Jac didn’t need lunch again on Friday, so this is what I packed for myself. The savoury: oven-fried chicken wingettes, blanched broccolini, salad and sauteed mushrooms. The sweet: the same fruit combo of strawberries and papaya (that whole papaya we bought – we used the first of it on the fruit platters we made for the satay lunch – went a long, long way!) and a red bean paste pao (purchased from the Fook Kee stall at Spencer Village).
We were out of lettuce, so I used thinly shredded cabbage in my salad, along with grape tomatoes, cucumber and yellow capsicum, which I cut into flower shapes using my vegetable cutter.
The mushroom side dish was very simple and one I’ve made before; I heated a little olive oil in a frying pan. I sliced fresh mushrooms in half and placed them in the pan. When they were lightly brown on one side I turned them to brown the other side. With both sides done I tossed them in a bowl with dried chives. You can use whatever herbs or seasoning you like, really. I chose not to salt them as 1) I knew the chicken was quite salty and 2) I love the flavour of mushrooms, salted or not.
We’d marinated these chicken wingettes at the same time as the teriyaki ones I had in my bento box on Wednesday. Jac simply placed these wingettes in a plastic takeaway container, rubbed them with garlic salt and tossed them in olive oil. On Tuesday evening she covered a tray with alfoil, placed the chicken wingettes on top (with the olive oil they’d been marinating in) and baked them in the oven at 180 degrees C. She cooked them on one side for around 25 minutes and then I flipped them over and cooked them for another 10 minutes. They turned out like fried chicken, and were very, very tasty.
If only I could be bothered making my own pao. When I was a kid my now-late grandma used to make pao. It would take her all morning; she’d make some filled with barbecue pork (and hers were really porky, unlike some that you buy), some filled with red bean paste. I loved eating the freshly steamed hot, soft pao, but I also was quite partial to eating cold red bean paste pao the next day, straight out of the fridge. And that’s what I did on this occasion.