Bento/Lunch Boxes (2009)
December 28th, 2009
This could be very well be the last bento of the year as it will be difficult to fool the Missus into making another one tomorrow as I shall not be working but “escaping to my office”! LOL
As we are going through a slimming phase (BIG business here in Jpaan!), today’s bento bento is definitely on the lean side. I’m not one to complain a I like my bento healthy and tasy!
For the rice part, three simple triangular musubi/rice balls made with her new musubi gadget. Freshly steamed this morning one contains a umeboshi/Jpaanese pickled plum and seasoned with black sesame seeds and the other two tiny grilled shirasu/hard moth sardine whiting. The last two are wrapped in shiso/perilla leaves.
As for the garnish, it certainly was colourful!
The tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette contained stewed black beans (look at their eyes!), and the home-made chicken ham wa seasoned with English chutney brought to me by Lojol.
It was laid over a bed of cress and contained cress and wasabi lettuce (not relatied to wasabi), boiled broccoli, white cauliflower and violet (which turned blue!) cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, savoury peas in their pod, more chicken ham, sliced radishes and pieces of jirou kaki/squat persimmon.
The colours would qualify this bento for a health contest!
December 22nd, 2009
It has taken a long time, but I’m slowly convincing the Missus to work on her bentoes and take her own photoes for reference (posterity?). It is a battle (“what about my privacy, blah, blah…?), but I’m bent on winning it! LOL
She’s recently bought all kinds of contraptions/artifcts for the kitchen and cooking. Among those she has acquired these boxes to shape musubi/rice balls into perfect tringular shapes forbeeter arrangement.
The present musubi are “maze gohan/mixed rice”. The rice was steamed together with “tsukudani/Japanese- style stewed food” made up of bee, bamboo shoots, carrots and others.
She added home-made pickles for vinegary garnish.
The rest of the garnish included her own style of oeufs mimosa/boiled eggs with their yolks manipulated, shrimps and snack pea pods salad seasoned with black sesame seeds and stewd black beans.
The salad was composed of hand broken lettuce, cress and other greens, plum tomatoes, sliced radishes and black olives, the whole topped with cold marinated mushrooms (done in Greek style with olive oil and spices).
Vey simple dessert of grenadine seasoned compoteed apples.
I think I’m right to egg on the Missus! LOL
December 21st, 2009
Today’s bento is typical of a traditional Japanese lunch box in Winter.
As I have to keep the calories in check, the Missus slightly reduced the amount of rice and extra garnishes.
The rice was steamed together with some konbu/seaweed cut in tiny pieces she left mixed into the rice.
Being in a good mood, the Missus took particular care of the colours and design.
She covered half of the rice with fired minced chicken with black seasme seeds and made a “border” with young soy beans in their pods she had cut after slightly boiling them.
Instead of making tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette, she prepared iretamago/sweet Japanese scrambled eggs.
As for the garnish, she fried sato-imo/a variety of Jpanese sweet glutinous tubers with black sesame seeds, home-made pickled Kyoto carrots (deep red carrots), an an assortment of broccoli and cauliflower:
Boiled broccoli, white cauliflower and mauve cauliflower (grown in Shizuoka City!).
The dessert was kept very simple: grenadine compoted applaes and stewed sweet black beans.
Plenty and tasty, actually!
December 14th, 2009
Today’s Lunch Box/Bento wasa bit of a mistake as the Missus said she would prepare “mazegohan/混ぜご飯” or mixed steamed rice with the crab I bought yesterday. Well, I’ll have to wait for the crab until tonight. LOL
Mind you we had eaten the best part of it last niight already, so instead of including the rest in the rice, she’ll probably serve it with a salad!
So she steamed the rice with a piece of dry konbu/seaweed and finely chopped “Kyo Ninjin/京人参”, a variety of carrot, log, deep-red and sweet originally grownin the Kyoto area.
Once steamed, she mixed the rice with the carrot (which has been left cooking on top of the rice) and black sesame seeds.
As for the garnish, she sauteed very soft/tender pork fillet with mustard and “shimeji take/シメジ茸”, shimeji mushrooms in its fat and sauce.
The straight “tamagoyaki/卵焼き”, Japanese omelette (by straight, I mean she did not include anything else) and the boiled broccli made for a nice colour variation.
As for the salad/dessert, she placed small cuts of “jiro kaki/次郎柿”, sqaut persimmon, and large pointed Shizuoka plum tomato slices over a bed of roughly chopped lettuce and greens.
As I’m presently on a diet (already lost 3 kg in a week without much strain), it does make for a healthy and colourful bento!
December 7th, 2009
The Missus had planned a sandwich bento when she belatedly realized she had already prepared for the rice to be steamed when she entered the kitchen!
-“Sorry, very simple bento today!”
-“No worries (no problem!)”!
It was simple, indeed, but as I have to look out for calories (Missus’ orders) these days, It was not an issue. LOL
The rice had been freshly steamed together with a piece of konbu/seaweed. She made four musubi/rice balls that she wrapped in shiso/perilla leaves. Twp were rice mixed with Japanese style cucumber pickles (finely chopped), one was mixed with hijiki/sweet seaweed and the last one was topped with a umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum.
As she can make tamgoyaki/Japanese omelette in a jiffy, she prepared one containing small pieces of cheese and gree/red pimento. Very tasty, actually.
For dessert she included some apple. kiwi fruit and grenadine compote (home-made) from the refrigerator.
As for the salad, she prepared the usual assortment of chopped greens, hand broken lettuce and cabbage, cut plum tomatoes and bits of jiro kaki/squat persimmon to which I added dressing kept in the fridge in my work place.
Can’t complain, can I?
December 1st, 2009
As yesterday’s bento was based on rice,the Missus decided I needed something lighter today, hence her other specialty: “Open Sandwich Bento”!
Talking of rice, the steamed rice leftovers of yesterday’s bento came back onto my plate last night: As we had nabe/Japanese pot au feu, she poured some of the soup stock onto the rice, heated it and added some leaves/herbs to make a simple but great Japanese-style risotto!
Almost looked like one of those old-fashioned US workers’ boxed lunches!
As for bread she toasted (made in Japan) English style barley muffins: light and crispy.
She arranged everything else, main dish, salad and dessert in the same box:
From bottom, clockwise:
Smoked salmon (from Ireland!) seasoned with lemon juice, sliced onons and herbs.
Avocado slices with their dipping seasoning.
Japanese scrambeld eggs.
Smoked ham and cheese.
Jiro kaki/squat persimmon slices (from Kakegawa City)
Pois gourmands/green peas in the pod (boiled).
Very healthy again!
November 12th, 2009
It’s been more than two weeks since I last wrote about my bentoes!
Don’t worry, the Missus is still making them!
The reason for this prolonged silence is that we did travel a couple of times on Mondays and Tuesdays. Otherwise the Missus had prohibited me from reporting on them as she did not judge them worthwhile.
Today’s bento can be considered a classic Japanese beto with steamed rice with various garnishes.
The Missus steamed fresh rice with hijiki/sweet seaweed and beans on top, which she stirred altogether upon being cooked.
Soft-boiled eggs (meaning that the yolk is still soft) seasoned with roasted black sesame seeds.
The salad consist of boiled na no hana/rape blossoms and fried shimeji mushrooms seasoned with goma tare/sesame dressing.
As for the meat part she fried chicken tsukune/ patties.
