Bento/Lunch Boxes (2012)

July 25th, 2012

The Missus was in a bit of a quandary this morning as she had plenty of steamed rice leftovers!
Not to worry, let’s make a Japanese-style curry out of it!

She first fried all kinds of vegetables cut small in olive oil, salt and pepper: red, yellow and green pimentos, baby corn, and even sliced black olives and French cornichons and let it cool down a little.
During that time she re-heated the rice in its pot and added plenty of curry powder mixture.
Once the rice had been properly been cooked/fried with its spices she added the fried vegetables and mixed the lot!

She put the curry rice aside and prepared the “ebi-mayo”. “Ebi” stands for (large) shrimps and “mayo” stands for mayonnaise.
Over a low fire she first fried the shrimps in a non-stick pan with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. When the shrimps were half-cooked she added mayonnaise and kept stirring the whole until it was ready.
She filled the main box with the curry rice and topped it with the shrimps and some lemon cuts for extra taste.

She combined vegetables and fruit in the side box: baby leaves and ice-plant, cheese, mango and blueberries!

Great combination and plenty of nutrients sorely needed during this very hot summer!
And delicious!
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July 24th, 2012

There are no less than 12 varieties of wagyu beef in Shizuoka Prefecture!
The Missus fund some (very thin) slices of Shizuoka-bred black hair wagyu beef/kuroge wagyu/黒毛和牛 at a discount price!

She prepared o-nigiri/rice balls for a copious and easy to eat bento!
Can you guess how they were made?

She first made nigiri with freshly steamed rice mixed with hijiki sweet seaweed and golden sesame seeds, the whole enveloped in shiso/perilla leaves.
As for the other kind od nigiri, she first mixed the rice with home-pickled wasabi stem and Kyoto-style pickled cucumber. She then wrapped them in wagyu beef sliced and pan-fried them in sauce!
Absolutely delicious!
And extravagant!
She gave the finishing touch with home-pickled gourd.

The side dish was composed of a salad and dessert:
The salad contained pan-fried mini corn kobs, goya, carrots and sesame seeds and fresh cut tomato.
The dessert included blueberries from Shizmizu Ku, Shizuoka City and mango from Ishigaki Island, Okinawa!

A single word for this bento: a treat!
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July 4th, 2012

It’s been some time since the Missus had created a bento with sushi, especially sushi rolls!

Those sushi rolls are a bit a classic for the Missus and she concocted two kinds with one common ingredient!

Having prepared the sushi rice she rolled some around smoked salmon and processed cheese and some more around smoked salmon and French cornichons, all of them wrapped in large fresh leaves of lettuce instead of dry seaweed. A Western-style sushi roll? Definitely! LOL

She completed the sushi box with pickled wasabi stems on a bed of lettuce and boiled black beans and chestnut compote for my dessert.

As for the side box:
Salad consisting of yellow and violet potatoes from the Missus’ family garden and black olives on a bed of lettuce, carrot tagliatelle (raw), walnut and plum tomato salad!

AS usual, plenty of colors and very satifying food!
Certainly needs it in these rainy season days!
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July 3rd, 2012

This is another leftovers bento of the Missus!
At least it is so with the karaage which she “adapted” (according to her own words) from the leftovers of a big batch she had made the night before!

For once the rice came under the form and shape of three musubi/triangular (they can also be round!) balls of steamed rice!

She made two kinds of them, one containing sweet umeboshi/pickled Japanese plum pickled again in honey and wrapped in egoma/large shiso/perilla variety leaves. These are softer in taste and have more flavor than the usual shiso.
The other variety of musubi was rice mixed with nori/dry seaweed and hijiki/sweet seaweed furikake and partly wrapped in dry seaweed.
Both varieties of musubi were sprinkled with golden and black sesame seeds for more crunch.
Pickled cucumber and ginger roots in one corner and pickled carrot and wasabi stem in the other corner completed the main box.

This is the so-called leftovers box!

The Missus first stir-fried large chunks of burdock root and then dropped the leftover karaage in the pan at the last moment adding Thai sweet and hot sauce and black sesame seeds.
Once ready she let them cool down together before placing inside the side box.

