Saturday, April 28, 2012

BBQ Chicken Bento and Sour Pickled Vegetables

It's not that we had a barbecue. I just call today's chicken *BBQ chicken*. I sauteed some pieces of chicken thigh and then seasoned with a mix of Worcester sauce, ketchup, shoyu, water and a tiny bit of garam masala.

I made sweet salty teeny tiny fishes too for Yuppi, which is her favorite and one of *good friends of rice*. Some of you might have seen stuff like that at Japanese groceries before.

sour pickle
Also I made sour pickled veggie. I thought it would be a nice refreshment in a bento. I randomly threw odds and ends from the refrigerator, rice vinegar, brown sugar, salt, water and some spices in a big glass jar. It turned out to be exactly what I expected yay!

By the way my 9-day holiday started just now. I am so excited about what I do during the holiday! Maybe I would keep posting in the meantime. I hope y'all also have a great weekend!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ebi Fry and Rolled Pork Bento


Ahhh it's hard to catch up on posting gasp Meanwhile, my bentomaking can't stop. Okay I'll keep on trying because blogging is such motivation to me to keep making bento. For these bentos, I made ebi fry (panko-fried shrimp) which is our favorite and rolled pork with cheese. And I put in boiled snap peas along with miso mayonnaise which I mixed together miso paste and half calorie mayonnaise. It goes with any sorts of vegetables, cucumber in particular if you're not a miso hater. You can add a bit of mustard or Japanese karashi paste in miso mayo, which would also work as a preservative to keep bento food fresh during the hot season.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tenmusu Bento

Today's bento (actually yesterday's) is so simple, not so fun to see because I was unmotivated and didn't want to cook much in the morning. However the tenmusu sure hit the spot! So I think I have to share my tenmusu recipe some of these days.

Donutty cutie
This is the treat I got yesterday. Kawaiiii!

Guess what, my posts have passed 200th already! When I got at my 100th post I did a giveaway and thought I would do something fun again when I reached 200th. But I'm not sure what I really want to do for it at this point. In the meantime, I don't know why but my followers on this blog, Flickr and tumblr keep increasing. I'd love to show my appreciation in some fashion!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Assorted Bento and Stroll Down Memory Lane

As I mentioned earlier, we had an outing to my home town the other day, where is a town of hills and port. You can see all kinds of buildings in there, historic ones, newies, traditional Japanese temples and shrines, western style churches, catholic, protestant, Greek, and so on because it was the first international trade port in Japan. Always brings back fond memories of my high school days. I got some shots there, which are not cool due to my bad camera setting though. There are a lot more great views in the town that I really want to share so I hope to have a chance next time I go.

My high school is near here. Most of the students have to walk up this heavy slope to get to the school. But the view from the top of the slope is amazing so it comes out very often on famous movies, TV dramas and commercials.

My high school road. I would walk here chatting with friends everyday.

There are really so many religious buildings around the school. You would be amazed by the scenery that there are buildings of various kinds of religions in one area.



Old old folk dwellings are conserved by the city and the owners, and used as cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops.



A famous German sausage house.

A Chinese restaurant.

Here is the bento I made for the outing.

I wanted to copy takeout bento styles for some reason and did so but except for the tomatoes, all the foods in these bentos are what I really like to have in my bento, yehoo! Sesame onigiri, yakisoba, karaage, potato salad and tamagoyaki. It was exactly the best combination as I expected!! Later on, we had scrumptious gelato for dessert.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shoyu Onigiri Bento

Good morning! It's Saturday today. Yuppi has class today too. It's kind of a bummer not being able to hang out at home or go out somewhere with her on Saturday. Oh well I'll be getting used to it and we still have Sunday off! Today I made nori shoyu onigiri and quick chicken katsu for her. I think today's main dish is the onigiri because more than half of the bento is filled with it haha. You know, onigiri is effective to keep your belly full for a while. I'm not sure if Yuppi stays not starving with only this bento until the evening she comes back home though.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Shrimp Sammy and Potato Sammy Bento

Since I baked some bread last night, we have sammy bentos today. The fillings are bacon potato and a shrimp avocado combo. I'm not big on avocado but was in an avocado mood for no reason lol.