Before frying them she made a slice of renkon/lotus root to adhere to once side for added crucnchiness.
The other side after being fried in a Japanese-style sweet and sour sauce.
The salad/dessert consisted of pieces of jiro kaki/squat persimmon, sliced radish and muscat on a bed of fresh leaf vege/herbs.
Back onto a healthy road!
November 11th, 2009
Usually I do not take a bento to with me on Wednesdays, but the weather simply gave us no choice.
With a very unusual warm Fall in Japan this year, we are bound to be assailed by typhoon-like downpours. The bus was going through sheer curtains of water along the round. I found out that we got drenched with 100mm of rain in a single hour! Mind you, it does not compare to what the Philippines had to go through recently.
In such an emergency the Missus usually comes with some kind of sushi and plentyof vegetables.
Today’s sushi style was te-nari zushi/手なり寿司, a style very popular in the Kyoto area.
The rice balls are small, round and prepared by wrapping them in a piece of cellophane paper and then topped with various neta/ねた (toppings).
She made two kinds:
the first one with a salad consisting of surimi, shredded lettuce, capers, sesame seeds and mayonnaise. She placed them inside lettuce leaves for easing handling and supplemetary Vitamin C (!).
The second type which could be called Italian-style te-nari zushi were topped with Italian raw ham and Italian parsley (!).
As for the salad side dish on a bed of cress (grown in Shizuoka) she placed boiled brocoli, sliced radishes, plum tomatoes and a dessert consisting of rainbow kiwis (grown in Shizuoka).
Very healthy! I wonder if I should welcome the rain!
November 9th, 2009
I finally got my laptop back last Wenesday, but I was still left to deal with a big problem: a mail box overloaded with spams.
It took me hours to first download more than 100,000 spams (yes, you read right, one hundred thousand critters), 99% coming from only two single bots (spam robots)!
It took me half an hour to erase them just to sse them coming back!
I was seriously thinking of changing my mail address, a bothersome affair if there is any. Luckily I do have computer-wise (the old geezer isn’t) friends who told me to consult my provider directly. Which I did.
The company taught how to deal with a Japanese language filter box (their services are in Jpanese only), but it still took them almost half an hour to clean my mail box!
Anyway, I’m a bit wiser and cleverer now, and I can resume my blogging activities in tranquility!
Since she also needed to be careful about her own weight, the Missus has decided to maximize the veg part and minimize the high-calories items in my bentoes from now on!
She steamed the rice withn vegetables including mushrooms and carrots that she mixed later with small pieces of fried chicken.
As for the garnish, on a bed of lettuce (grown in Shizuoka) she placed plenty of renkon/lotus root slices fried with black sesame, whole red radish (with their stems) and simple tamagoyaki/Jpanese omelette.
As for the salad cum dessert, on bed of shredded veg she placed a cople of plum tomatoes, pieces of jiro kaki/squat persimmon and some walnuts. She also added some lightly seasoned potato and cucumber salad for supplemetary calories.
Very tasty and just enough to hold on until dinner!
November 2nd, 2009
As of November 2nd, the Kojima Company had not called me back yet to announce that my laptop was finally ready for me to collect. I had been without it for 11 days by then and for all the time suddenly found to write and read, I was really beginning to suffer from hi-tec retrieval!
I had requested the Missus to prepare a musubi/rice balls bento that time.
She came up with four different balls:
-One with Japanese-style pickled cucumber
-One with hijiki/sweet seaweed, sesame seeds and cheese
-One with pickled ginger and sesame seeds
-And the last one with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums.
The tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette was of the plain variety. Just sweet enough.
As for the salad/dessert side dish she rolled wedges of jiro kaki/squat persimmon inside raw ham and place dthem over a bed of lettuce, cress, walnuts and black olives.
October 26th, 2009
My PC (laptop) having crashed for the third time in the last four years, these bento reports are a bit late. This one was due on October 26th!
The PC being brand new at the time I purchased it and still has great speed. I’m reluctant to part from it, but I might soon be forced into a painful reconversion (Microsoft to Mac?).
Therefore I will call this particular lunch box the “PC Crash Bento 1”!
The same bento was consumed on a heavy rainy day to compound my misery, but I must say the meal lifted my spirits somewhat!
For all her grumpiness on that day, the Missus did not disappoint me:
After steaming the rice, she mixed it with hijiki/sweet seaweed, green peas and roasted sesame seeds.
As for the garnish, it came in all kinds of ingredients and colours:
She deep-fried (shallow-fried would be a more precise term) pork fillets sticks she had dipped in batter and then coated with broken fried soba (the soba was purchased fried, then dried and cold in package). She placed the pork atop lettuce and shredded greens.
Hand-made pickles (carrots, ginger, pimento) were added for the vinegary part.
Fresh plum tomatoes for the Vitamin C and the decorative note.
She boiled a few “sato imo”, a kind of sweet tuber typical of Japan. After peeling them, she fried them for a while in sweet sauce and seasoned them with black sesame seeds. Finally, a slice of orange for the finishing touch.
The dessert consisted of jiro kaki/squat persimmon wedges grown in Shizuoka and mini red-haert kiwi fruit, also grown locally.
Certainly a hearty lunch!
October 20th, 2009
The Missus turned to “Sandwich mode” for today’s bento!
Above pic shows how it was packaged.
Above pic shows it came out of the package.
Above pic represents the biting end of the sandwich.
The sandwich itself was at least 15 cm (6 inches) long and thick!
As for the sandwich, the Missus used soft-style (very Japanese!) French baguette she toasted first.
She then fried a whole confit duck leg and shredded it into large enough chunks.
She fried some potato chips in the duck confit fat.
She added lettuce and French pickles for the finishing touch.
Today’s salad consisted of veg sticks and their dip:
From right to left-red and green soft pimentoes, daikon, carrots, violet cabbage and cheese.
For dessert in-season Asian Pear/Nashi and Squat Persimmons/Jirou Kaki.
It certainly took me quite some time to eat it all!
October 19th, 2002
We are witnessing a very mild, if not hot Autumn in Shizuoka which promises to be long and pleasant.
This also means more access to local vegetables and local food in general!
Acually, the rice part was only part local.
The Missus steamed the rice with chopped konbu/seaweed.
It is certainly more practical than steaming it with a large piece of konbu as the seaweed itself is not only edible but add great taste to the rice.
This time she mixed in canned smoked oysters (this is the “unocal” part).
After keeping two whole oysters for the topping, she vut the rest small enough and add chopped boiled string beans and sesame seeds before mixing the lot together.
The main box was a combination of veg, meat and eggs.
The Missus placed them on a bed of lettuce, cress and thin slices of apple with cut plum tomato.
The tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette contained cut and fried pimetoes and was seasoned with a little Thai sweet and hot sauce.
The meat part was represented by thin pork slices rolled around thin enoki mushrooms and srting beans fried Japanese style.
Good variety and very tasty, I must admit!
October 16th, 2009
The Missus usually prepares only sandwiches as bento/lunch boxes on Fridays before I leave for University because I have to eat them aboard the train.
Accordingly they have to be kept simple and as a general rule are not really worthy writing about.
But today’s sandwiches were a bit more sophisticated than usual.
Why? you may ask. Well, Friday is my night out, but for once I invited the Dragon out (we normally eat out on Thursdays9, which might explain the quality of today’s “Train bento”!
Breads are available in an almost infinite range these days in Japan.
