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.


Monday, November 02, 2015

It's Been A While

Belated Happy Halloween! We didn't do anything special for Halloween as usual though. These days, Hubs and Yuppi leave home much earlier in the morning and sadly, I can hardly take bento photos. I know, I should get up earlier and yes, I should post bento more often for myself. This blog is still a special place for me, while I started another blog a while ago because I thought I wanted to write something in Japanese. If you are interested in reading Japanese, please take a peek.

These are my recent bentos.

Rice --- Topped with salted sockeye salmon and edamame beans.

Chikuwa tempura --- Tempura batter (flour, carbonated water, curry powder and salt). Deep fried.

Omelet cubes --- Eggs, bacon. Ketchup.


Rice --- Mixed with scrambled egg, edamame beans and salt.

Broccoli --- Quick braised with a bit of water and oil and salt, and some shirasu (teeny tiny fishes). One of the best ways to eat broccoli.

Pork slices --- Blanched in simmering water, rinsed, tossed with shoyu and mustard. My fave way to eat pork.

Potato carrot kimpira --- Stir fried with oil, dashi shoyu, mirin and sugar. Sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Noodle Bento

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The time I make noodle bentos, it's when I sleep in or run out of rice. The first one above, salad men (cold ramen noodles with a salad dressing), I first boiled shrimp, pork slices, eggs in order, and then prepped veggies. Then I boiled ramen noodles, rinsed, drained, then dressed with a bit of sesame oil and made it into mini swirls for easy eating. I added a mini container of creamy sesame dressing later. This is not a quick bento, it takes some time to prepare all the items, but each of them is so easy to make. You can prepare everything except noodles the day before.

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For this one, I thought I'd make yakisoba, but I only had spaghetti. With that, these are *yaki-spa* bentos. I seasoned the noodles, veggie and pork with oyster sauce, shoyu and usuta sauce (Worcester sauce). Thin pasta is a healthier alternative for yakisoba noodles, because yakisoba noodles are usually coated in oil, while pasta has no oil or additives. What's more, it doesn't get as soggy.

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At this time I didn't have time to cook rice in the morning and decided to make naporitan pasta for bento. Unluckily I only had a bag of fusilli, but good thing, short pasta is much easier to eat than long one when it's cold. Especially fusilli is hard to stick together because of that shape. You know spaghetti (and other noodles) tend to get clumpy or mushy unless you eat it immediately after cooking. So that means short types of pasta are bento-eater-friendly, right?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

End of Summer 2015

Just wanted to say Hi and let you know I am doing well. It looks like the short summer is over and we are heading to winter already, how time flies!! Today I made for bento, sweet salty shoyu chicken, corn and red potato tossed with salt and butter, cabbage and carrot tossed with ume and mayo. These white-rice-looking things are noriben (nori layered rice). Just as always only simple dishes included.

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Pink Cosmos

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Home Alone

I'm now at home all by my self as the family is out of town. I am officially free free, woo hoooo! I'm so happy, but at the same time I feel kind of sentimental, thinking that in 3 years, Yuppi might leave home for college. This is the first time I feel this way. I never felt lonely when she wasn't home for a while for school trips or something. Child-raising time is much shorter than you think. Many thoughts and emotions are coming into my mind. I wonder how many bentos I can make for her in the future? Though, I really want to avoid a situation that I have to make her bento (and meals) forever haha!

Anyway I gotta make the most of ME TIME. Happy summer break!

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Monday, August 03, 2015

Keep on Bento

The calendar has turned into August. Can you believe it?! Christmas is coming soon?? We are still having humid, rainy weather and it feels like the rainy season is still lingering around here in Hokkaido. I'm so missing the crisp air. In the meantime, I keep on bentoing, yes, keep on making, keep on packing, keep on eating of course haha! Hmmm maybe I have a lot to speak, but for some reason, don't know where to start. I'll be back soon. Happy summer!!

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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Pork Donburi

Are there often those days you sleep in and feel like making nooothing? Plus you don't have any bento stashes, either. As for me, that's yesterday. Anyway I did my best. I first cooked rice, and then boiled some water in a pan and sliced half an onion. Then I parboiled pork slices in the boiling water and drained it. Placed it back with the sliced onion into the pan and dashed a little mirin, sake, shoyu and sugar over it and simmered for a while. Sitting in a chair, having a glass of iced latte I was spacing out in the meantime lol. Now that the rice and pork were done, I first put the rice in my favorite enamel container and waited for it to cool off. Then I topped the rice with the simmered pork, benishoga (red ginger) and half a shoyu egg that I'd made a few days ago. Phewww, voila!
Although I thought there had been no bento stash, I just noticed that I'd had the last shoyu egg, fortunately.

While, today I made shoyu chicken (sauteed and quick-marinated in shoyu and mirin), and a cheese omelet. I found something veggy and jazzy was missing so I improvised carrot and common bean salad. Hubs didn't need his bento today and I only needed a little bit of salad for Yuppi's bento. I'm not a microwave cooking person, but I like how microwave ovens are good at cooking small amounts of food. I seasoned carrot and common bean julienne with salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds after microwaving. Most veggies turn out good with these three seasonings if you're a fan of the sesame oil flavor.
Since I had cute, tiny cherry tomatoes, suggested that Yuppi get some of them in her bento. Unfortunately, she refused it. Geez...