The other third of the box conatained fried goya and red pimento salad with an onsen-style boiled egg and Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes for dessert!

Great balance, beautiful and delicious!
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June 27th, 2012

Normal eggs would be a bit too big for Scotch Eggs in a bento, so the Missus used quail eggs which are available anytime of the year here!
They are certainly daintier and more attractive!

While the rice was steaming she wrapped ready-boiled quail eggs in pork and beef minced meat seasoned with a little salt and pepper and made more cosnsistent with some breadcrumbs. She then fried the Scotch eggs slowly in olive oil and finished them in a teriyaki sauce of her own before letting them cool down.
Once the rice was properly steamed she just filled a box with it and topped it with plenty of freshy chopped parsley.

For better design she placed two Scotch Eggs cut in halves beside a whole one to also show the teriyaki sauce coating and completed the lot with Kyoto-style red cucumber pickles.

The side dish was conceived to complement the main box both in design and colors and a good supply of vitamins and fibers:
Salad consisting of lettuce, boiled carrot and broccoli, plum tomatoes, avocado, walnut, thin burdock root and pickled mini melons.
And for dessert, American cherries!

Onec again plentiful, colorful and succulent!
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June 26th, 2012

Any time we travel to France or New Caledonia, our two main foreign destinations on long holidays, we acquire as much canned food as possible as it is invariably cheap and so easy to accommodate back home in Japan!

The Missus has a special fondness for Spanish recipe escabeche-style mussles. It is difficult to find the small variety in Japan and she buys them always with a thought for “mazegohan/mixed rice”!

The rice box is no great difficulty and the idea can be expanded at will:
After steaming the rice she adds the whole contents of the can/tin, oil included, and mixes the lot while the rice is hot.
She adds the finishing touch with finely chopped thin leeks for more color and vitamins!

A closer look will prove it is very appetizing indeed!

But eating all these vegetables in Japan back from some heavy food in France is certainly a blessing!

Salad consisting of red, violet and yellow potatoes from the Missus family’s garden, black olive, corn and ice plant on a bed of lettuce and cherries for dessert. Plenty of colors there!

Two more salads to help me recover from the beautiful terrines and pies back in France:
-Chicken breast fillets (leftovers), tomatoes, sesame seeds and cucumber.
-Lightly stir-fried pimentoes of three different colors.

I could have called this bento, “The Link Between France and Japan Bento”! LOL

In any case very colorful, tasty and satisfying!
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June 1st, 2012

After two days of extraordinarily foul weather with torrential rain and hail, thunderbolts striking everywhere and flash floods, farmers and fishermen had to stay home as most housewives did.
So, the bento had to be made with whatever could be found in the fridge and pantry!

The Missus first steamed rice and served it with all kinds of leftovers!

She mixed the rice with “Chikaka/mixture of wet bonito flakes and cheese” and put some on top as well with thinly chopped dry seaweed. Very tasty rice!
She also included pickled ginger made by her mother for extra zip.

She then boiled some stringbeans and carrots and seasoned them with ground black sesame before adding them to the rice.
She baked some salmon and then fried it in soy sauce. She let it cool before placing it atop the rice.
Finally she decorated the lot with her special half-boiled marinated egg sprinkled with black sesame seeds!

As for the salad and dessert box the Missus arranged together fresh lettuce, pickled mini melon wedges, pitted prunes, cherries and orange wedges!

A bento to perk you up in bad weather!
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May 29th, 2012

I called this bento “Teriyaki Vegetable Chicken and Tamagoyaki Bento”, but I could also have called it “Oyako/Parent and Child” Bento as they call any combination of chicken and eggs here in Japan!

The Missus prepared an interesting mame mazegohan/rice mixed with various beans by adding salad beans, and boiled green peas and broad beans leftovers with freshly steamed rice.
Great colors and very staisfying!

The side box was also very satisfying and for once I took my time to savor it instead of wolfing it down!