The bread used for these sandwiches are similar to pita bread but square and pre-cut.
Once toasted, they offer a crispy thin surface while the outside is soft and tender.
They are easier to hold, making them very practical to eat on the train where the contents tend to spill out.
As for the contents, the Missus fried chicken “sasami/fillets” in karaage style with spice mix added.
She added lettuce, cress and French pickles for a great combination.
I can assure you I wolfed them down in a jiffy!
October 13th, 2009
After a long week-end (yesterday was a national holiday) spent cricket-umpiring and visiting all kinds of museums in Mishima City (where I found an organic restaurant), it was back to usual today.
A Japanese home-style bento with a few twists!
The rice itself is a Missus’ specialty. She had simmered finely cut mushrooms with thinly cut aburaage (fried tofu pouches) the night before. She heated them again in their soup before adding and mixing them (with some of the soup) with the freshly steamed rice.
The garnish came into two disntinct parts:
Pork belly sliced from a large block and fried with yuzu koshio. She fried okra, onions and red soft piments in the juices.
Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette, plum tomatoes and mitsuba/trefoil and sesame seeds salad.
For dessert Asian pear/Nashi and Square persimmons/Jirou Kaki (originally raised in Shizuoka Prefecture!)
Plentiful, tasty and healthy! I must say the Missus was in a fairly good mood today!LOL
October 10th, 2009
Today’s bento was definitely “The Day After Bento”!
Invited as I was lats night by a student of mine, I only managed cycling back home at 2 a.m. to wake up at 7 a.m. and go to work an hour later with a “slight” hangover….
A Working Man’s Lunch!
The double decker sandwiches were actually pretty big:
The first tier was mainly egg sandwich, a Missus’ favourite.
The second tier was a bit more sophisticated with home-made chicken ham, British chutney, French pickles and mustard.
Big salad, too, most it made with local ingredients: shreddedcabbage, leaf vegetables, plum tomatoes, green asparaguses and black olives.
Grapes for dessert. All in all, it proved lighter than it looked!
October 7th, 2009
A big typhoon being upon us, Number 18, I had no recourse but to give up on going back home for lunch and “ordered” the Missu to concoct me a quick and healthy bento.
It was very healthy indeed!
She boiled udon and cooled them under cold running clear water.
She topped it with home-made chicken ham, boiled eggs, cress, finely cut cucumber, sliced radish, pieces of shiso/perilla leaves and cut plum tomatoes.
Side view of the bento!
Soup/dressing I added to the lot later at the office!
Asian pears/Nashi and plums are still in season!
October 6th, 2009
Onecould call today’s bento “Another Typhoon Bento”, as after almost 12 weeks of drought the rain is back with a vengeance! The notion of typhoon notwithstanding, the weather pattern are absolutely identical to that of the rainy season/tsuyu in June/July!
The beno the Missus prepared his morning was a very classi one, reminiscent of what children and students can expect from their mothers.
After she had steamed the rice, she mixed still hot with rice vinegar and other ingredients including white sesame seeds to make it sushi rice.
She fried minced chicken with finely cut mushrooms in a comparitively sweet sauce before covering half the rice with it.
She covere the other other with Japanese-style scrambled eggs and separated both with some freshly cut mitubs/trefoil making for an appetizing and colourful dish.
The salad consisted of shredded vegetables, smoked salmon, plum tomatoes, French pickles and black olives. I seasoned the lot with dressing kept in my fridge at work.
For dessert grape jelly.
Very healthy indeed!
September 29th, 2009
Today’s was also a “Working Man’s Bento”, and the Missus, grumpy as she was (rain outside and so on) certainly couldn’t help pointing it out (she is working, too…)!
It was pretty voluminous, too. I wonder why the Missus is always complaining b\about my bulging waist,…
Not only did she steam the rice this morning (complaining I was just lounging around,…) but she also deep-fried fresh Tonkatsu made with pork fillets. Tender and succulent. She topped the tonkatsu with sauce that helped give flavour to the rice, too.
The salad part was the same as yesterday: potato, cucumber and egg salad with plum tomatoes on a bed of lettuce.
The dessert was the same as yesterday, too, but I’m not to complain as I love those Asian pears/”nashi” and ripe plums, both seasonal and so sweet and juicy!
Did I mention before that the grumpier the Missus, the better?
September 28th, 2009
I would call today’s bento/box lunch the “Working Man Bento”!
Simple, hearty and healthy!
Three large o-nigiri/rice balls made of freshly steames rice mixed later with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums and aka shiso/red perilla leaves furikake/seasoning and wrappe inside large green shiso leaves (the latter are also caleed “ooba/large leaves”)
Meat garnish was chicken and mushrooms fried in tomato sauce, slightly spicy-style. Actually the Missus made a whole batch of these. I can expect to have some more for dinner!
The “salad” consisted of a bed of shredded veg topped with cress and plum tomatoes and a potato, cucumber and egg salad.
The seasonal dessert was fresh (and peeled) figs!
September 22nd, 2009
I could with different names for today’s bento:
“Holiday Bento”-Today is a National Holiday, but I’ve found myself working!
“Leftover Bento”-This particular bento has been made up mostly with yesterday’s food cooked by the Missus!
Yesterday the Missus had made “kakuni/stewed pork”. She had added beans and chili pepper during the second cookin.
I inherited the leftovers with boiled brocoli (also prpepared yesterday and a little pasta, the whole in the middle of freshly steamed plain rice.
The salad included yesterday’s curry potato salad to which she added crumbled boiled egg, mini tomatoes and mixed samll leaves.
Simple dessert with cut plum and Asian pear/nashi.
Must admit I felt full and contented!
September 7th, 2009
The Missus was a “bit grumpy” today.
“Don’t take a photo of that!” she said…
It was a typical, if simple, Summer bento, more aimed at stamina than anything else.
The broiled unagi/eel bento in short!
The unagi had been bought ready-made at the local supermarket.
The Missus coorected the fishy taste by havin the broiled unagi rest in matcha tea for a while.
As for the broiled eel and steamed rice, they were laid in a two-tier style, very popular in Japan.
Plain tamagoyaki and home-made cucmber pickles for garnish.
(Shizuoka grown) cress, mini-tomatoes and walnuts for the salad, plums and grapes (grown in Yamamshi Prefecture, our neighbours) for dessert.
Simple but hearty!
September 5th, 2009
Two days ago, the Missus decreed that from now no I will take a bento to work on Saturdays as we are both too busy to bother with coming home for lunch.
I’m notone to complain as Saturday will see totally different bentoes form mondays and Tuesdays.
Like I said, Saturday bentoes will be different becaus this is the day of the week when the Missus makes a point to cook stews or curries.
Today’s curry was pork minced meat served with chopped okra from her family’s garden and a whole soft boiled egg on saffron rice.
As for the salad I was offered a selection of raw vegetables sticks with drssing as vegetables sticks. These are particularly welcome in this still hot season!
And ripe plums for dessert!
Next Saturday I will be flying to New caledonia for a few days. Therefore the next Saturday bento will have to wait till the 19th. LOL
September 1st, 2009
Today’s bento called be called “The Morning After” Bento!
Last night the Missus and I had a long celebration and we had som ediggiculty to wake uo this morning…
At first the Missus told me she would not mind if I bought and ekiben/Railway Station Bento, but she changed her mind after having a look at the fridge.
