Chicken Karaage Bento (Inspired by the Singa Lion)

Serving 4 pax
Preparation Time 1 hr
Skill Advance

580g Japanese short grain rice
580ml water
⅛ tsp Red food colouring
¼ tsp Yellow food colouring
60ml Japanese rice vinegar*
2 tbsp Sugar
½ tsp Salt

Chicken Karaage
500g Boneless chicken thigh, cubed*
1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
1 tbsp Light soy sauce
½ tsp Salt
1 tbsp Sake (optional)
A dash of pepper
1 Egg
2-3 tbsp Potato starch
200ml Oil

10 Crabsticks
1 small floret Broccoli, chopped
½ sheet Japanese toasted seaweed
6-8 leaves of Lettuce
4 Cherry tomatoes
2 slices Chicken ham
½ slice Soft cheese
1 slice Lemon

*Available at your nearest FairPrice store.

  • Prepare the Rice
    1. Wash and cook the rice in the following portions:
      • White rice: 435g of rice, 435ml of water
      • Bright orange rice: 145g of rice, 145ml of water, red and yellow food colouring
    2. Add rice vinegar, sugar and salt to a pot and heat just until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool.
    3. Once the rice is cooked, add in cooled vinegar solution.
  • Prepare the Chicken Karaage
    1. Marinate chicken with garlic, light soy sauce, salt, sake, pepper and egg, mixing well. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 2 hours, best overnight.
    2. Coat chicken pieces evenly with potato starch. Heat up oil over medium-high heat. Deep fry until light golden (around 1½ minutes), flipping midway. Remove and place on wire rack to cool and drain excess oil.
    3. Next, prepare a second deep fry to purge excess oil and create a crispier skin. Heat up the oil over high heat. Fry for around 1 minute until the chicken turns a nice golden colour.
  • Decorating
    1. Steam the crabstick and broccoli until soft.
    2. Shape the Japanese rice against the template to form Singa’s face, hands, t-shirt, and heart. Wrap some rice in cling film and compress lightly into a ball, then shape into the various elements.
    3. Unroll the red section of crab sticks and wrap them around the heart shaped rice ball.
    4. Cut the Japanese seaweed using the provided template to achieve the details for Singa’s face and the words.
    5. Arrange the ingredients to form the bento.

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