It has been a week already. We’ve been really stressed out and worried by the terrible earthquake and tsunami that has hit Japan last Friday. As many of you know our team has a very close relationship with Japan. Part of our team lived and worked in Tokyo for some time and had the greatest experience getting to know the Japanese culture, food and the wonderful people. We actually have family and very good friends over there suffering the consequences of this terrible natural disaster. But we must say, we are indeed lucky, as all of them are safe and sound. However we cannot hide our concern about the nuclear outcome since they all live in the Tokyo area. Today we want to dedicate this post to all of them, to our friends in Spain who have their families back home and to Japan as a country: Uchiyama family, Shimura family, Kaori & family, Kanako Usui & family. We want them to know that we have them in our thoughts daily and that we wish them all the best. We have no doubt that Japan will stand up again. They are a hardworking and wonderful people, a country that works together like a huge team.
Today and for this particular purpose we would like to share with you this simple but exquisit Japanese bento food - Hinomaru Bento日の丸弁当. Hinomaru is actually the name of the Japanese flag and means “sun disc”. Bento 弁当 is a single portion meal like a lunchbox.. This meal turned out very common during war times when the population suffered from lack of food. The name came obviously due to the resemblance of the meal with the flag. It is still very popular today and no wonder: easy, tasty and healthy. The combination of red and white is a symbol in Japan for happy occations.
Cooked plain rice
Umeboshi (red pickled plum) 梅干
Put the cooked rice in a bowl (or in a box if you want it to be a real bento 弁当) and then place an umeboshi in the middle. Ready!
The strong flavour of the umeboshi should be mixed with the plain rice giving it a flavour kick. Yes, only one umeboshi will be enough… If you dare, put one umeboshi in your mouth without rice to taste an explotion of salt.
Our dedication comes along with a big smile and a great sense of pride for our friendship and with the thought that one umeboshi in the middle of the plain rice represents the hope in the middle of adversity.