In the end, it turned out to be an easy classical bento:
The rice balls/musubi were made of rice freshly steamed together with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum and then mixed with white sesame seeds and topped by small shiso/perilla leaves we grow on our balcony.
Simple unadorned tamgoyaki/Japanese omelette and a salad made of beans, hijiki/sweet seaweed and cucumbers/mini tomatoes.
Not “savoury” was chicken ratatouille she had prepared the morning before (not bad at all, actually!).
For dessert I had some cheese that I keep in the fridge at work.
Healthy and plenty actually!
August 25th, 2009
When I came back home last night the Missus’ first question (she alway starts conversations with questions, LOL):
-Wha did you have for lunch?
-You went all the way to the station to buy one?
-Which one did you buy?
She didn’t ask me if I enjoyed it, but she was certainly busy in the kitchen in the mirning, grumbling all the time. Well, if she grumbles, so much the better! (she more she grumbles, the better the food, didn’t I say before?)
She was still grumbling at her own “mistakes” when the bento finally came up. Taking pity of her, I assured her that her mistakes were delicious, that she should not worry…
The steamed rice was “maze gohan” style/mixed rice, including beans and sweet seaweed/hijiri carrots and thinly sliced aburaage/fried tofu sheets.
Now, the fried chicken stuffed goya and chicken balls with black sesame seeds were really good. She also made sure I had my favourite tamagoyaki to which she added okra, red pimento, brocoli and lettuce.
The salad/dessert included cress, mini-tomatoes, cheese cubes and grapes.
I’ll have to find another reason to make her grumble!
August 18th, 2009
If I had to give a name to today’s lunch box, it would be”General Election Bento”.
The campaign for the Japanese Lower Chamber general elections has just kicked off, and that means that no less than five candidates (in our constituency) criss-crossing in front of my office blaring their inane messages over their campaign car loudspeakers all day long for the next two weeks.
Was this the reason why the Missus felt grumpy this morning? LOL
Today’s bento was (only) slightly bigger than yesterday’s. Tuesday is the day off for my (?) half and she tends to cook more than usual as she prepares her own lunch at the same time.
The musubi were made of fresh steamed rice mixed with home-made ginger pickles (sliced thin beforehand), chopped shiso/perilla leaves and white sesame seeds.
For the meat part I got large shrimps wrapped into bacon and deep-fried with lettuce to wrap them in. Mini-tomatoes and beans and hijiki/sweet seaweed salad made up for the rest of the first box.
As for the salad and dessert: baby leaves for the greesn with boiled brocoli and gree asparaguses. Blueberries and fresh figs for dessert!
I suppose I’ll be able to ignore those silly politicians!
August 17 th, 2009
Well, today we did not have to worry about typhoons or earthquakes, although the heat is becoming really severe.
The 20 minutes bicycle ride to work leaves in a pool of sweat.
The Missus fortunately reduced the volume of today’s bento, as I feel quite bloated with all those drinks I guzzled down during my 10-hour cricket umpiring stint yesterday!
The Missus prepared my regular tamagoyaki “fix” with vegetables including pimento and edamame.
I got my other favourite: Karaage chicken/Japanese style deep-fried chicken, seasoned with black sesame seeds before deep-frying. Some lemon for more seasoning.
The three musubi/rice balls containg white sesame seeds were wrapped in shiso/perilla leaves.
A very simple salad with “mixed baby leaves”, peach wedges, blueberries and walnuts.
Back to normal!
August 11th, 2009
August 11th, 2009, Shizuoka City, 05:13 a.m.
6.2~6.5 tremor with its epicentre bang in the middle of Shizuoka Prefecture.
Positives: Occured at the “best” time of the day when people wake up and react quickly, no one is cooking yet and no communal transport is moving.
Negatives: some stupid “specialists” take the opportunity to announce this is still not the “Big Tokai Earthquake that we (?) are all expecting anytime!”
That did not prevent the Missus to prepare my (and her) bento!
So, this time it is not “Typhoon Bento”, but “Earthquake Bento”!
She used that bamboo box again with its soft lid.
She put in 4 musubi/rice balls instead of the usual 3. She probably though I needed some comfort! LOL
4 musubi then:
Top left: dried shirasu/sardine whitings
Top right: konbu/sweet seaweed
Bottom left: umeboshi/pickled Japanese plum
Bottom right: pickled cucumber
Tamagoyaki. Very simple and sweet. “Nashi”/Japanese pears from Yaizu which was hit by a mini tsunami at 5:30
The side dish was one of the Missus specialties: Deep-fried chicken marinated with vegetables. She deep-fries the chicken first. Then she fries some thinly cut vegetables lightly. She dropped both into a large plate with rich vinegar, mirin, ponzu and I don’t know what and let the lot marinate for at least 30 minutes before transfering it into a tupperware.
A side view of the garnish!
Looking at and eating this bento, I might tempted to wish for a few more (very small) earthquakes!
Here is another picture of my “roots” taken outside my Dad’s house:
August 10th, 2009
Today’s bento was “Typhoon Bento”! Not the one that crashed on Taiwan last week, but the next one which veered onto Japan today!
I can assure you that the Missus was “pretty” grumpy!
In Summer I very often get these cold noodles/”men-ramen-soba” bentoes. I can keep the in the fridge at the office and eat them chilled.
Very much appreciated in these hot days!
Today’s was mad of ramen first boiled then cooled under running cold water. They were topped with finely choppe veg, pieces of lettuce, boiled shrimp, home-made chicken ham, Soft boiled egg seasoned withblack sesame seeds and steamed edamame.
Here’s a side view!
I was provided with “men tsuyu/cold noodles stock soup) to add to the noodles. I added some dressing from the bottle kept in the fridge.
Great dessert for once: Fresh “nashi/Japanese pears”, figs and blueberries!
August 4th, 2009
Today was clear and bleeding hot, but contrary to Jenn might think, the Missus came up with the comment this morning: “Kyo wa, te-nuki bento da!/Today, lazy bento!”
I know better than to argue. It is the best way to provoke the Missus into a little more work she had intended first!
She boiled potatoes, cool then under running cold water and drained them before adding dressing, beans salad and choppes veg to them.
She added red and yellow mini tomatoes from Shizuoka, soft boiled egg, lettuce and olives before closing the box.
For extra garnish, she deep-fried chicken, one plain and the other with black sesame seeds. Lemon for extra seasoning and lettuce to wrap them in.
Red cheddar cheese and red grapefruit for dessert.
Not bad for a lazy bento!
August 3rd, 2008
For once it was not raining this morning, meaning that the Missus was in a fairly good mood and accepted my requests for today’s bento!
“Today’s bento might be a bit small. Is that ok?”
“No problem!”. Actually it looked as there was plenty.
“How many musubi/rice balls do you want?”
“Three will be enough!” (I know how big they come…)
“I include dry nori/seaweed in a separate pack for you to wrap them in!”
“Three different kinds: one with sweet seaweed, one with minced red cucumber pickles and one with salmon furikake/seasoning powder!”
“As you requested, I put edamame tamagoyaki! Is that enough?”
“Sure, as I have already eaten two pieces!”
“As for the garnish, gyuniku saikoro/beef dices, beans salad, mini-tomatoes and celery!”
“For dessert, nectarine!”
“Thank you so much, dear!”
I wonder how long this fine weather will hold,…
July 28th, 2009
The Missus came up a totally different type of bento today: “Hiyajiru/冷汁/Cold Soup”!
