Hello to anyone who is still visiting the Bentocracy! I'm terribly sorry about the big break between posts, but I should be back up to posting four days a week. I appreciate your patience with me. I'm back home in San Diego after my internship in Los Angeles. It went really well. I learned a lot from my projects and met a lot of great people. It was a great experience overall. I'm very hopeful for an offer for a permanent job once I graduate, so everyone keep your fingers crossed.
As to today's Bento, we have thai-style spring rolls with peanut-chile dipping sauce and green papaya salad. Today's bento is totally vegetarian...I'm not a vegetarian, but am definitely trying to reduce the meat in my diet. So, lately I've been experimenting some with veggie meals.
The spring rolls are made with rice paper, and are filled with soy-protein "chick'n" strips, Thai basil, coriander (cilantro), grated carrot, cucumber, mung bean sprouts and enoki mushrooms. The sauce is made of peanut butter, chile paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, and fish sauce. It has just a nice little bit of kick beneath the rich creamy peanutty-ness. I used a natural ground peanut butter from my local market instead of a jarred brand--I personally think it's better for thai dishes and cooking in general. It does not have any added sugar like the supermarket brands, so it tastes more like peanuts, and I prefer its slightly grainy texture as well.
The salad is julianned green papaya, thinly sliced tomatoes, mung bean sprouts, Thai chiles, coriander, and Thai basil. It is tossed in a dressing made of fresh lime juice, honey, and soy sauce, and there is a sprinkling of dry-roasted peanuts on top. I really enjoyed this salad--crunch, sour, a little sweet, and spicy.