The Missus concocted two types of rolls with chicken breast fillets/sasami:
One containing mini green asparaguses,
the other containing carrots and pickled wasabi stems and leaves.
She fried them whole first before cutting them to size.
As for the teriyaki sauce I’m afraid this was a secret I’m not privy to!

She added some plain tamagoyaki (for dessert?) and plenty of vegetable with fresh lettuce and some sauteed green and re pimentos.

Very satisfying as I said above, yummy and so colorful!
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May 23rd, 2012

Now, why did I call this bento “Color Orange” (nothing to do with “Agent”!)?
Well, the color was obviously present not only in the picture but also in the ingredients! Just remember that one way to translate “orange” in Japanese is “daidai/橙”!
Incidentally, orange is the official color of Shizuoka Prefecture!

The Missus (did I tell you her nickname is “Dragon”?) introduced the color in the “mazegohan/mixed rice” which included finely chopped carrot. She just filled one box with the lot sowing plenty of boiled (from her family’s garden) green peas for added taste and design.

Can you guess the element “orange” in the side box?
Actually one is invisible as an ingredient?

The orange color is obvious in the Missus’ half-boiled egg atop a salad consisting of potatoes, red onion, black olives and pink pepper flanked with lettuce grown at home.
I always try to entice the Dragon to include as much of her potato salad as possible! LOL

Beside the delicious plum tomato lies an interesting concept for a salad: thinly sliced cucumber, sesame seeds, natsu mikan orange wedges and boiled prawns, the lot seasoned with Daidai Koshio pepper, the invisible “orange” element!

If the Missus continues in the same vein, her bentos will not only be great to eat, they might become a photograph essay of its own!
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May 22nd, 2012

The Missus loves to make Chirsashi Sushi for my bentos (and her own lunch!) but this might be the last for some time as “she is running out of ideas”!
Well, this particular one was a good idea!

The chirashi Sushi was designed in a two-color concept with a neat third coloration provided with violet daikon sprouts!

The Missus did prepare egg ribbons first while steaming the rice. They are not so difiicult to make although they are very spectacular!

She stir-fried fine beef ribbons in ha sauce of hers (she wouldn’t disclose the ingredients!) and let them cool down.
Once the rice was steamed she added vinegar and a little sugar to turn it into sushi rice and finally mixed it with some fried beef and boiled green peas for more impact.
She then filled the box with the sushi rice mixture and topped half with egg ribbons, the other half with stir-fried beef and boiled green peas and drew a separation with fresh violet daikon sprouts!

A spring time side box with vegetable and fruit salad!

Boiled broccoli and marinated mushrooms lined with fresh lettuce and topped with plum tomato!

For dessert “Natsu Mikan” orange and yellow kiwi fruit with imported cherries!

Very satisfying, pleasant to the eyes and so yummy!
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May, 16th, 2012

Today’s bento was a double hit with the Missus’ specialties, what with tamagoyaki and karaage, not mentioning the great majority of local ingredients again!

Again, after steaming plain local rice she seasoned it with her own pickled Japanese pepper seeds/sanshyo!

She completed the box with stir-fried local green peppers and aubergines/eggplants.
As for the home-pickled radishes they come from her family’s garden!

Now, what did the Missus place inside the side box?
Plenty of colors to start with! LOL

First, her special karaage/deep-fried chicken (shallow-fried actually). I definitely tasted some garlic there!
Plenty of lemon for added zip and vitamins and lettuce from the family’s garden!

I very much doubt you could find such a tamagoyaki outside our Prefecture as the Missus made it Yui Harbor Cherry Shrimps and local broccoli! A real delicacy!
She completed the whole with boiled mini corn and snap green peas and more lettuce!
For dessert, imported cherries! Hey, this might be the first time that the word “cherry” has two different meanings in one of my bentos!

Do I need say it was another beauty? LOL
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May 15th, 2012

The Missus holds a special fondness for pork, and “ton toro” in particular!
Ton toro means “pork toro” like “toro/belly” for tuna!
It is bought already cut into thin slices.
As for “ten”, it stands for “tempura”!