She first prepared a soup with konbu/seaweed stock to which she added Japanese spices and all kind of fresh vegetables including tomatoes, okra, cucumbers and so on. To coll it down quickly she added ice and let chill while she prepared the rest.
She prepared two large musubi/rice balls seasoned with sesame and I on’t know what (secret) and let these cool down two.
She then steamed goya stuffed with chicken paste.
I put the whole bento in the office fridge first thing.
When I took it out for lunch, I first open the cold soup box which was perfectly chilled by then.
I put the rice balls in the soup. With a spoon I broke them and ate them with the soup.
As for the “salad” I used the miso-pickled soft boiled egg to seaon the chicken-stuffed goya the Missus had cut into slices.
Very good cold bento for this very sultry summer!
July 27th, 2009
It has been raining for a full week now, and apparently we are in for another week of it.
That certainly does not put the Missus into the right mood, but she somehow managed to prepare my bento this morning after a lot of grumbling!
It was simple but healthu and plentiful (actually she had warned me not to take pics….):
The musubi/rice balls wer mixed with “ume kake/pickle plum seasoning powder and wrapped into fresh shiso/perilla leaves.
The Missus added “chikuwa/fis paste rolls stuffed withe fresh cucumber, fried kinpira including konyaky, carrots, beans and seaweed, and som Renaissance tomatoes grown in Kakegawa City.
As for the salad, it consisted of a bed of chopped veg, some home^made pickles onions, smoked salmon and a soft-boiled egg.
I must admit it was very satisfied in spite of all the grumbles!
July 21st, 2009
Yesterday’s bento was typically Japanese in concept and ingredients.
The Missus tried to make it more “stamina-like” as they say in Japan, but at the same time, keeping the calories in check.
The “musubi/rice balls” were of two types: one with sweet konbu/seaweed” the other with “sweet umeboshi/pickled Japanese plums”. All balls were wrapped in “shiso/perilla” leaves.
As for the garnish, the Missus aded “chikuwa/fish paste tubes” filled with fresh cucumber.
Sweet and sour chicken “dango/balls” she had coated with black sesame seeds beforehand.
And of course “tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette”!
Mini tomatoes for the Vitamin C and plums (not pictured) for dessert.
Bewteen you and me, I felt pretty satisfied!
July 13th, 2009
When the very hot days of summer come, the Japanese consume a lot of eel for the stamina they are losing through the enormous amount of sweat.
The Missus thought it was about time to take care of my stamina!
The accompaniment cosisted of boiled egg later marinated in soy sauce and sprinkled with black sesame seeds, home-made pickled mini-melons and local tomatoes (the yellow ones from Shizuoka City, and the red ones from Kakegawa City)
The Missus had bought the broiled eels the day before. The technique is to “soften” them with tea, before putting on top of steamed rice with chopped shiso/perilla leaves, home-made cucumber pickles and white sesame seeds.
The salad was marinated vegetables. The Missus first grilled the aubergines/egg plants, sof red pimento and okra and the marinated them (secret…) in the fridge overnight.
As I know that she has made a big batch them, I’ looking forward to eat more tonight with some cold sake!
July 7th, 2009
I think I can safely assume that today’s bento is of the “healthy type”!
Plenty of vegetables and more as you will see!
The Missus first prepared konbu soba from Shiretoko. Shiretoko is a great UNESCO World nature Heritage in Northeastern Hokkaido we visited last year. They are famous for their knobu/seaweed and a derivated products such as the konbu soba we brought back. They are green and might look like tea soba, but they aren’t. Extremely healthy!
On top she placed hand-broken lettuce and shiso/perilla leaves, home-pickled mini lemons, home-pickled myoga and onions, pickled ginger, red and yellow tomatoes from her family’s garden, boiled shrimps, boile egg marinated in soy sauce, and black olives.
She provided me with “mentsuyu/めんつゆ/cold stock soup for the soba. You just pour them on top as it goes well with the veg, too.
And for dessert red grapefruit, mini kiwi and blueberries!
Simple, tasty and healthy!
June 30th, 2009
The Missus felt a more grumpy than ususl today. What with my recent antics at cricket and my busy schedule, she feels like a mid more than a partner….
She was in the mood to make something too fancy and had to think about her own lunch.
The main dish consisted of cold ramen boiled and lightly seasoned with a little sesame oil and chopped thin leeks. On top she placed pieces of lettuce, thinly chopped carrots, cucumber and string beans, thin slices of pork, first lightly boiled then seasoned with gomadare/sesame dressing, sweet ammera rubbins mini tomatoes and home-made cucumber and aubergine pickles.
The was first soft-boiled then marinated in soy sauce, cut in half and served sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
Her is a side-view!
I was provided with men-tuyu/めんつゆ ascold stock soup for the ramen.
Simple and tasty dessert with South African grapefruit and Japanese blueberries!
I left the whole in the office refrigerator until lunch, making a “cool”/refreshing lunch!
June 29th, 2009
Back to some rice at last! I must confess i eat more rice than the Missus who is obsessed with anything in the shape of pasta or noodles!
The bento was definitely adult-size (or hungry high school stdent-size!)
The “musubi/rice balls” consisted of fresh syeamed rice mixed with very tiny pieces of red cucumber pickles and umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums, the whole wrapped inside a shiso/perilla leaf.
The garnish consisted of meat rolls: boiled string beans rolled inside cheese, bacon and chicken, the whole fried with soy sauce and I don’t know what (?). Succulent with the French cornichons and the minuscule and very sweet Ameera Rubbins tomatoes exclusively grown in Shizuoka Prefetcure!
Naturally some feshly-made tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette (beware of the cheap article sold at markets wrapped and all. Thay are full of sugar and preservatives!).
The salad, a very simple affair, consisted of cress (Shizuoka-grown), walnuts, kiwi and American dark cherries!
Alright, I reckon the Missus worked hard on that one!
June 23rd, 2009
Apparently as far as the Tuesday’s bentoes are concerned, the Missus has turned into “Sandwich mode”!
Now, for the greens, she had come with the interesting notion of a veg sticks dip with celery, boiled asparaguses, cucumber and red radishes (and their leaves). One half-boiled egg for the balance and mayonnaise/mustard dip.
The sandwich, once again, was a big affair.
As for the filling, she first fried duck confit, then potato sticks in the remaining fat and inserted them in the French bread (soft type) with lettuce and French conichons.
This time she didn’t forget the dessert: Japanese cherries!
June 22nd, 2009
Mondays, for all the Missus’ grumpiness, see typical Japanese bentoes coming my way! Weekends mean busy days at work at my other half works for an orthodontist, meaning that most patients visit the clinic on weekends.
Although I did cook some tasty cold pasta and seafood salad for dinner last night, The Missus hadn’t forgiven me for not checking the wine avaibility!
A back massage this morning did some good in re-establishing a modicum of peace, though!
The main dish did take some work to do:
The rice was steamed with red miso-flavoured konbu/sweet seaweeed mix, making for the unusual colour of the musubi/rice balls.
The Missus’ specialty: Japanese-style (twice) deep-fried chicken with deep-fried renkon/lotus root chips (with some lemon handy).
Homemade pickles: Mini-melon with salt-preserved cherry blossom.
The salad was a very simple affair: lettuce, “grated” carrots, mini tomatoes and walnut (was the last for dessert?)
