How to make Tsukemono (Instant Pickles)

One of my favourite side dishes, for bento and other meals too, is tsukemono or instant pickles. This is not the kind of pickle you spread in sandwiches with meat but the sort akin to pickled eggs but with vegetables.

Below are two methods in which Tsukemono can be made

Press-less method

This tutorial uses a cucumber for demonstration purposes but you can use almost any vegetable using the same principles.

Step 1:

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Cut lengthwise through the centre of the cucumber, the cut should be 2 inch deep per person. So for 3 people the cut should be 6 inch deep.

Step 2:

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Cut the cucumber into thin rounds, the cut through the middle makes the cucumber into crescents.

Step 3:

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Using about 1/4 teaspoon of salt per 2 inch, massage the cucumber with the salt until limp.

Step 4:

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Put into a freezer bag and shake up the cucumber to make sure the cucumber is evenly coated in salt. Now put the freezer bag in the fridge and leave for at least 15 minutes. Instant vegetables taste best if left overnight.

Pressed Method

Follow previous method but instead of putting the pickles in the fridge in a freezer bag you can use a press to further extract more liquid making the pickles better.

You can purchase Japanese pickle presses online but they can be quite expensive, a great alternative if you only want to make small batches is the Eddington’s Egg Cuber.

You simply put the pickles in the body of the Egg Cuber and screw on the lid pressing the pickles and releasing it’s own pickling liquid.

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Then put the Egg Cubers in a bowl/tub and put in the fridge.

TIP!!

The salty juice left from the instant pickles makes a great tangy salad dressing!

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Sistema Cutlery To Go Review and Simple Bento

I was sent a set of “Cutlery To Go” from Sistema to review.

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This is a great set made up of collapsible chopsticks, a knife, fork and spoon all in a handy and hygienic carry case!

Cost: 5/5
While some people may think £5.50 is expensive for a cutlery set I think it it is a very reasonable price for a cutlery set that is collapsible and has its own carry case to keep them cutlery clean and hygienic.

Size: 5/5
The cutlery collapses and is stored in a compact case that can be easily slipped into a bag to be carried with your lunch.

Ease Of Use: 3/5
A great set that snaps together and apart, while they aren’t too hard to take apart they can be a little stiff which may cause problems for smaller children.
This set would be great for picnics, bento or even taking to a restaurant if you don’t want your children handling sharper, metal cutlery.

Style: 5/5
As far as cutlery goes this set has quite a stylus edge. Available in four bright colours means they won’t need to get mixed up!

Pros:
•Collapsible and compact.
•Bright colours.
•Hygienic carry case.
•Great for picnics and bento etc

Cons:
•Can be a little tough to take apart.

This great set can be purchased
here

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Here is the bento I used the collapsible cutlery woth

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This lunch contains tamagoyaki,radishes,mixed vegetables and sushi. Sadly the sushi rice was too mushy so I couldn’t cut it into pieces 😦

Disclaimer
I received the product to review but no cash was exchanged, my review is my honest opinion and has not been swayed by the company or anyone else.

Eddington’s Egg Cuber Review

My newest item to review is the amazing Egg Cuber by Eddington.

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This amazing little device makes your eggs square! Which is great for so many reasons:
•Bento
•Sandwiches
•Add interest to salads
•Stop eggs rolling off the plate
•If you have chickens you can have some fun convincing your family your chickens lay square eggs

Cost: 5/5
At £5.50 can you really afford not to have one of these?

Ease Of Use: /5
An extremely simple gadget to work, you simply boil an egg til hard boiled pop into the body of the cuber and then put in the plunger and twist on the lid. Chill the gadget in the fridge for 10 minutes so the egg holds its shape better.
I imagine this gadget can be used for rice and other easily manipulated foods, imagine little squares of ice cream!

Pros:
• Cheap and useful
• Fun for adults and children alike
• Easy to use

Cons:
• Can you say anything bad about something that squares eggs?!

And here is what happened to an egg I put in the gadget:

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This item can be bought here!

Disclaimer
I received the product to review but no cash was exchanged, my review is my honest opinion and has not been swayed by the company or anyone else.

Aladdin eCycle 4 piece Lunch Set with Recycled Tote Review

Another review for you, I was sent an Aladdin eCycle bento set to review from ReUseIt and its a great set!

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This set ticks a lot of boxes, pardon the pun, it is made from recycled products, it is extremely versatile and it even looks quite snazzy!

Anyway onto the main review:

Cost: 4/5
at $24.95 (£16) it is a more expensive option but it also has reason to be. You get four boxes and a bag to carry them all in. While expensive compared to some other lunch boxes it may also prove to be better when compared.