Now, the rice box is a proof that you can concoct a bento almost exclusively with local products!

In this box the plain steamed rice is grown in Shizuoka Prefecture.
The thin vegetable marinade are carrot, wasabi stems and leaves from Shizuoka, and the pickles mini melons are also local!
Only the konbu/seaweed (I’m not sure actually!) and the chili pepper aren’t!

Even most ingredients inside the side dish are local!

Salad consisting of local carrot and walnut (not local!) flanked with cress (local).
The Missus then placed the fine slices of ton toro tempura (local) in between shishito green chili pepper and lemon (all local).

As for the finishing touch local soft-boiled egg (sprinkled with black sesame seeds) and mini tomato (for dessert!)!

Beautiful and appetizing colors and great satisfaction!
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May 11th, 2012

Sometimes the Missus has the knack of using both leftovers and “junk food” in the same bento!
Can you guess what the junk food and leftovers are?

The rice box was a comparatively simple affair.
The Missus having steamed the rice, she filled the box with it and sprinkled plenty of furikake on it. That particular furikake consisted of dry seaweed, shijimi shellfish and golden sesame seeds.
She decorated the rice with two pickles of her own, local carrot and wasabi stems and leaves combination, and radishes in amazu vinegar.

As usual the side dish was full of colors, a fact that the Missus always works on.
Now, where are the junk food and leftovers?

The junk food is there!
The Missus coated fresh salmon with breadcrumbs made of crushed “Kaki no Tane” before frying it. These are very hot sembei you can find anywhere in Japan!
She added lemon for more taste and boiled broccoli for the fibers and vitamins.

These contain the leftovers!
I love taro imo/satoimo just boiled and I always make a batch of them.
The Missus cares little for them as such, so she accommodated my taro with carrots and further cooked them in a light curry sauce of hers!
Very soft and tasty!
As for dessert it consisted of a sole mini tomato! LOL

This just shows that bento are not only delicious and nourishing but also an entire part of Japanese gastronomy which can be accomodated at will anywhere in the World!
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May 2nd, 2012

When I asked the Missus how the bento was going this morning, she replied:
“Gucha gucha narisou!”
Which could be translated in two ways,
a) It’s going to be a mess!
b) Anything goes!
Luckily enough, she meant that all kinds of things/ingredients would be included!

She started with the preparation of the sushi rice in chirashi style/home-made free style decoration sushi.
She had prepared Japanese style sweetish scrambled eggs she added with chopped ginger marinated in amazu/sweet vinegar.

She thought for a while and then added chopped cucumber and boiled black beans and mixed the lot.
She filled the first box with it and topped it with boiled prawns and chopped parsley for plenty of colors!

For the salad box she cut a whole large avocado into large cubes and seasoned it with mayonnaise, capers and pink pepper.
She flanked it very sweet plum tomatoes (my dessert) and plenty of local cress.

She might have said, “gucha gucha”, but in fact it looked pretty well-balanced to me with plenty of volume and great taste! LOL
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The Japanese are very fond of steamed shirasu/シラス, sardine whiting, which is a Shizuoka specialty, and often mix it with their rice.
I like shirasu but I don’t appreciate it as such when mixed with rice as the “fishy” taste is too strong for me.
The Missus has come with an easy solution: she fries it before including it to the rice!

Therefore the Missus fried some steamed shirasu she had bought at the supermarket in oil and spices and let it cool.
She steamed the rice, and once ready, mixed it with the shirasu and chopped green pimentos.
It does make for good colors and great dietetic balance!

Unfortunately you can’t see them, but the Missus laid three leaves of violet endive/chickory to use as vessels for the different ingredients of the side box!

She filled the top one with shredded carrot, thin-sliced apple and walnut. Even with dressing I considered it as my dessert!
She lined the middle one with basil leaves on which she placed three small pan fried rolls consisting of bacon rolled around cucumber for one of them and the other two rolled around fried chorizo sausages fo supplementary zip. She added boiled snap green peas/green peas in their pod for more color and fibers/vitamins.
As for the third endive leaf she filled it with potato salad also containing sliced black olive and cucumber.