June, 16th, 2009
After yestreday’s small tour de force, the Missus wanted to take a break and make things simple!
I think I can qualify today’s “bento” as “American/French Lunch”!
The reason is the enormous sandwich prepared with a French baguette!
Mind you, the filling was a healthy fusion of home-made chicken ham, boiled egg salad and cornichons!
The salad was Japanese in concept: shredded vegetables, deep-fried renkon/lotus root chips, lettuce and mini tomatoes.
American Darkk Cherries for dessert.
Quite voluminous, maybe fitter for a young sportsman!
June 15th, 2009
I must admit that the Missus worked hard toady to create a slightly different bento, albeit using the same ideas!
She opted for the healthy and fulfilling combination of maki/rolls and tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette.
Having steamed the rice (she added a piece of konbu/seaweed today), stirred and cooled it, she mixed in a generous amount of tobikko/flying fish roe, “white” and black sesame seeds. She then made sushi maki with fresh lettuce instead of seaweed, and placed smoked salmon and avocado in the middle (she had them with lemon juice beforehand). Californian Bento? LOL
As for the tamagoyaki, she made it according to my request: She mixed the eggs with fine pieces of pimento and chopped thin leeks. The result? Spanish Tamagoyaki or Japanese Tapas? I leave it to yuo!LOL
As for the salad: shredded vegetables, mini tomatoes, French cornichons.
Got American dark cherries for dessert!
High-class bento, I must admit!
June 8th, 2009
It was back to classical” bento today!
That is rice topped with all kinds of ingredients!
For once I managed to steal into the kitchen to take a quick pic of the rice being steamed with the beans!
It was a pretty voluminous bento as you can see!
As for the main meat the Missus fried slices of tuna in soy sauce and covered with cheese and chopped thin leeks.
The rest of the garnish consisted of renkon/lotus roots, shiitake and stringbeans fried together in the same pan as the tuna. She added a fresh plum tomato, boiled egg seasoned with black sesame, home-made piclled mini melons and myoga and lettuce. I probably forget something!
Chopped veg salad with pieces of lettuce and walnuts and cherries from Yamanashi Prefcture for dessert!
I can garantee you I was full after that!
June 7th, 2009
For once, The Nissus madebento with “men/Japanese-Chinese Pasta”!
The principle is to boil “ramen” and strain them through a “zaru/sieve” for them to become “zarumen”.
At the office I piured the two different sauces and chopped thin leeks on the cole “zarumen” before eating them.
As for the garnish, the Missus prepared “Tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette, “Chicken Kaarage/Japanese style deep-fried chicken” (note the black sesame seeds coating), boiled “ingen mame/string beans”, a large plum tomato and home-made cucumber and myoga pickles.
She didn’t forget the dessert: banana!
Plenty and enough, I can tell you!
June 2nd, 2009
The Missus started devising and prapring today’s bento last night when she stewed the chicken, with the firm idea to taste it herself at home by herself toady!LOL
She first boiled eggs before taking care of the chicken. The chicken was first fried then slowly simmered with the eggs in the Chinese shashu pork style with soy sauce, sake, star anise and I don’t know what secret (don’t expect me to ask her, or it will start another argument!). She provided home-made pickled mini melons for the “salty additive”.
It was basically only light reheated when the chicken and sliced boiled/simmered eggs were placed on freshly steamed plain rice. She added some of the “juices” to season the rice and topped it with a goodmeasure of black sesame seeds.
the salad was a simple affair of chopped greens with mini tomatoes and a few walnuts.
Finallly, I was provided with “ume tare/pickled plum vinaigrette” for the slad, and apricot jelly for dessert.
June 1st, 2009
I’m always looking forward to bento on Monday, although the Missus tends to demur, as they usually see some research and new ingredients!
This time, the Missus opted for “musubi/hand-made rice balls, of two kinds:
One was plain rice with a whole salt-preserved Sakura no Hana/Cherry blossom (above pic).
The other one was plain steamed rice mixed with chopped shiso/perilla leaves, hijiki/sweet seaweed and white sesame seeds.
All musubi were envelopped in ooba/large perilla variety leaves.
She added home-made pickled myoga and pickled mini-melaons with white sesame seeds.
As for the garnish, I got renkon/lotus roots fried with black sesame and katsuo bushi/bonito dry shavings, Boiled green and white asparaguses, home-made chicken ham with British chutney and lettuce, tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette (for dessert!) and plum tomatoes.
Plenty to eat!
May 26th, 2009
Yesterday we had an earthquake in Shizuoka, bu everybody is OK!
Thanks to all for the concern!
A Friend actually suggested to call it the Earthquake Bento of the Day!LOL
The fact is that it did stimulate the Missus into cooking a lot this morning.
Incidentally, even Kamran could eat it as it was cooked with olive oil!
Once again, as there was very little shopping done yesterday, the Missus foraged inside the fridge and came up with the following:
The rice was plain steamed rice but sprinkled with plenty of rasted sesame seeds.
For the arnish, she fried “Saikoro/cubes” of beef, zucchini, red mild pimentoes and mini asparaguses together (in that order?). She prepare “Tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette” and added some home-made min-melon pickles.
May 25th, 2009
Today’s bento was a bit of a straightforward affair making good use of what was left in the fridge!
Plenty of steamed later mixed with Japanese cucumber pickles.
Boiled Shrimps and smoked salmon dipped in lemon juice with scrambled eggs, Italian parsley, pickled baby melons and black olives.
Salad, very simple too: Green leaves, boiled broccoli, processed cheese, Ameera Gibbins sweet mini tomatoes and honeypreserved dates for dessert.
What is the Missus cooking tonight, especially after the little earthquake we had?
May 19th, 2009
After Yesterday’s traditional Japanese bento, the Missus prepared an “open sandwich bento” more reminiscent of European/American packed lunches!
As she is away on a vacation today she did not need to prepare food for both of us.
She toatsed some bread and proceeded to rummage through the refrigerator:
Smoked salmon with capers and black olives.
Japanese-style scrambled eggs with Italian parsley from our verandah for a finishing touch.
Sweet plum tomato.
Dip sauce for the vegetables.
Smoked pepper ham and cornichons.
Cucumber and celery sticks for the dipping sauce (or is this the other way round?LOL)
Honey-pickled dates for dessert.
May 18th, 2009
Today’s bento was probably the most “traditional” the Missus prepared this year. It is very reminiscent of high school students can expect from their mothers.
The rice part is a double-decker. That is soy sauce will be brushed on a first layer of plain steamed rice and covered with dry seaweed. The operation is repeated to form the two-tier rice dish.
As for the garnish the Missus made small “sandwiches” with slices of zucchini intersped with a chicken paste she made with minced chicken, a lttle sake and what else before rolling them in cornstarch and frying them. Served with lettuce and fresh cress, it made for the vegetable part.
As for the “salad” part, she included mimosa-style boiled egg halves, “yama imo/taro roots” (raw) salad with two kinds of sesame seeds, pickled Japanese gourd and pickled Japanese cherry blossom, and a plum tomato for dessert.
Not as big as usual, but I have to lose weight!LOL
May 11th, 2009
Today’s bento was a simple affair or quick fix: Open Muffin Sandwiches.
The Muffins were “English” made in Japan. They had been toatsed for consistency.
As for the filling: lettuce almost everywhere, potato and green peas salad, home-made chicken ham with British chutney, French pickles, black olives, mini tomatoes, and dark cherries (imported)
Was still a bit hungry after that!