Yuppi's roll cake. I'm now craving roll cake for some reason. I thought I'd post these pictures today. :)
Yuppi's roll cake

Yuppi's roll cake 2

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Tempura and Omusubi Dog

Since I didn't go shopping yesterday I tried to figure out what to make for bento with only stuff I had on hand. There were some chikuwa and a sweet potato in the refrigerator and we all love tempura with them. I added black sesame seeds into tempura batter for sweet potato, and dusted chikuwa tempura with a bit of curry powder after frying. The rest of this bento, broccoli stem and chicken salad, an omusubi dog. I peeled broccoli stems and thin stalks, sliced and microwaved for a bit, combined with steamed chicken tender I had made last night, and then seasoned with ume, wasabi and usukuchi (light-colored) shoyu.


Lovebird couple

Blue bouquet

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bento Care in Summer

In this bento are chicken karaage, fried sweet potato, cherries, asparagus tossed with ume and shoyu, shoyu egg halves and konnyaku. These days, I prefer simple karaage seasoned with only salt, black pepper and lemon juice to normal one with shoyu, garlic and ginger. Yuppi really is a big fan of karaage and always like this. *Mama, get me some karaage at konbini!* Since I'm not a fan of convenience store's karaage, I often need to make one for her. Every kid loves fried chicken, don't they? Yuppi is not a kid anymore though.

For this one, I made tompeiyaki (okonomi-styled omelet), daigakuimo, broccoli stir-fried with ume, sesame seeds and salt, and a wakame omusubi.

Asparagus and egg stirfry, pork slices tossed in shoyu and karashi, satsumaage (kamaboko) sauteed with shoyu, mirin and butter, and broiled mayo-cheese chicken tender.

Of course, I didn't forget to put ice packs on these bentos. Today I want to write what I try to do besides ice packs to keep our bentos from spoiling.

1). Not to put raw vegetable (especially greens) on bento foods without dividers.
2). To use antibacterial foods and spices.
3). To drain liquid of foods well before packing.
4). To pack foods in bento boxes after cooling.
5). To use insulated lunch bags. (On a very hot day.)

These are not new and are common, but I still tend to forget to do. I decided to write down here as a reminder for myself.
As to antibacterial items, I sometimes use wasabi, karashi, umeboshi, mustard, vinegar, honey, etc as seasoning too.
It is said that the antibacterial constituents of karashi, mustard, wasabi, horseradish are so powerful and volatile a little addition of one of them to a bento food can cover the whole bento. By the way, for bento foods, I rarely use strong smelling stuff such as garlic.

So what are things you try to do for bento safety?

Our local Rilakkumas. Featuring the local products, ika (a squid) and marimo (a green moss ball).
Our local Rilakkuma and Korilakkuna

Adorable twins.
Okame twins

Primula juliana and lilly of the valley. From May.
Juliana and Lilly of the valley

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bento Unfriendly Season

I have lots and lots of pictures to post, but for now, only a few of them. This bento is for today. In the bento are a shumai dumpling, broccoli tossed with okaka, oil and salt, syoyu pork (which I parboiled and then cooked in shoyu, mirin and grated ginger), and broiled salmon on rice.

It's the bento-unfriendly season right now maybe in the northern hemisphere, because of the summer heat. In Japan, plus the extreme humidity. There are some things I try to do in order to prevent bento foods from spoiling. I've never gotten any complaints from my family about their bentos spoiled. Not sure if it's just because they are insensitive or something and don't notice even if their lunches are spoiled though lol. Anyway, I think the shortest and easiest way to keep bentos safe is to use ice packs which come with cake. Keeping food cool after all. In addition to that, consuming food as soon as possible is also important. Next time, I'm going to write about some items as well that I try to use or not to use for bento to prevent bacteria from growing in bento boxes.
ちょうど今、お弁当にはちょっと大変なシーズンですね。多分北半球全域かしら。高温プラス湿度で食べ物の発酵指数が一気に上昇する様な気がします。幸いにも、今まで一度もお弁当が腐ってたっていう苦情を受けたことがありません。ただ単にあの人たちが鈍感で気付かないまんま食べてしまってるだけかも!? それでもやっぱりお弁当を安全に保つ為にいくつか注意している点はあります。一番手っ取り早いのは保冷剤を使うこと。ケーキに付いて来るやつを再利用。夏場は食べ物を涼しく保つ。作ったらなるべく早く食べる。これが優先課題。他にいくつか心がけていることは次回に!




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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Golden Week

We are just in GW (the golden week holiday) here in Japan and thankfully blessed with nice weather these days. Nobody in my family likes crowds or having to wait in line, so we tend to avoid traveling and outing around this time of year even if the holiday is long enough. I've been just comfy and cozy at home, doing nothing, haha! In the meantime, the girl and hubs went hillwalking alone which was their first dad-and-daughter trip in ages. Since Yuppi had tons of homework to do before high school, they couldn't go skiing or anything else together last winter. So this became a good event for them. Ah yeah, she is a high school girl already. How time flies! No wonder I'm no longer young lol! She took some photos on her way up and down the top of the hill. So here they go.

Picking up a blossom

Sakura on the hill

Wild anemone

Ebi wantanmen
Their fuel.

These are some of bentos I made before GW.
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A bento stash (konnyaku mushroom stirfry), saba fish tossed with wasabi shoyu, sweet potato peanut salad, and chicken tender katsu with cheese in it.

2015-04-10 bento
Asparagus salad, spinach and moyashi sprout with a mini bottle of dashi shoyu, chikuwa tempura with curry powder, amakara (sweet salty shoyu flavored) pork.

2015-04-30 bento
The bento stash (konnyaku mushroom stirfry), omelet with cheese in it, chicken tsukune burgers and simmered sanma fish.