As usual a very colorful bento.
Moreover, it was not only yummy but very well-balanced!
With all that praise heaped on her the Missus will become suspicious!
May 1st, 2012
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April 25th, 2012

The sakura/Cherry Blossom Season is practically finished except in the mountains but you still can find them pickled in salt! They do make for a beautiful decoration and great decoration!

The Missus put some into lukewarm water to get rid of excess salt and make them swell.
She then mixed them with freshly steamed rice.
For more decoration and seasoning she added some home-pickled mini melon.

These mini melons come from musk melon farms in the Prefecture which is nationally famous for these extravagant fruit which need a lot of pairing to produce the best watermelons. The paired fruit are not thrown away but sold in markets as they are very popular pickled!

The side dish contained the Missus’ Japanese version of a Japanese omelette!

Plenty of colors, fibers and Vitamins with the vegetables:
Carrot and walnut salad,
salad beans and mini tomatoes,
and a bed of ice plants for the omelette!

Very thin omelette made with red pimentos and sato endo mame/砂糖エンドウ豆/sweet green peas in their pod!

Very, very colorful, so healthy and yummy!
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April 17th, 2012

Some of my work brings me in close contact with local farmers and it certainly has its perks as you will discover in this particular bento!

First, the “wasabi musubi”!
But before explaining that particular bit let me say that the “decoration” consists of chikuwa/steamed fish paste roll, a variety of kamaboko you can buy anywhere and that the Missus filled with fresh cucumber and boiled broccoli flowers.

The wasabi leaves and stems were given to me by Mr. Mochizuki who cultivates wasabi in Utogi, its birthplace!
The Missus pickled them separately, with konbu seaweed added to the leaves.
She made musubi balls with freshly steamed rice mixed with pickled wasabi stems and enveloped them in pickled wasabi leaves!
I very much doubt you can do that outside Shizuoka Prefecture!

The side box contained two more products I obtained from local farmers!

The egg mimosa was made by mixing the boiled egg yolk with boiled kabocha from Mr. Oda’s Farm in Yaizu City!
The Missus added some mini tomatoes, salad beans and lettuce to complete the salad!

The Missus then introduced ton toro pork/very soft pork she cooked together with fresh shiitake grown organically by Mr. Nanjyo in Do, near Utogi. She used the recipe for tebasaki adding coca cola and chili pepper for a very zippy concoction! I know more but the Missus said this was how far I could reveal her secrets!

A very unusual and tasty bento!
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April 4th, 2012

Te-Mari Zushi/手丸り寿司 means hand-made sushi balls in a spheric shape originally designed for geishas to eat easily. Mine are a bit bigger than the ones found in Kyoto. Afetr I’m of the male gender!

The Missus made three types, all with local vegetables and rice:
From left to right: Home-pickled (amazu sweet vinegar) myoga on sushi rice seasoned with black sesame seeds, boiled stick broccoli on sushi rices seasoned with hijki sweet seaweed, minced pickled red cucumber and black sesame seeds and laotus root home-pickled in umeboshi amazu over plain sushi rice.

The side box contains at least three desserts:
Left to right: on top sweet Japanese-style candied green peas above home-made kumquat compote, boiled broccoli and nimi tomatoes in the middle and tamagoyaki containing cheese and parsley!

Once a again a very colorful and really yummy bento!
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April 3rd, 2012

Now, why the heck should I call a bento, “Wild Onions E.T. bento”? LOL
If you look carefully at the photo you will understand. I shall explain in good time!

For once, we shall start with side dish, an enormous salad!

The Missus said she included 7 vegetables.
Let’s see: Qing geng cai/Green pak choi sprouts, lettuce, chopped red pepper, green pepper, cucumber, red onion, and mini tomatoes. That’s right, seven!
She placed plenty of shabu shabu thin slices of pork sprinkled with golden sesame seeds. I used gomadare/sesame dressing I have at the office to season it all.

Now, for the wild onions E.T.!
First of all, the Missus mixed the plain steamed rice with myoga pickled in sweet rice vinegar.
She then decorated the bed of rice with “sleeping” ノビル/野蒜/nobiru, wild onions!