I also baked hotdog buns. Hubby's going for a drink after work today. I sent him his sammies in a disposable box (that had strawberries in it) so that he doesn't have to bring back his bento box home.

I really like potato sammies, it's double carbo though hehe. Potato would turn out good with whatever you like. This one is a combo with bacon and cheese.
1) Boil potato until tender.
2) Roughly mash it.
3) Add cut bacon and diced cheese.
4) Season with salt, black pepper and some herbs/spices.

You can prepare this shrimp the night before and keep in the fridge.
1) Boil shrimp and remove the shell.
2) Season with lemon juice (or vinegar), salt, olive oil, magic salt (or your fave herbs/spices), and a bit of mayo (or your fave dressing).

This is mine. Chow down!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spam Musubi Bento

Today I made some spam musubi for bento. But Actually it's not a real spam because spam is a bit too salty for me. So I used slices of thick sausage instead. Since I've made sausage musubi several times before, some of you may remember that. Today I'm going to talk about not spam but nori. Yes nori! It's really important if you are a fan of nori musubi or nori makizushi. It naturally contains the taste that makes food tasty and flavorful. And musubi would be even easier to eat by being wrapped in nori because the rice will be hard to stick to your hand or crumble down while you're munching. You don't need to buy expensive nori, but quality one is needed, which is shiny and crispy. From my experience, matte one is not so crispy or tasty. Carefully pick good one!


Mock spam musubi, fried herbed shrimp, cheese omelet.

Mentaiko musubi besides the same dishes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Onion Shoyu Pork Bento




Jimi-bens are continuing. *Jimi* means *not colorful or pretty, not so cute* in Japanese. For example you use it this way. --- *I want this bag. What do you think?* *Hmmm not bad, but I think it's a bit jimi for you... That one is much cuter.*
And *Ben* is short for bento. By the way I hear some people say *charaben bento*. It's actually not correct. Charaben is short for character bento which contains food decorated to look like cute (or popular) characters. I mean *charaben* itself means character bento... haha! Does that make sense? Okay today's main dish is onion syoyu pork. I seasoned usual sauteed pork thins with syoyu, grated onion and a bit of sugar and black pepper. The rest of these bentos are quick pickle and sweet potato. I threw cut cucumber, some umeboshi seeds, a bit of salt and kombucha powder (stuff totally different from the fermented kombucha drink in bottles btw) into a poly bag and then lightly kneaded. And I boiled and seasoned sweet potato with a little of brown sugar and butter and salt. Aw I've just found the reason why my bentos look jimi! Because of brown rice!? Or no cute characters!? I don't mind, either way aha!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nanbanzuke Bento



For today's bento, I made nanbanzuke last night. Nanbanzuke is fried chicken soaked in a sauce of shoyu, sugar and vinegar, with tarutaru sauce made out of mayonnaise, minced onion and some pickle and boiled egg on it. I omitted tarutaru sauce this time so instead, I added drizzle of mayo on the chicken, plus syoyu-soaked boiled egg halves and quick cuke pickle next to it. They turn into tarutaru sauce in your mouth if you eat them all at the same time lol. OK anyway this bento is still yum, I assure. Nanbanzuke is also one of very good bento dishes that I'd really like to share a recipe of. I have so many recipes to share with those who always check out what I made. I think my recipes have to be simple and clear, preferably with some pictures or a video because nothing would hit you in your mind if I just write unconvincingly a process and a long list of ingredients.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tuna Karaage Bento

Morning!! Spring has come for sure! Crocuses are the first flowers that open up in the spring in our area.


Looks like they are singing *morning morning springy morning♪♪*. They close their flowers in the evening.

It was a nice day yesterday so we couldn't resist going out. Yuppi and I had a trip to my hometown taking homemade takeout bentos with us. Since I got some photos there I'm going to share them sometime.

