Saturday, 19 September 2009

Let the games commence

As I write this, mums all across Ayagawa will be busy at work preparing impressive bentos (packed lunches) for tomorrow's school sports day. And out of all the events that sports day entails, this is perhaps the most competitive. This is where the women proudly display their prowess in the kitchen, producing artistically arranged boxes of goodies to catch the eye of the family sitting beside them. I wasn't going to buy into it. I was perfectly happy to do an English-style picnic with sandwiches, crisps, fruit and cake... but then K phoned his mum this morning to ask her if she wanted to join us, and so I had to up my game somewhat. The menu now stands at:

onigiri (rice balls), three different flavours
sticky chicken drumsticks
deep-fried octopus
sausages in various animal shapes
spicy tiffin eggs (recipe follows)
edamame (boiled soy beans)
sweet potato sticks in syrup
mini tomatoes
fruit salad (apple, nashi, kiwi, orange, banana)
various crackers, crisps and snacks

I am breaking one of the rules, I refuse to prepare all of this on the morning of the event as we need to be out of the house by 7.30am and so most of it is already done. I'm just not that dedicated. I must say, I am most proud of the tiffin eggs! I wanted to make something vegetarian for me to enjoy and the recipe for these leaped of the BBC Good Food page at me just begging to be made! It's a bit like a scotch egg, only without the meat and it's baked instead of fried.

Spicy Tiffin Eggs

7 eggs
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
250g carrots, grated or very finely chopped
2 heaped tablespoons of curry paste (your favourite, I used Patak's Coriander and Cumin)
200g bread crumbs
75g pine kernels, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons flour

Boil 6 of the eggs for 5 minutes, then cool them in cold water and peel. Fry the onion for a few minutes, add the carrot and fry gently for 10 minutes. Add the curry paste, cook for a couple more minutes, then stir in the bread crumbs and allow to cool. Beat the remaining egg and add t0 with the carrot mixture. Divide the mixture into 6 balls and flatten them with your hand. One by one, roll the eggs in the flour, then wrap them in the flattened discs, squeezing the mixture around the egg until completely covered. Roll the balls in the chopped pine kernels and put on a baking sheet. Bake at 190c for 15 - 20 minutes.

They smell amazing.


  1. Angela they look amazing, too! Good luck and much fun for tomorrow and I would hide those tiffin eggs or it's my bet there'll be none left for you!

  2. Well done Angela! I bet they'll be so proud of their bentos :D Hehe why am I not surprised that the real sport is with the housewives and the bentos :P

  3. these look really nice and delicious :)

  4. They look good! I was really surprised recently to see scotch eggs on sale in Japanese supermarkets, I love a good scotch egg.

    I'll definitely be trying yours out :)

  5. Hey there Angela, how are you darling? Been thinking of you = ) I bet you'll give the other mums a run for their money eh? haha

    They do look amazing I've had Tiffin eggs before but none that look as fabulous as yours = )

    Isn't it just competitive at those meets, but more importantly did you have fun?

    Thinking of you..

  6. Hi Heather,

    Oh my, I am sooo tired! It was such a long day, but worth all the work (well, maybe). Good thinking - I hid an egg wrapped separately for me at the bottom of the box to ensure that I wouldn't miss out! xxx

    Hi Lorraine,

    Thanks! I tell you, I am so glad that the boys have school dinners - preparing bentos on a daily basis would be the end of me! xxx

    Hi Snooky,

    Thank you! They weren't difficult to make, but impressed my MIL! xxx

    Hi Kelly,

    Would you believe I've never eaten a scotch egg?! If you make these, be forewarned that they turn out larger than you imagine them to be! xxx

    Hi April,

    I'd never had a tiffin egg before, never even heard of them! I'll definitely be making them again. It was a fun day, the events are really imaginative! Who knows, next year I might even take part in the oyako races! xxx

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  8. Hi r4,

    Nothing technical about this recipe really, or else I would never have attempted it, lol! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. xxx

  9. Thanks for that wonderful recipe I made them for our sports day today! Next time I make them I might use quail eggs or some other small egg. I only had extra large eggs and it was a bit too much but the outside was really nice. Thanks for posting your recipe.

    Hope you and your family are well.