The wild onions come from Mr. Onuma’s garden in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!
The Missus boiled them and then wrapped them in their own leaves twisted back around their own stems before seasoning them with a dressing made of miso, amazu/sweet vinegar and mayonnaise. She finally put eyes on their “faces” with black sesame seeds!

As for dessert, kumquats/kinkan/金柑, also from Mr. Onuma’s garden.
The Missus prepared them as compote with sugar, honey and Cointreau Orange Liqueur!

An extravagant bento? Yes!
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March 28th, 2012

Using orange with the rice of sushi?
Yes, it is definitely a good idea when you consider it balances the saltiness of the fish so well!

It also makes for beautiful colors!
The Missus having prepared the sushi rice as usual mixed it with chopped parsley and shredded dekopon orange from Mr. Onuma’s Farm!

She then made a well in the middle to provide for a bed of lettuce on which she rested a couple of roses made up with smoked salmon just brought to us by an Irish friend decorated with pink pepper seeeds and lemon.

As for the salad (no need for dessert with all the orange!) box, plenty of boiled of Brussels sprouts, boiled shrimps and cherry tomatoes with a little mayonnaise, and plenty of boiled black beans (for dessert?)

Very colorful and so tasty!
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March 27th, 2012

Chicken wings seem to be a universal favorite and I surely like them although they are prepared with a slight difference here in Japan!

Today’s main box certainly included quite a few specialties from the Missus!

Having steamed fresh rice, she filled the main box with it and topped with chicken wings leftovers from last night.
The Missus makes her chicken wings in two steps:
1) She fries them first in oil over a hot fire.
2) After having attained a nice brown color she simmers them with mirin, soy sauce, “something else”, hot chilies and Coca Cola!
The meat is so tender and juicy that you can detach it from the bones with your fingers!
What you see above is the meat without the bones!
The Missus added her special marinated boiled egg with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds for contrast.

She added plenty of lightly boiled broccolini (also called rape flowers) seasoned with gomadare/sesame dressing and sesame seeds and a cup of home-made pickles: carrot. leaf ginger, cucumber and pimentoes.

For salad and dessert: lettuce and mini tomatoes and “dekopon” oranges. The latter come from Onuma Farm in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City (report coming soon!)! Incredibly sweet and fragrant!

Plentiful, tasty and colorful. The perfect lunch before going to interview a farmer all afternoon!
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March 08th, 2012

I try to come up with a name for each bento the Missus concocts for me for the sake of variety.
I had a hard time finding one today! Well, the salmon is obvious and the smileys are to be found with the tamagoyaki!

This bento was made with whatever was found in the fridge and even includes some leftovers from the previous bento!
After having steamed the rice, filled the main box with it and sprinkled it with chopped red pickled cucumber, the Missus fried some slices of salmon and topped them with tartare sauce at the last momment before placing them on top of the rice.
She fried some boiled green cauliflower for yesterday’s bento for more colors and balance and put the finishing touch with some sliced black olive.

Can you see the smileys?
Well, two of them have slanted eyes while the third one is blowing me a kiss!

The Missus had prepared a batch of “kinpira” vegetables with hijiki/sweet seaweed, burdock root, carrot and green/red peppers and filled one end of the side box with it.

The smileys were made of tamagoyaki with apparent whites and filled with boiled black beans.
The Missus placed them on a bed of iceplant with plum tomatoes and boiled peas in their pods.

Very colorful again, Spring is around the corner! Solid and yummy!
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March 7th, 2012

Now, why did I call this bento “Gyoza meat sauce bento”? There is no gyoza included, right?
Actually, the Missus helped herself with unused gyoza filling made the previous day!

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She steamed plain rice before filling the main box with it.
She then topped part of the rice with boiled carrots and green cauliflower (cauliflower, not romanesco or broccoli!).
I wonder what flag colors it would represent?

