Prawn nigiri, Japanese omelette and pork meatball bento box

Serves 2
1 hour 30 minutes


Sesame and ginger pork meatballs with soba noodles

  • 400g of pork mince
  • 20g of Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp shichimi tōgarashi, plus extra to serve
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp of groundnut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp of dashi, powder
  • 60ml of soy sauce
  • 90ml of mirin
  • 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 45g of honey
  • coriander leaves
  • black sesame seeds
  • 135g of soba noodles, cooked according to pack instructions
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Prawn nigiri

  • 6 cooked and peeled king prawns, approximately 60g
  • 150g of Japanese short grain rice
  • 180ml of water, cold
  • wasabi paste
  • soy sauce, to serve
  • pickled ginger, to serve

Japanese omelette

  • 1 tbsp of mirin
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chopped chives, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 tsp bonito flakes
  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp groundnut oil
  • soy sauce, for dipping

Carrot and bean salad

  • 150g of green beans
  • 150g of carrots, or various colours, sliced into thin strips with a potato peeler or mandoline
  • 10g of pumpkin seeds
  • 10g of sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of groundnut oil
  • 2 small shallots, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 10g of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • sea salt

Edamame beans with soy sauce

  • 200g of edamame, in their pods
  • flaky sea salt
  • soy sauce


Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Begin by making the meatballs. Place the pork, breadcrumbs, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, 1 tsp of the sesame oil, the shichimi togarashi, green onion, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well until all of the ingredients are combined. Put a large deep-sided roasting tray in the oven for 5 minutes or until hot
Take a tablespoonful of the pork mixture, roll into a ball and place on a plate. Repeat until you have used all of the mixture
Drizzle the groundnut oil onto the hot tray, add the meatballs and return to the oven to cook for 5 minutes
While the meatballs are cooking, put the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, 1 tsp sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and honey in a bowl and stir to combine
Remove the tray from the oven, add the dashi mixture and gently stir to coat the meatballs
Return to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes or until the sauce is sticky and the meatballs are golden brown. Once cooked, set aside and allow to cool
Meanwhile make the prawn nigiri. Place the rice in a sieve and wash under the cold tap until the water runs clear. Rest the sieve on a bowl and leave to drain for at least 15 minutes
Place the rice in a saucepan and add 180ml of cold water. Bring the pan to the boil, cover with a lid and immediately reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 10 minutes
Turn off the heat, do not remove the lid and leave for another 10 minutes. Tip 100g of the rice into a bowl and leave to cool. You will have some rice leftover which you can refrigerate and use for another dish
Prepare and arrange the prawns and wasabi around a large clean board. You will also need a small bowl of water
Run a knife down the underside of each prawn, taking care not to cut all the way through. Gently press on the top of the prawn to flatten it
Place a prawn upside down in the palm of your hand and spread a dab of wasabi paste over the underside
The rice will be very sticky, so wet your fingers in the bowl of water before taking a large pinch of rice and pressing it over the wasabi paste
Wetting your fingers again if necessary, place your index finger and ring finger either side of the rice and your middle finger on top. Press gently to form a long rectangle and around the ends to tidy them up. Repeat with the rest of the rice and prawns
To make the Japanese omelette, place the mirin, soy sauce, 1 tsp of chopped chives and bonito flakes in a bowl. Add the eggs and whisk to combine
Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add 1 tsp of groundnut oil, ensuring that the base of the pan is covered
Pour a small ladleful of the egg mixture into the pan, tilting it so it covers the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few seconds until the egg starts to set. Lift one side of the omelette using a palate knife and roll it in on itself towards one end of the pan
Leave the rolled up omelette on the far side of the pan and pour in another small ladle of egg mixture, lifting the rolled omelette up so the uncooked egg flow underneath it
When the egg has just set, roll the original omelette and the just-set one together, towards you using two palette knives or spatula. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until the egg is used up
Slice the rolled up omelettes into pieces and leave to cool, then set aside until ready to assemble the boxes
For the carrot and green bean salad, cook the green beans for 2 minutes in plenty of salted boiling water. Drain and place in a bowl of iced water
Place a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, stirring occasionally until toasted. Take the pan off the heat and immediately add 1 tbsp of the soy sauce, which will create a dark salty coating
Heat the groundnut oil in a small pan and add the shallots, water and sugar. Cover with a lid and cook on a very low heat for 10 minutes
Mix the remaining 3 tbsp of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, grated ginger, black pepper and wasabi paste in a bowl
When the shallots are soft and golden, add them to the soy mixture. Pour over the sesame oil and stir to combine and make a dressing
Place the green beans and carrot shavings into a bowl, add 1–2 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to combine
Place the edamame bean pods in a steamer and cook for 3 minutes, or alternatively boil for 2 minutes. Drain well
To assemble the boxes, divide the edamame pods between the bento boxes, drizzle with a little soy sauce and sprinkle with sea salt
Place a row of omelette next to the edamame and sprinkle with a few chopped chives. Place a row of prawn nigiri on the other side of the omelette, with a little pickled ginger and a container of soy sauce on the side
Divide the soba noodles and meatballs between the bento boxes in small piles. Sprinkle with chopped coriander, sesame seeds and extra shichimi tōgarashi, Add the carrot and bean salad and garnish with the toasted seeds