Size: 5/5
The reason I give this set a 5/5 is because of it’s versatility. With a main box being around 550ml, a medium box being around 250ml and two smaller boxes being around 125ml you get 1050ml and a bag to carry it all in!

Ease Of Use: 5/5
With their being three different sizes it makes packing a breeze! Now you won’t have to try and squeeze your cherry tomatoes in with your salad, they can have their own box. And why not carry some nuts or seeds in the small boxes as a snack?

Style: 5/5
A greatly presented set in a very gender neutral way. Being charcoal means it would look great being used by men or women, and even children who want a more sophisticated look.

Pros:
• Four boxes and a bag for one set price.
• Unisex.
• Extremely versatile.
• Leakproof.
• Easy to keep foods separate.

Cons:
• Can be hard to open due to locks and seal.
• May be cost prohibitive.
• Only one style.

You can find this great item and many more by clicking the button below!

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You can also check out ReUseIt by following them on their social networking sites:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
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And as usual, here is a lunch packed in this box:

I went for a Valentine’s theme. This bento contains a red, beetroot and rice heart, mixed vegetables, prawn tempura, meatless mince and a heart shaped boiled egg. With some cherry tomatoes brought along for the bento party 🙂

Disclaimer
I received the product to review but no cash was exchanged, my review is my honest opinion and has not been swayed by the company or anyone else.

Rilakkuma bento box review and simple vegetarian bento!

I was sent a great little product from Keep It Secret to review, a Rilakkuma bento box!

I received the Kiiroitori variation:

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Isn’t he cute!

This box is a two tiered bento box and includes a pair of Rilakkuma chopsticks:

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Now onto the review!

Cost: 5/5
At £9.99 this box is a bargain! It’s extremely hard to get an authentic Japanese box in England and if you do find one its usually £30+

Size: 5/5
This box is roughly 600ml which is a great size for a box regardless of age or gender. The bottom layer is around 200ml and the top layer is 400ml. This would allow children to have a very filling meal and maybe a snack, or an adult to have a bento without feeling hungry after it has been eaten.

Ease Of Use: 5/5
This shape and style of bento is extremely popular for a reason, because it works. There is no crafty corners to try and fill and with a little know how a varied and delicious meal can be packed quickly and efficiently.

Style: 2.5/5
The reason I have given this box half marks is because you will either love it or hate it. Chances are this box will only appeal to children or adults with a slight childish streak. It’s hard to imagine a 40 year old business man in a suit pulling this box out in front of his colleagues.

Pros:
• Authentic Japanese bento.
• Very popular character.
• Cheap and easy to pack.
• Included chopsticks.
• Colourful and eye catching.

Cons:
• Will only appeal to a certain market.
• So cute you will never want to use a plate again! ( ok so that’s not a real con but I had to say something right?)

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And here is a very simple vegetarian bento packed in this box:

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It contains rice with a bit of salad cream mix in ( it sounds horrible but try it and you’ll love it!), meatless mince, a cherry tomato and mixed vegetables.

Disclaimer
I received the product to review but no cash was exchanged, my review is my honest opinion and has not been swayed by the company or anyone else.

Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker review

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I think after the months of use I should write a review. so here goes!

Price: 5/5

I bought this rice cooker from Makro for just under half price. Even if I had paid full price for this particular appliance I would be more than happy knowing every penny was worth it.


Size: 5/5

This appliance is the perfect size! With a ten cup ( 2.2L ) capacity it will cook enough for the whole family while taking up minimal space on the counter.

Ease of use: 5/5

This rice cooker comes with ample instructions but even for those people that refuse to read instructions this machine is self explanatory. It has a very simple menu with large buttons.

With the ability to set a timer for cooking time and the ability to set the machine to start cooking just before you arrive home so that when you do arrive, your meal is freshly prepared.

This rice cooker also comes with a steamer basket making it possible to cook rice, vegetables and even a boiled ( technically steamed ) egg all in one go.

Pro’s:

  • Can be used to cook rice, pulses and grains, porridge, steamed foods, slow cooking, soups and cakes among other items.
  • Comes with large non-stick removable bowl for easy cleaning.
  • Comes with rice paddle and a small but perfectly formed cookbook.
  • Light and easy to transport.
  • The ability to have your meal freshly cooked for when you arrive home.
  • Extremely simple to use.
  • Looks sleek and with the stainless steel shell it is easy to clean.
  • Automatic stop cooking/ keep warm feature means no more cold rice.

Con’s:

  • It doesn’t clean the dishes. ( Yes I know that’s not a serious comment but I literally cannot find a fault with this appliance!)