Don’t ask about the recipe, I just don’t know!
The Missus fried the gyoza filling left from overnight mixed with some tomato sauce before adding boiled taro/sato imo cut into pieces. Incidentally, the taro roots were boiled by your servant as the Missus does not care much for them! They were also leftovers!
Having fried the lot, she poured it over the rice and sprinkled it with plenty of black sesame seeds.

The side dish was both beautiful and healthy!
Boiled rape flowers/na no hana seasoned with gomadare/sesame dressing.
Lotus root slices fried with yuzu koshio. Very piquant!
Yama imo/Japanese yam pickled with amazu and red cucumber pickles.
Boiled black beans.

Very solid, healthy and yummy!
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February 21st, 2012

For once the Missus this morning combined Eastern and Western gastronomies in my bento!
Chirashizushi is probably the most popular form of sushi when it comes to bento in Japan, while omelets as their name indicates apparently originated in France (my home country)!

The ingredients found in the sushi box are basically the same inside and on top of the rice.
The Missus having prepared and let cool down the sushi rice mixed it with boiled shrimps, cheese, cut black olives, red sweet pimento slices and sliced Golden Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes.
She added walnut and red cabbage sprouts for the last touch.

For the side dish she prepared a plain omelet she seasoned with vegetable and tomato sauce on a bed of baby leaves and sprouts.
For added color and taste she added lemon and a red Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomato.

Looks simple enough, but very tasty, healthy and appetizing!
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February 15th, 2012

On the 1st of March I will undergo my annual check up and the Missus wants me (and later too!) to be in proper health when the doctor will play with figures found in my body and blood!
You can expect the same until then, and maybe unfortunately for me, beyond!

She steamed plain rice and mix it later with chopped parsley for color and ingredient balance. She filled about half of the box with it.
She then flattened and fried chicken sasami/breast filets with cheese inside in olive oil and seasoned them with tomato sauce for a beautiful red color It might be lighter in calories than usual but the design is as important as ever!
She added the final touch with sliced black olives and salad beans.

As for vegetables, she placed boiled broccoli seasoned with crushed peanuts and boiled carrot (she indulged in some typical bento design there!) on a bed of finely chopped vegetables (not visible on the pictures).

Very simple indeed, but beautiful and very tasty!
But I ought to be careful about such comments lest the Missus further diminish the contents!
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February 13th, 2012

For once being very busy today I couldn’t look at the Missus preparing my bento and I had to wait until she brought it to my office before I could discover it!
She made a point to stand by while I opened the box so that she could explain the contents.
How kind of her!

She made “omu raisu/omelette rice”!
Well, we cannot see what is inside the omelet wrap in the above picture but I know that the Missus steamed the rice separately and that she fried the various mushrooms before mixing them with rice and seasoning!
After that, she made an omelette and filled it with mixed rice before turning it over into the bento box!
She then added Ameera Rubbins Pearl Tomatoes, parsley. sliced black olives and boiled Brussels sprouts (with some mayonnaise for the latter) for decoration and balance!

You can make such a side salad box only in Shizuoka Prefecture!

The walnut is not local but the lemon, baby leaves, mini celery and lettuce are.
But you can find fresh sakuraebi/Cherry Shrimps only in Shizuoka Prefecture (that is, unless you have a fat wallet in spite of their relatively low price here!). The Missus deep-fried them before sprinkling them over the salad.

A very well-balanced, nourishing and beautiful bento again!
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February 1st, 2012

The Missus (or Greenpeace…) will have mine for posting such a title…
But the Missus loves meat balls and tuna, so the combination was only natural!

For once I must say that the rice dish was more elaborate than all the rest!

Everything was laid on plain steamed rice.
The balls were made with “negitoro”/tuna flesh grated off the inside of the skin. I only know that the Missus seasoned it with mayonnaise, Japanese sake and wasabi dressing and what else before shaping small balls and stir-frying them in light sauce, probably ponzu, soy sauce and mirin.
She just placed them atop the rice beside opened snap peas in their pod. Interesting design!

She then added a typical Japanese garnish: hijiki/sweet seaweed, small pieces of carrot, red cabbage and aburage/deep-fried tofu pouches and peas all lightly fried and seasoned together. A vegan’s delight!