In the meantime, today I made tuna karaage, boiled egg salad that I mixed in oilless canned tuna, and spinach namul that I mixed in nori. The texture of the tuna karaage is just like chicken! I recommend those who are pescetarian fresh tuna as a substitution for chicken. Even if you're not pescetarian, if you find fresh tuna for sashimi you give karaage a try!

I added sauteed sausage slices and leftover yakisoba in hubby's bento and mine.

Hey judges, is today's bento fine??


Have a happy brand new week!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sweet Sour Meatball Bento


Good morning! I thought spring had come at last but I turned on the room heat again today. It seems like Mr. Spring doesn't to want to come over here. The only good thing is that I can still enjoy hot drink and food. Well today's bento contains two brown rice onigiri, spinach namul, shrimp and boiled egg salad, and sweet sour meatballs. When I made the Hamburg Bento, I saved some of the patties in the freezer. And this morning I thaw them and dressed with sauce of shoyu, sugar, vinegar and starch. I think sweet sour salty things are good for bento because they taste good even cold. As you know I was having an affair with white rice for a short while, but I started using brown rice again. White rice makes bentos look bright, but I still prefer brown rice. Now I'm trying some ways to cook brown rice as I want it to be. Not dry but not too sticky. Hmmm a bit difficult but so interesting!

Today's photooo! This one has been the most popular on my Flickr page lately so I had to share it heehee. You can find out the details of these strawberry tarts here.
Strawberry tarts

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Daigakuimo Bento


Ooh my bento making has been going steadily so far. Good good... haha. I have another bento day to go this week. What I made this morning are simmered chicken, daigakuimo (glazed sweet potato), tamagoyaki and some onigiri. I simmered chicken in syou, vinegar and sugar, which is so good that it's my current favorite. So I'd love to post the recipe once I complete it! Well, daigakuimo is also good, though it doesn't look fancy at all. Have you ever made it before?


Daigakuimo recipe
1) Shallow (or deep) fry sliced sweet potato.
2) Make glaze. In a pan, cook some sugar, a bit of syou and water together until it's like honey.
3) Add the fried sweet potato into the glaze and toss to coat.
4) Sprinkle a bit of black sesame seeds.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chicken Cacciatore Bento


Today Yuppi doesn't need a bento. Hubby gets a pasta bento. I didn't have enough rice so I prepared some pasta this morning. And added quick chicken cacciatore (pollo alla cacciatore) that I made last night and sauteed spicy sausages to it. Plus an umeboshi onigiri to top it off. I put the cacciatore & pasta in a glass container so that hubby could nuke it at work. Speaking of pasta, it would be a big help in the case you forgot to turn on the rice cooker or don't have any staple food... Yes, that's what I sometimes do haha! I don't use a rice cooker though. The thing I like about pasta is that it's hard to get soggy and mushy even after a while compared to other kinds of noodles. I made the chicken cacciatore in pretty much the same way as the chicken curry using canned tomato and some Italian herbs. I guess I should have added a vegetable section to the bento instead of the onigiri. I'm always impressed American people try to have lots of veggie in their meals. It's probably because they have become health-conscious or most of bento makers are trying to eat healthier. However, for Japanese workers' bentos, I think staple food is more important than nutrients in order not to be hungry until the next meal. I think I can make up for the nutrient balance with breakfast and supper. So that's actually my excuse about how I make bento lol! Happy hump day all!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quick Chicken Curry Bento



Hi there! Today I made a quick curry for bento, which goes great with rice or bread, and is perfect in a busy morning. I've probably posted the recipe before but I'll write again because it's so easy to make, and of course to write too haha!

Super quick chicken curry
1) Generously flour bite-sized pieces of chicken thigh.
2) Brown them in a frying pan.
3) Add a little water, curry powder, shoyu and tonkatsu sauce (or Worcestershire sauce), and keep cooking until the chicken is done and the liquid is thickened.

It's too easy, right? Since it is for bento, doesn't need much water to add. And of course you can add your favorite spices or herbs. If you want your curry healthier you can use chicken tender or breast instead. But don't forget to flour them, it's the key to the tenderness, and the thickness of the curry sauce.