Bento 01: Lentil patties with onion and green pepper confit

I’d never come across the word confit before until I saw justbento’s sweet pepper and onion confit . Wiki says, "Confit (French) is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation ". And now that I know the word, I can use it. *laughs* I got my mum to make our own confit, which is actually the sauce used with Chinese restaurants’ Chicken Chop or Pork Chop rice. *grin*

I present, my first bento:

The bottom (smaller tier) was used for plain calrose rice. The top tier has lentil patties, a few ladies fingers and a muffin cup of the onion and green pepper confit. I’d expected the lentil patties to be a bit dry so I’d added the confit as part of the meal. I love eating things with sauce, and using it to flavour plain rice, which is why my confit is brimming with thick sauce. Hohoho~!

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It was my first time making those lentil burgers, using a recipe from a small book. Should you wish to try it yourself, here goes:

– 250g yellow lentils (or half)
– water (enough to cook your lentils till they’re super soft)
– some diced carrot
– some diced onion
– a bit of oil
– salt and pepper to taste (or use chicken stock and pepper)
– 170g breadcrumbs (or half)

The recipe included rolled oats as well, in the same quantity as the breadcrumbs, but I didn’t have that so I omitted it. Put the lentils in water, add some salt and bring to boil. Then let simmer and cover the pot. I approximated the amount of water. So just keep adding more if you find that it’s drying up and your lentils aren’t even cooked yet. When your lentils are super soft, feel free to attempt to drain them if you find it too wet and mushy. My lentil was quite dry after I drained out the water.

Fry the onions and carrot in a bit of oil in a pan till they’re soft. Add the quantities you’d want to see in the lentil patties. I added equal amounts of onion and carrot. They won’t brown if you don’t use too high a heat. When the veggies are cooked, add them to your lentils, and then add the breadcrumbs and oats (if you want them) and mix it all up, flavouring as you please. Shape the lentil burgers into thin patties or meatball-shaped ones like mine (they’re small to fit into my bento). Then pan fry them in a bit of oil till they’re browned.

I think my patties might have been too dry, as the patties fell apart slightly around the edges when I’d fried them. I did freeze some patties as I made too much with 250g of lentils. Using 250g, I made around 20 meatball-sized patties. *_* The recipe said to divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape them into flat patties. I guess that’d really make them burger-sized. This recipe is really too dry and the lentil taste a bit strong (for those who don’t like anything bean-like that much), so make yourself some sauce to dip the patties in.

For the confit, it’s just sliced onions and green pepper fried in some tomato sauce, soy sauce and sugar. That’s roughly the taste. So it’s slightly salty, sour and sweet at the same time. My mum made this, but the next time, I’ll be noting down exactly what she’d added and share what goes into the mix. ^_^ (I love eating chicken chop or pork chop rice because of this sauce.)

The ladies fingers were inspired by some bento pics I saw online. Because I’m not sure if green pepper and onion count as vegetables, I wanted something green (and bright) in my bento. Peas cooked in the confit would have been overkill alongside with lentil patties. Luckily we had some ladies finger in the fridge so three were boiled till tender and sliced in half.

Despite how small I’d found the bento, I was full three quarters through the rice, and I left behind a lentil patty and just a bit of the confit. I did feel hungry at 4 something in the afternoon, so I just finished off the leftovers in my bento. ^_^

Overall, I’m quite happy with this bento attempt. And you can expect that this confit is something I’ll be adding to quite a number of my bento in the future. ^o^

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