make some of the most popular and common foods that are found in Japanese lunches, to make them taste better.
Here’s a recipe for a burger for box lunches — actually it could be served anytime — that derives from this research, much of it by Prof. Nariko Ueda of Women’s Nutrition University in Saitama Prefecture, Japan.
Beef has a high melting point of 50 degrees Centigrade. So a Beef Burger might be delicious when it’s cooked, but after it gets cold, the meat becomes hard and tough.
A better choice is to avoid Beef — when making patties or burgers for lunches. Instead, using Chicken or Pork, or a combination of the two:
Juicy Hamburgers, Bento Style
6 ounces lean pork meat
8 ounces chicken thigh meat
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sugar
2 tablespoons Water
For the Breading:
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Arrowroot Flour (Katakuriko)
2 teaspoons Rice Flour
First, combine and mix the Basic Seasonings and set aside. Beat the Egg lightly with a fork or cooking chopsticks and combine with the two Flours (Rice Flour and Arrowroot Flour) and set aside.
Grind or chop the Chicken and Pork meat finely. A food processor is ideal for this. Combine the mats and mix well.
Add the Basic Seasonings, mix well and let sand for at least 10 minutes. ideally for half an hour. Form into 5 or patties, dredge with the Breading Mixture and grill with a little Oil in a frying pan.
The combination of seasonings, including he use of a small amount of Vinegar, plus the special starches for the Breading, help to make a burger that is juicy and has a good taste, even after it has been in the Bento box for several hours.