So we've been doing bento (or more like I've been doing bento) of late. Bento means box in Japanese, but its used to refer to lunch boxes. Sometimes they're kawaii (cute) but that's sorta hit & miss at times.
I just made up a batch of Namasu, a salad/pickle of Japanese origin that's made with Daikon & Carrots. It involves NO cooking so its actually not hard to make, you just need to make it in advance as it needs a few hours/overnight to set up. It keeps for a week or more so you can make it on the weekend & use it later.
3 Cups Daikon, finely julianned
1 Cup Carrot, finely julianned
1 Tbs Salt (Sea Salt works best)
2 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Vineger (rice wine vinegar if you have it)
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
*1/2 Cup dried fruit, finely diced (if desired)
Finely julianne the Carrots & Daikon. By finely, I mean as fine as you can do it without cutting yourself. Remember to go WITH the grain of the vegetable for the best crispy taste.
Add the Salt to the julianned veggies. Mix by hand, making sure to work the salt in. Squeeze, by the handful, to remove as much liquid as possible. Once you've drained 1 handful place in a separate bowl. This is the bowl you'll store it in so make sure it has a lid that fits tightly.
This is the amount of liquid I squeezed out by hand so expect a lot of liquid.
Once all the liquid is squeezed out, mix in the sugar, vinegar & lemon juice with the drained veggies. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. *IF you're using dried fruit NOW is the time to add it. Make sure it is finely chopped, like with a food processor.*
Wrap or cover tightly & store in the fridge for several hours, or overnight for best flavor.
While it technically is a pickle due to the vinegar it shouldn't come out too sour or salty or sweet so you can use it as a regular side dish like a salad if desired.