Saturday, 30 July 2016

#Bento 113 - Totoro lunchbox - Luncheon meat and potato in tomato sauce

I have, for the longest time, wanted to prepare a Totoro lunch box for Rayson. So, I finally get to work on Thursday night.

It consumes a a bit of time, I really do not know how those Mummies manage preparing charaben (a shortened form of character bento) for their children everyday. Perhaps all I need is more practice.

Rayson has a small beanie Totoro which he brings everywhere (except school) everyday but we lost it and till now my heart still twitches when I think of it. Why? Because it was given to me by my brother 10+ years ago and bought from Japan. We will not be able to find an identical one anymore. Sigh.......where could it be?

Rayden's bear and Rayson's Totoro. They are brothers too, according to Rayson
Totoro and chi-totoro

Totoro's grey color is achieved by mixing the sushi rice with crushed black sesame. I think I went a shade too dark. Will improve should I ever do any Totoros again.
The tummy and eyes are cheese. The pupils are black sesames and prints on the tummy are punched out from nori. Whiskers are spaghetti.

I prepared the all time favorite, luncheon meat and potato in tomato sauce.
Fry some garlic till it is fragrant, add in diced luncheon meat and pan fry till they are crisp or turned a bit brown at the sides. 
Add in diced potatoes ( already coooked) and tomato sauce, mix them well and the dish is done!
Easy, isn't it?

Rayson's lunchbox

Rayden's lunchbox

Hubby's lunchbox
My own lunchbox
I was confident that Rayson will be able to finish his lunchbox, but a bit worried about Rayden because even though he has roughly the same appetite as Rayson, he is not as fast (well, depending on the food also...=S). So Rayden might feel a bit of stress if he brings his own lunchbox as he could not finish his food in time. 

However, to my surprise, Rayden whipped his lunchbox clean! Great to hear! It's such a joy to hear that they have enjoyed their food and they look really cute when I went to fetch them home, carrying their own school bags and holding their own identical lunchox bags.

I really thank God for my life. Happy weekends to all!

Kai Sin

Thursday, 28 July 2016

#Bento 112 - Minced meat and chicken porridge

Decided to try something different today. Used the frozen rice method and cooked some minced meat and chicken porridge in the morning for our lunch today. The frozen rice method really makes the cooking of porridge very much faster, the porridge gets thick and smooth in less then 15 min. 

However, I think I need to add more water in to make the porridge smoother. Also added in diced carrots and mushrooms for our vege intake. Some slices of ginger to make the porridge more fragrant.

One very important ingredient that we cannot miss out is definitely the fried shallots! It acts as a garnish, enhances the taste and the fried shallot oil can be used to drizzle on your porridge....Are you drooling now?

Here you go...a great meal for a rainy weather.....

*Frozen Rice method
  • Wash the rice in a bowl and drain off the water, leaving just a bit of water in the bowl after draining.
  • Cover the bowl with a cling wrap and put it into the freezer for 3-4 hours to freeze the rice ( I left it overnight)
  • When taken out of the freezer, you can just cook the frozen rice as per normal without thawing
  • The purpose of freezing the rice is to break down rice grains when they come into contact with the water as it cooks.
  • This allow the grains to turn starchy and gives a thick and smooth consistency within a much shorter time.....just 10-15 min of boiling and stirring and you will see your smooth porridge forming.

Now you can have smooth and fragrant porridge anytime. Do you have other methods of cooking yummy porridge?

Kai Sin

#Bento 111 - Fried Laksa

Fried Laksa....this is a really appetizing and filling dish for hubby and I! Not too spicy, shall let Rayson try it the next time I cook it. It's the first time I'm cooking it and we love it!

Fried garlic and pork belly, added some french beans and some strips of carrots to make it a more balanced meal. I always make a conscious effort to include as many colors as possible in a meal. It makes the presentation so much nicer.

Added 2 yummy scallop nuggets as the sides too. Fried Laksa is really a friendly dish for lunchboxes.

Try it!

Kai Sin

Saturday, 23 July 2016

#Bento 110 - Grilled chicken bento for my colleagues!

No need to prepare bento for my hubby as he is attending a congress today. So I thought it is a good chance to cook for my colleagues.

The menu is suggested by Rayson, he had wanted chicken, sunny-side-up and some veges but in the end, he chose his favorite curry mash potato over the egg because he couldn't resist it.

Rayden, on the other hand,....hmmm....I can only say he hasn't learn to appreciate my bentos yet....

I love my grilled chicken today, hopefully my colleagues enjoyed them too...I love the marinade that I have used and will strongly recommend it.

Servings ( 4 boneless chicken thighs)
3 tablespoons of soya sauce
1.5 tablespoon of Hua Tiao wine
1.5 teaspoon of finely grated ginger (I think I used a lot more because I love ginger!)

I marinated the chicken thighs overnight in the fridge. In the morning, I popped them in the oven at 180 deg for 15 min or until cooked, brushed on some honey and leave it in the oven for a 2-3 min more and they are done. The meat is flavorful and tender and most importantly so easy and convenient to prepare.

Bento sets for my colleagues
A closer look

Rayson's bento set

Weekends is here! And I'm planning on what to cook next week.......
Kai Sin

Thursday, 21 July 2016

#Bento 109 - Salmon and Luncheon meat fried rice (with Recipe)

Everybody loves fried rice! Don’t you? My family and I love it because it is such a versatile dish to cook, you can add in any ingredients and customize the taste according to your preference.

