Snow Peas for Bento
These often appear in one of the layers of Bento boxes at New Year’s. But you can make and enjoy them any time of year. The New Year version is a bit saltier than usual, as with many New Year dishes. The reduction of the pan juices is a nice extra touch.
6 ounces Snow Peas
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
3 tablespoons Dashi Japanese-style Stock, or other Stock
¼ teaspoon Ajinomoto, optional
First wash the Snow Peas, removing any extra fibers and pinching off the ends of the pods.
Sprinkle the pods with the Salt and boil in water for a minute, then drain and rinse with cold running water and drain well. A colander would be very helpful here.
Mix the Dashi or other Stock with the Sugar and bring it to the boil.
Mix the Dashi or other Stock with the Sugar and bring it to the boil. Add the Ajinomoto if using, and add a pinch more Salt if desired.
Put in the Snow Peas and cook for 2 minutes, then remove them from the pan using a slotted spoon and let them cool.
Finally, cook down the pan liquids to thicken them and spoon the thickened sauce over the peas. When they are fully cooled they can go into the Bento box.
In any case this is one of the nicer things, for New Year’s and also in Japanese cooking in general.