May 1st, 2009
Today’s bento was “Catch the Train Bento”!
I have to take the train to go and teach at University on Friday afternoons. Usually the Missus makes sandwiches for my trip. But she had forgotten to buy bread! Therefore I ended up with a classic trip bento!
She steamed the rice with large fresh green peas to make big musubi/rice balls.
As for the accompaniment, she improvised with was left inthe refrigerator:
Lettuce, mini tomatoes, French pickles, tamagoyaki containing finely chopped thin leeks, fried eringi mushrooms, boiled sweet peas intheir pods, and fried bacon and white asparagus rolls.
A quick fix, maybe, but a pretty satisfying bento!
April 30th, 2009
Yesterday was a National Holiday in Japan, and we took the pportunity to share dinner at Lojol‘s place. We certainly ate (and drank) a lot as usual.
As the Missus was busy today, she prepared me a healthy lunch box to help my body ease up a bit!
The main dish was very Japanese in concept: “Chirashizushi/Decoration Sushi”:
The rice had been steamed with a piece of konbu/seaweed and later mixed with dickled Japanese cucumber and daikon as well as with “Tobikko/Flying Fish roe”.
She then placed lemon juice-seasoned smoked salmon, boiled shrimps, square cut tamagoyaki, sliced black olives, Italian parsely from the verandah and home-made wasabi pickles.
As for the salad: on a bed of shredded veg, cut mini tomatoes, boiled white asparaguses, lettuce, lemon and shredded cheese on which I poured dressing kept in the fridge at work!
Very healthy indeed, but quite a lot in fact!
April 28th, 2009
I had a little argument with the Missus this morning when she refused to tell me what was included in one of the nigiri/rice balls.
-Secret! In any case, you should be able to find out when you eat it!
-Kudaranai!/Silly answer!, I replied.
-I’m silly! Fine, you can make your own bento next time!
-No problem!, I replied knowing fully well this was the best way to provoke her into making the next one. LOL
The main part consisted of three nigiri: one containing seaweed, the second one umeboshi/pckled Japanese plum and pickled cherry blossom, the last one takuan/pickled daikon.
The Missus had included a small pack of nori/dry seaweed.
This way, the nori would be dry and crispy when eaten. The idea is either to wrap around the nigiri, or just hold it as a “sandwich”.
As for the garnish, the Missus prepared a small salad of lightly fried pimento and goya, mini chicken patties from last night dinner, tomato, lettuce and French pickles.
As for the salad I got Japanese-style mimosa eggs on a bed of greens and Shizuoka “Beni Hoppe/red cheeks” strawberies for dessert.
Don’t to have another argument! LOL
April 27th, 2009
This morning The Missus said that I ate too much rice for my comfort, meaning it was fattening me!
Therefore she declared that I was going to have sandwich Bento today!
Actually, I’m pretty sure that bread contains more calories than rice!
The sandwich was double-decker with three slices of bread.
Fairly simple in concept (and probably healthier!), it was laid with a very thin omelette on the first deck, then cheese (toasted), ham (seasoned with mustard) and lettuce for the second deck.
The Salad dish was pretty voluminous:
Bed of cress.
French pickled cucumbers and onions,.
Oranges and strawberries for dessert.
Quite big in the end! LOL
My good friend Elin nicely asked me to include some pictures of flowers as it is Spring in Japan:
That flowering tree is a Dogwood Tree or Hanamizukira in Japanese!
April 25th, 2009
Saturday is definitely not a “bento day”, but with the storm announced for the whole day by the weather forecast, we decided it would be more practical for both of us instead of having to travel inside stuffy slow buses!
The Missus kept things simple:
She already had ready to fry thin pork slices in the fridge.
She placed them on a bed of teamed rice first overlaid with finely chopped greens. She had seasoned the pork with bbq sauce and sprinl\kled them with white sesame. She added “takuan”/yellow pickled daikon and home-made wasabi flowers and stem pickles.
The side dish was fairly simple, too:
Plenty of “kawaire daikon” for vitamin C, mini tomatoes, simmered black beans and tamagoyaki.
My good friend Elin nicely asked me to include some pictures of flowers as it is Spring in Japan:
Last Cherry blossoms in Shizuoka City!
April 22nd, 2009
Wednesday is usually not a “bento day”, but since I will be very busy this afternoon conducting a video interview of a local sake brewery, I simply will have no time to go back home for lunch.
The Missus this time came up with her own “classic”, pasta salad bento:
Boiled, drained and cooled spaghetti to which she added some dressing before laying them inside the box. She then sprinkled them with a little grated parmegiano cheese.
She added smoked salmon, pink pepper, Italian parsley from our verandah, boiled slice, Sliced plum tomato, boiled broccoli, Some cut cucumber, French flageolet green beans, French pickles, small herbes and lettuce. As for dessert, oranges from her family’s garden.
My good friend Elin nicely asked me to include some pictures of flowers as it is Spring in Japan:
Cherry Blossoms in Shizuoka City.
Plum Trees in Atami City.
Shizuoka is also famous for its ornages!
This picture was taken from Miho, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoak City, a place which is considered as “one of the best three Mount Fuji Viewspots in Japan”!
April 21st, 2009
For today’s lunch box, the Missus decided to make it very “traditional”!
Even the lunch box was tradional lacquerware!
The three-coloured style bento is a classic here:
The green colour is achieved with boiled flat ingenmame/green string beans cut at a slant and small enough to form a “bed of green”.
The yellow part is iri-tamago, a form of sweet Japanese scrambled eggs.
As for the brown part, it is made up of tori-soboro. Minced chicken was first seasoned, including black sesame seeds, and then fried as to form small “clumps” and then laid on top of the rice, which had been steamed with a seasoning (the Missus wouldn’t tell me what!)
As for the salad, the Missus made a bed of mixed herbs and added cut cucumber, Ameera Rubbins mini tomatoes, corn, boiled broccoli, boiled shrimps and French pickled cucumbers and mini onions.
I might ask for that again soon!
April 2oth, 2009
The Missus has this peculiar habit of teasing me (very) early in the morning by asking me:
-How would you like your rice for your bento today?
-You should have answered at once, since you know I was going to cook rice since last night!
Then, as I was finishing my coffee:
-How big do you want it?
-Just the usual!
I should have known better, because she did come with a big one!
She steamed the rice with shredded carrots and served it with black sesame seeds and some home-made sweet ginger pickles.
She has just bought a new large tamagoyaki fry pan, so I know she will cook my favourite bento item for some time. A couple of Shizuoka-grown mini-tomatoes were added.
Then she came up with deep-fried renkon/lotus roots, Chicken sasami/breast fillets deep-fried with shiso/perilla leaves dry seaweed.. Some lettuce and lemon finished the lot.
As for the salad (-eat it before the rice!, she ordered):
On lettuce leaves, cucumber, boiled brocoli, Japanese processed cheees, walnuts and strawberries!
April 16th, 2009
Today Missus was still recovering from a bad fit of viral flu and it was her day-off from work. Moreover I was having a busy day. We agreed that a lunch box was on order, the more for it that it would become part of the Missus’ lunc, too!
I hadn’t been eating much for the last three day, so she made quite a big bento!
The “main dish” consisted of some of my favourites: Deep-fried garlic chicken (thigh parts off the bone) and tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette with boild brocoli, lettuce and home-stewed sweet blak beans.
