Monday, January 12, 2009

Mr. Bento Monday MashUp

Today's Mr. Bento (again just one, for Jan, since I am still stuck in my technology workshop which provides sad little lunches for all the inmates I mean participants)is a bit of a mashup.

It included an omelet with bacon, toasted blueberry bagel with foil-wrapped cream cheese, a lovely satsuma with a lime wedge to squeeze over, and sushi rice rolls with shrimp, ginger ribbon, soy bottle, and slices of bitter melon.

Bitter melon is new to me; we visited our 'oriental grocery' on Saturday and as soon as the proprietor learned that Jan is diabetic, she insisted that we learn about bitter melon. She prepared some for us, she showed us her lunch salad which included it, she gave us two for free, and she even wrote down a recipe for a nice bitter melon salad to try at home. She was so kind and lovely and generous to us -- it was like an angelic visitation.

In case you are not yet jiggy with bitter melon, here's what they look like: space alien cucumbers.

Inside is a spongy center with large black seeds - very pretty to look at.

The spongy part and all seeds are scraped out, then you cut small cross sections and do whatever you like but no cooking! That destroys the benefits. I included some raw pieces with Jan's sushi rolls and hope they aren't too intense all alone. We made a salad Saturday night according to the grocer's recipe and it was dynamite.

Good start to the week of Bento adventure!


  1. I have seen those in my asian market and I had no clue what they were! What do they taste like? Are they a fruit or veg? TELL ME MORE!!!!!

  2. Avie, they are definitely a vegetable and related to cucumber. But the taste is sharp and tangy. They are supposed to be just a powerhouse of nutritional value!

    You don't peel them and you don't cook them, just clean, core, and prepare.

    The grocer recommended a salad of about 1/2 cup chopped bitter melon, 1 cup chopped tomato, 1/2 cup chopped cucumber, green onion and fresh ginger and fresh garlic to taste, salt, pepper, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar to dress. She said it has great benefits to diabetics but is supergood for everyone. She also said it is addictive!!

  3. Thanks for the recipe! I am going to try one next time I hit the asian market! Wish me luck and I am sure u will see a post about it on my blog! :)