Sunday, May 08, 2016

Chicken Soboro

Konnyaku --- Cooked in dashi shoyu, mirin and sugar.

Aburaage and onion slices --- Cooked with ketchup, oyster sauce and chili pepper powder. This is my own idea and yes, was a HIT! (Yuppi and I loved it.) Topped with edamame for green.

Cabbage --- Blanched, tossed with sakura ebi, salt and sesame oil.

Chicken thigh --- Marinated in lemon juice, salt and black pepper overnight, then broiled.

Rice --- Topped with ume-okaka and salted sockeye salmon.

Chicken breast --- Marinated in BBQ-ish sauce of worcester sauce, shoyu and ketchup overnight, then broiled.

Asuparagas --- Blanched, tossed with syoyu, salt and nori (seaweed).

Simple tamagoyaki of eggs, sugar, shoyu and salt. There are many variations of tamagoyaki, but I like this type best for bento.

This type of bento is generally called Sanshoku soboro bento. Consists of scrambled eggs, ground chicken (sometimes pork or beef), a green vegetable (spinach, snow peas, edamame or this time I used asparagus) and rice underneath them. Sanshoku means three colours (green, yellow, brown) and soboro means crumbles of ground meat, egg, fish or tofu, and so on. Everyone makes their soboro into itty bitty grains, but they are literally grainy-flaky and a bit hard to eat because they drop down easily when you eat. For bento, I make mine into a bit larger pieces for easy eating (it's really important that your lunch is easy to eat). I usually use chicken thighs instead of store-ground chicken which has a lot of fat. I think chicken thighs are better for this dish than chicken breasts or tenders are because they are a bit too dry in texture and bland in taste, though, I actually prefer chicken tenders to thighs for other dishes.

I remove skin and fat from chicken thighs and chop up the meat roughly with a knife. Then I add the usual sweet salty sauce of shoyu, mirin and sugar, and to keep the meat moist and tender, add a tiny bit of potato starch as well. I cook it without covering until just some of the sauce remains in the bottom of the pan. I always want meat to be moist. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Carrot Shiri Shiri

Asparagus --- Blanched, tossed with salt and oil.
Boiled eggs --- Tossed with mayo and curry powder and salt.
Chikuwa (fish cake) Seasoned with shoyu, mirin and shichimi togarashi.
Chicken nuggets --- Chicken tenders minced with knife, mixed with shoyu, mayo and potato starch, coated in potato starch and shallow-fried in oil.
A mineola orange for dessert.

Purple cabbage salad --- Blanched, soaked in vinaigrette.
Ninjin shirishiri --- Shredded carrot (of course), stir-fried with white maitake mushroom, ham and edamame, seasoned with salt and black pepper.
Chicken tender Spread with miso-mayo sauce then broiled.
Shirasu --- Mixed with shoyu, sesame seeds and sesame oil. On a bed of rice.

Ninjin shirishiri --- Shredded carrot stir-fried with an egg, shirasu, sesame seeds, salt and black pepper.
Potato salad --- Tossed with mayo, curry powder, lemon juice and salt.
Glossy shoyu chicken --- Cooked in shoyu, mirin, sake and sugar.

I find myself making ninjin shirishiri for bento very often. It's super easy to make and Yuppi's only favorite carrot dish. Since carrots are full of nutrients, I want to put some good carrot dish in bentos as often as I can. Ninjin shirishiri tastes good at room temperature and goes with rice or even bread. That means it's perfect for bento. (Wait, I may have written the same thing long before. Oh well, nobody remembers, haha!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Handy Pan for Bento

Today's bento is chock-full of my favorite vegetables. Stir-cooked (stir-fried with no oil) maitake mushroom and thin pork slices. Savory pancakes made of spring cabbage, flour, okara (soy pulp from making soy milk), sakuraebi (dried teeny tiny shrimps) and aonori sea weed. A stir-fry of purple asparagus, green onion and an egg. Purple asparagus turns into green after cooking, but I think it's a bit better in taste than normal green one is.

Cabbage pancake
This is a cheap small nonstick frying pan (about 9-inch) you could buy anywhere. Although I definitely prefer a cast iron skillet, I cook pretty much everything for bento in this pan except for rice. When you have to make several dishes in very small amounts one after another within a short time, this type of pan will come in handy.