The salad dish consisted of a half-boiled egg, lightly marinated and seasoned with black sesame seeds, fresh buckwheat sprouts, lettuce and mini tomatoes!
Very colorful!

This picture will prove that the Missus enjoyed her own cooking as she had exactly the same for lunch!
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January 31st, 2012

We eat a lot of burdock root/gobo/牛蒡 in season as this is not only a versatile vegetables but because it is also very healthy! It is even used as herbal medicine in some countries!

The Missus cooked/fried the cubed chicken and thinly cut burdock root separately in a sauce of her own (secret! Sorry) while the rice was being steamed.

Once the rice steamed she mixed with the cooked chicken and burdock root and their sauce for a very tasty mazegohan/混ぜご飯/mixed rice! She added the last touch with plenty of black roasted sesame seeds.

The side dish was a typical marriage of products from the land and the sea of Shizuoka Prefecture!

The tamagoyaki was done with cheese and parsley and placed inside the box beside boiled snap peas in their pods seasoned with crushed peanuts!

A product which made Shizuoka famous: kuro hanpen/黒はんぺん/dark sardine fish paste!
The Missus fried them before placing them on a bed of lettuce with local plum tomatoes!

Very satisfying and yummy!

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January 24th, 2012

The Japanese make the difference between “hamburger” and “hamburger steak” by calling the normal hamburger with buns “hambaagaa” and hamburger steaks served without the buns “hambaagu”. The difference in pronunciation is minimal, while the difference in presentation is significant!

The Missus kept the rice box both simple and colorful.
Having steamed she rice she just mixed it with salad beans bought in packs at the local supermarket.

Talking of colors there were plenty more in side box!

The hambaagu/patties are another Missus’ secret although I know she includes crunchy red onion in them which makes for a very tasty bite.
Having seasoned them with her own tomato and vegetables sauce she placed them on lettuce with French pickles.

The salads consisted of one made with white and violet potatoes from her family’s garden topped with black olive and the other of fried green pepper and cabbage seasoned with gomadare/sesame dressing.

For dessert she added local mini tomatoes and green kiwi fruit!

Very colorful, tasty and satisfying!
I could have called this Bento “Mini American Bento”?
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January 17th, 2012

We are very much in the season for Aji/鯵/Horse mackerel and since it is abundant in the Suruga Bay off the shores of Shizuoka Prefecture the Missus thought it was about time I had some fish for bento!

For the rice the Missus steamed it plain with hijiki/sweet seaweed and mixed the lot later with plenty of golden sesame seeds.
For a touch of design and balance she added some soft boiled egg of her own invention.

The side dish could be considered as the main dish, what with all the ingredients and colors!

Nanbanzuke means Japanese-style sweet and sour. The Missus prepares it spicier than usual with some sliced dry chillies and onion rings. It is a great way to season horse mackerel which already has a marked taste. The fish was placed over some lettuce to eat together.

No much need for a dessert with some many vegetables:
Carrot and walnut salad.
Boiled taro/satoimo seasoned with black sesame seeds.
Local mini tomato.

I took my time savoring the whole!
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January 11th, 2012

Kakiage is a kind of tempura in Japan. It is very popular when you need to accommodate small ingredients!
Shizuoka has arguably the most celebrated variety of kakiage: Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps Kakiage!

The Missus kept things very simple: after steaming the rice she mixed it with golden sesame seeds and shredded na no hana/菜の花/rape flowers for plenty of colors and nutritious ingredients.
She made the kakiage in small batches with sakura ebi from Yui, a nearby harbor famous all over Japan for its Cherry shrimps.
The tempura were very crisp and tasty! Even if you don’t have cherry shrimps try it with any small shrimps!

The side dish featured all the Missus’ favorites:
Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette with a white and yellow pattern.
Carrot and walnut salad in lieu of dessert.
Gobo kinpira/fried spicy burdock root.

Colorful and so tasty!

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6 thoughts on “Bento/Lunch Boxes (2012)”

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