Today, I have prepared my family style of fried rice for my boys – Salmon and luncheon meat (chicken) fried rice. Luncheon meat isn’t very healthy but well, a little indulgence is fine once in a while I guess?

Preparation starts the previous night. Before I sleep, I cooked the rice so that it will be cool and ready to fry the next morning. I used sushi rice which isn't really ideal as it's abit soft and mushy to fry. Medium to long grain rice which don't clump together when fried will be much suitable.

Why do people use cold, leftover cooked for frying? 

That’s because the rice grains will firm up, making it easier to separate and decreasing the chances of your fried rice turning out mushy. You may also want to air freshly-cooked rice to remove moisture and refrigerate the rice for a few hours before cooking.

Serves 2 adults and 1 little boy

  • 1 cup of rice (cooled or left overnight)
  • 1 steak of salmon
  • Half a can of chicken luncheon meat  (diced)
  • A few stalks of French beans (sliced)
  • 5 Shitake mushrooms (diced)
  • Garlic (diced)
  • Fried minced ginger and oil (I cut around 3-4cm of the ginger) (*very very important)


1) Preheat the air-fryer at 180 deg for 5 min. Thereafter, fry the minced ginger soaked in oil for 15 min at 180 deg. The fried minced ginger is ready if it has turned golden brown.

2) Marinate the salmon steak with ginger juice and some soya sauce for half an hour and grill the salmon in the oven for 15-20 min or until it’s cooked. Leave the salmon to cool.

3) Slice the French beans and dice the luncheon meat and shitake mushrooms.

4) Add some olive oil to the pan and fry the luncheon meat till they turned a bit brown and crisp on the sides. When they are done, dish them out into a bowl or plate.

5) Next, add in some garlic and fry till it's fragrant. Thereafter, pan fry the french beans and shitake mushrooms till they turned soft.

5) Next, turn the fire down and add in the cooled rice. Add some of the fried ginger oil and slowly use your spatula to separate the rice.

6) When step (5) is done, add in the shredded grilled salmon, luncheon meat, French beans and mushrooms. Add in around 1.5 tablespoon of soya sauce and drizzle lots of fried ginger oil. Turn up the fire and fry for a few minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

7) Finally, add in your secret weapon, the fried minced ginger. Swift and stir briefly until your ingredients are all well mixed and your fried rice is done!

Hubby's set

Rayson's set

Sharing is caring so today, I prepared a a bento box for my colleague as well.

Colleague's set

Kai Sin

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

I want to be a police man @ Police Heritage Centre

If I have not mentioned before anywhere in my blog posts, I will say it now, I love Singapore! I'm really glad to be living in Singapore, it's such a friendly place to bring children around, firstly because of it's safety (cannot be taken for granted of course!) . Even if you choose not to go overseas, there is still plenty, really PLENTY of programs going on during the school holidays, and a even better piece of news is, many of the activities are free!

This June Holidays, we joined the "I want to be a policeman" tour at the Police Heritage Centre. I have wanted to join this tour last year but to my disappointment, they replied that they were fully booked for the whole of 2015!

Rayden's ambition (latest) is to be a policeman so he is really looking forward to this tour and wearing the police uniforms.

The person-in-charge, a lady (oppzz I did not catch her name) briefed us about the police's uniform.

The different ranks of the police officers of which the highest is the Commissioner.

Highest rank - Commissioner of Police
Evolution of the police's uniform..The material then was thicker hence warmer to wear..maybe that's why they were wearing shorts?
What about this gentleman? Is he a policeman too?
This gentleman was a traffic policeman - He wore "wings" on his back to direct the traffic!

The officers will gather here to handle calls from the public

A rare chance for them to see these antique telephones!
Riots during the early times of Singapore


How the police identify suspects in the past

I was particular interested in these policemen after watching Descendants of the Sun (DOTS).

Special forces of Singapore!
The elite Special Tactics and Rescue (STAR) Unit, one of the Specialist tactical units, was formed in November 1993 to provide SPF with the highest possible level of tactical armed response. The STAR Unit is equipped to handle all kinds of criminal hostage incidents including aircraft/vessel hijacks and sieges. STAR officers are highly trained in marksmanship, close-quarter combat, intelligence-gathering, rappelling, the use of explosives in confined urban settings and both heli-borne and maritime assaults. 

Ooooo...Sounds closest to what Captain Yoo is doing.....hee.

Last but not least.......

Photo-taking with the uniforms!
Was a little disappointed with the uniforms though. The ones at Army Museum are a lot nicer with the bottoms and proper caps!

Pictures taken at Army Museum

After the session at Police Heritage Centre, we head over to United Square to catch the Hi-5 show!

"I want to be policeman" is held throughout the year.Tours are strictly by appointment. For registration, please call 6478 2123 or email

Pricing : Free
Venue: Police Heritage Centre

Police Heritage Centre is at Police Headquarters, New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 32560. 
If you are going by MRT, please alight at Novena MRT Station (Exit A) and follow the sheltered walk way. 
If you are driving, please park your car at Ren Ci Community Hospital carpark (limited lots), Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital carpark of Square 2 Shopping Centre carpark.

Police Heritage Centre is just beside Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and opposite Renci.

Book your tour today!
Kai Sin