At Sunrise Mart the other day (over on Stuyvesant St., around the corner from St. Mark's Place [for non-NYC people, this is basically "Japantown"; it's a few blocks of nearly all Japanese restaurants and a couple of really good Japanese markets, this opinion from a non-Japanese person]), I was in the freezer section searching fruitlessly for Ajinomoto Gyoza, NOT vegetable OR seafood, because quite frankly that's where I started and that's what I'm used to. It also fries up nicely with no oil, and I just like how they taste. I wound up trying JFC brand pork gyoza, but after 2 days with this brand, I'm already positive Ajinomoto is the best there is. I will just have to search harder for it- Sunrise Mart USED to have it, but every time I go, they're out.
While in the freezer section, I also noticed croquettes!!! I was happy and excited, because though I'd been aiming to attempt making them a few weeks ago, I didn't get around to it, and I know someone had once commented asking me to write a tutorial on croquettes. Instead, I'm writing to praise this brand of croquette- Katokichi. It was about $3.50 for each type- I bought one of each, potato, vegetable, curry, and creamed corn, which alone came in a long sleeve of 10 smaller croquettes. The creamed corn croquettes fit into my bento standing on end with no cutting, I think that's why they are sized that way, but the larger ones need to be cut in half to stand up in my bento and not get squished.
The curry ones aren't very good, I can't put my finger on it because I like curry a lot, but I was meh on them. The potato ones are standard, and the vegetable ones, I was hoping for a bit more mashed vegetables, but it's just chunks of veggies, which is still nice. All of them fry up pretty crispy, though mine were soggy by the time I had lunch- perhaps moisture from the onigiri (which I'd cooled completely) seeped into them?
Overall, I recommend these croquettes. Quick, easy, and pretty darn delicious (my favorites are, in order, potato, then creamed corn & veggie tie for 2nd, and curry comes in last).
Now for my bento!
Top tier: Croquettes (cut in half for ease of packing; I ate the stray half)- vegetable, potato, and vegetable; katsu sauce for the croquettes; surprise onigiri (it's kind of old, was in the freezer, not sure what kind of filling it is, oops)
Bottom tier: edamame; pork gyoza & gyoza sauce
As always, happy bento'ing!!!