2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup dandelion greens
1 Roma tomato
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice
4 teaspoons red wine
3 tablespoons cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 12 ounce can SPAM
4 pineapple rings
2 cups plain cooked rice
makes 2 bentos (a Japanese style lunchbox)
Mince garlic clove. Snip stems off dandelion greens; cut each green leaf into four pieces. Slice tomato into thin slices.
Prepare the marinade. Put garlic, brown sugar, lemon juice, pineapple juice, red wine, soy sauce, water, and cornstarch in large mixing bowl. Stir with whisk or fork until brown sugar dissolves and cornstarch blends in.
Slice SPAM into 4 thin rectangles;. add to marinade and let marinate for 60 minutes.
Place a skillet on medium heat; when hot, add SPAM and pineapple. Fry for 4 minutes on medium heat. Turn over SPAM and pineapple. Fry for another 4 minutes. Add marinade to SPAM and pineapple in skillet. Simmer for 8 minutes on low heat, stirring constantly.
Place half of the dandelion leaves in a small section of the bento. Put tomato in another small section. Place SPAM in one side of the large section and pineapple in the other side.
Serve with plain cooked rice. Wild dandelion leaves may be used in this. Fresh ingredients always taste better. It is not possible to get fresh SPAM.
Just look the recipe photo and wonder why bento boxes haven’t caught on everywhere.
1) I entered this recipe in the International Bento Contest 2013. I was so proud to have participated.
2)I have tried to show with this bento dish how cooking fosters friendship between countries even when there has been conflict. American soldiers and seamen brought SPAM, canned spiced ham, with them as they fought in the Pacific from 1942 to 1953. Hawaiians and Koreans, in particular, learned to love this food and adopted it into their own cuisine.
3) I created SPAM bento to show how fun and enjoyable dishes can be when created with the humblest ingredients.
4) I presented this meal in honor of Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving Holiday, which was being celebrated at this time. Koreans celebrate by visiting family, paying respects to ancestors, and giving and receiving gift-wrapped cans of SPAM.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.