For example, like this, for the bento above I first made the cabbage pancakes because they were least likely to get the pan dirty. Then what I next made in the same pan was the asparagus stir-fry. Then I lightly washed the pan out under running water, and then cooked the mushroom and pork in it. Finally I cleaned the pan using soap after everything had done.

This is a little tip for quick-bentoing on a daily basis. It can apply to cutting boards as well. Always starting with a cleaner thing (veggie or fruit) and after that, finishing with raw meat/fish or greasy stuff. This will help you speed up. Really.

It's OK not to put many items in bento boxes, isn't it? I always only have three or four. Sometimes just ONE! Like fried rice or noodles or only some omusubi, high-carb bentos... LOL! If you make two quick dishes or three in the morning and in the fridge you have some leftovers from the night before, your bento will be such a perfection!

Cabbage pancake

Saturday, April 16, 2016

So Far So Good

This bento contains spinach, daigakuimo (glazed sweet potato), chicken karaage, omusubi balls (of rice, edamame, scrambled egg and shirasu) and a mikan for dessert.

Chicken katsu curry. In this bento are spinach salad (as usual), a bit sour purple cabbage salad (I like purple veggies) for refreshment, mini panko-fried chicken breast pieces and rice (of course). Unfortunately I can't show you the content of the thermal jar, because I screw the lid on immediately.

I like this bagel (or donut?) key chain. It looks so good, doesn't it? I couldn't help taking the shot.

I made today, a quick omuraisu bento. I added blanched spinach and creamy sesame dressing to top it off.

Sadly, our spinach season is almost over. Spinach is available to buy all year, but not so good except for the cold season. For the same reason, I hardly buy tomatoes or cucumbers in winter. I'm about to make the switch from spinach to spring cabbage, which is also a time-limited deliciousness, and will be in season soon. You'll probably see a lot of cabbage in my bentos! :D

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It Has Been Forever

Whoa. How long has it been?? How many people in the world still read this blog? I myself, have not been here in a long long time. I am alive anyhow, haha! You are very precious if you're still interested in what I make for bento.

This contains salmon, edamame, spinach, lemon pork saute and potato.

Bibimbap bento. Spinach, stir-fried pork, carrot, moyashi (mung bean sprouts), gochujang (Korean bean paste) and rice.

Curry-flavored potato salad, fried pork slices, tamagoyaki and pickled purple Chinese cabbage.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Winter Has Come

It's already December! I don't want to believe the year is almost over. But I am excited we're going to have many fun events soon. I hope to post bentos regularly again next year.


Scrambled eggs --- A bit of salt and sugar.
Chicken soboro --- Minced chicken thighs, stir-fried with shoyu, mirin and sugar.
Edamame beans


Teriyaki chicken --- Chicken thighs marinated in shoyu and mirin for hours in the fridge, then broiled.
Bell pepper salad --- Blanched, sliced, tossed with salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds.
Carrot stir-fry --- Stir-fried with bacon, salt and pepper.
Curry chikuwa --- Sliced, microwaved, tossed with mayonnaise and curry powder.
Tamagoyaki --- Eggs and edamame.


Gyoza (pot stickers) --- Leftover.
Shoyu tamago --- Boiled eggs soaked in shoyu.
Pork --- Blanched, rinsed, cooked with maitake mushroom, shoyu and mirin,
Green --- komatsuna and daikon greens chopped, stir-fried with shirasu, sesame seeds and salt.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Mushroom Season

I'm so happy mushrooms are in season right now. I really am a big fan of mushrooms so I've been eating them every day lately. Speaking of mushrooms, I sometimes see someone put raw mushrooms in their bentos. Actually they don't taste that good and we always eat them cooked.


Spinach --- Blanched, rinsed, tossed with salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Glossy chicken --- Simmered in shoyu, mirin and sugar.

Carrot shirishiri --- Stir fried with oil, an egg, salt and black pepper.

Konnyaku --- Cooked with shiitake mushroom slices, dashi shoyu and mirin.


Salted sockeye salmon --- Broiled.


Shiitake mushrooms --- Sautéed, seasoned with mayonnaise, salt and shichimi pepper.

Pork --- Dusted with starch, sautéed, seasoned with shoyu and mirin, sprinkled with sesame seeds.