The steamed rice had been mixed with “hijiki/sweet seawedd” after cooking and sprinkled with plenty of white sesame seeds. The Missus added some pickled ginger as well.
As for the salad, on a bed of chopped veg, canned beans, mini tomatoes, fresh cress and boiled pois gourmands/green peas in their pod.
It did take me some time to eat it all, but who am I to complain! LOL
April 13th, 2009
Today’s bento was “small” and could become a good suggestion for a small appetite!
The reason? The last few days I overate and overdrank myself and had been physically and mentally (that happens) very busy. When I woke up 5:30 the body just screamed a loud and painful “NO!”. This is a very rare occurrence and I will spare you form the details!
Only two (fairly big) nigiri/rice balls of freshly steamed rice and shopped fresh ginger covered with white sesame seeds.
Very tasty, actually!
The very simple salad consisted of my comfort food, tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette, Mini tomatoes, pois gourmands/wholly edible green peas, cress and pepper ham on a bed of chopped veg.
Large enough, I can guarantee you!
April 7th, 2009
Yesterday’s bento was a simple sandwich pack as I wa too busy to eat a proper bento in tranquility.
Today’s lunch was definitely of the traditional kind:
I’ll talk about the rice later.
The meat are thin slices of pork oven-cooked in sauce and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. The sauce was typical Japanese soy based and spicy.
The “greens” you can see in the left bottom corner are actually wasabi pickles.
I bought some fresh wasabi leaves and flowers last night and the Missus pickled them immediately. They have a nice hot spicy taste, but not as strong as the root. Scooped little by little with rice,they are simply succulent.
The vegetables were cooked in the oven (3 minutes): renkon (lotus roots, which are just in season), shiitake, three color pimentoes.
The salad is a potato-pepper ham-cucumber-capers combination with a lettuce leaf.
The rice was “shooga maze gohan”/rice steamed with shredded fresh ginger (which are just appearing on the markets!) and later mixed with white sesame seeds. I must admit it is particulary delicious, and I often request it in season!
The extra salad consisted of smoked salmon on a bed of shredded veg and some fresh cress.
No dessert… oh well, the Missus has started that habit of fondling my love handles!
March 31st, 2009
Today saw a rare occurence in that the Missus prepared a double bento for me!
Let me explain: As I have to submit to a camera scan of my stomach (you know, those long thin things they force through your gullet!) I’m not allowed to eat anything after 9:00 p.m.
As I usually have dinner at around 9:30 due to late work hours, the Missus included a small “6:00 p.m. dinner” (I can’t really call it a lunch box! LOL).
Lunch was served in that interesting box with a bamboo lid I have described before:
Three different “o-nigiri/rice balls”, one with an umeboshi/pickled Japanese plums, another one with Japanese cucumber (both wrapped in fresh shiso/perilla leaves) and the third one with fried “shirasu/Sardine whitebait”.
Two kinds of deep-fried chicken fillets cuts were provided with some lettuce. One kind was fried with white sesame seeds, the other with bits of shiso/perilla leaves.
The tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette came in a cylindrical shape instead of the usual rectangular one. This done is done by “rolling” it into a sushi roll bamboo sheet just after it has been cooked and kept pressed inside until it has completely cooled down.
As for dinner I was provided with potato and ham salad to which the Missus added plum tomatoes, cut processed cheese, walnuts, sweet peas in their pod and more lettuce!
I’ll be hungry tonight!
March 30th, 2009
The Missus did not want to take a picture of today’s bento because, as in her own words, it looked too “brown”.
I ignored her protests because bentoes are simply looking brown sometimes,e specially when you include deep-fired items.
She deep-fired first soft pork strips after dipping thme into a sauce mix of hers and breadcrumbs, and then slices of renkon/fresh and peeled lotus roots in exactly the same way.
As for the rice it was plain steamed rice with which she later mixed chopped Japanese pivkled cucumbers.
A boiled eggs, plum tomatoes, lettuce and shredded veg completed the lunch.
For more salad and dessert, shredded veg, “tankan” oranges from Yakushima island and walnuts!
Simple, tatsy and very satisfying!
March 24th, 2009
I will talk about the rice later.
The boiled egg appeared as “mimosa egg” this time. Some lettuce, “ameera rubbins” tomatoes (sweet and small, only grown in our Prefecture) and some shredded “takuan”/yellow pickled daikon.
The pinky things are “Chikuwa/Fish paste steamed around a stick to give them their tube shape”.
These particular ones are called “Sakura Chikuwa” because of their pink colour.
The Missus pushed some cut cucumber into two four cut pieces of them. As for the other two she pushed in a combination of shiso leaves, cucumber stick and “umeboshi/pickled Japanese plum” flesh. Similar to some sushi maki!
Now for the rice.
The Missus steamed the rice with a little dash of dashi stock, soy sauce and sake. She placed the contents of a tin of smoked oysters in oil on top before closing the lid and steaming the whole. Once ready, she mixed the contents inside the pan while they were hot (important!). She later added boiled broad beans/”sora mame”, Chinese pickled veg and black seame seeds.
As for the salad (to which I added dressing stored at work): on a bed of shredded veg, cheese, salad beans and more cut veg.
Took a big bottle of liquid yogurt for dessert.
Might as well as have an argument every Sunday evening!
March 23rd, 2009
Today’s bento had a little “history” behind it.
To tell the truth, the Missus had gone to bed in a real bad temper the night before (why? Don’t ask me,…). So, Missus or not, I still need my bento (mind you, I could always buy it, but that would make things even worse!). So I cooked the rice myself. That seemed to appease the Missus (after all, if a man starts cooking, a Japanese wife feels pretty useless,…), and when I realized I hadn’t put enough water and came up with rice a bit too hard, she took over.
-“Don’t worry, I’ll fix it. I’ll make Oomuraisu/Omellette Rice!”
I’m not one to argue in such moments!
As for the garnish, she put some salad I had made the night before consisting of cut avocado, mango and pieces of broad beans (boiled) with a mixture of mayonnaise, Thai spicy sweet sauce, basil, parsley and Italian parsley on small leaves of chickory/endive. She added home-made chicken ham (chicken breast first boiled, then marinated overnight) with English chutney pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and walnuts.
She fried the rice with some bits of chicken ham, veg, ketchup and spice before envelopping it into a thin omelette!
With yogurt for dessert, it made for a big hearty meal!
March 18th, 2009
Today Wednesday is not a usual “Bento Day”, but sudden commitments making it impossible to come home for lunch, I asked the Missus to prepare a bento. She did not seem to mind and actually appeared content to enjoy a day (morning) in tranquility!
Becsue the rice was plain steamed rice, she fried plenty of thin soft pork slices in sauce and added some boiled and cut salad green pea pods.
As for the garnish, on top of a bed of shredded vegetables (you cannot really see them), she placed cornichons, large plum tomatoes, boiled broccoli, tamagoyaki and Na no Hana/Rape flowers and boiled shirasu salad sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
“Shirasu” is a local Shizuoka fish, a kind of sardine consumed vey young.
Today’ tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette contained shredded cheese and parsley!
In place of dessert (I still have Yakushima oranges at the office!) she included some “mozuku-su/もずく酢”, seaweed preserved in sweet vinegar for a healthy additive!
A healthy, fullfilling bento!
After that long trip in Yakushima ( 2 more postings to come!), the Missus concocted a “simple” traditional bento keeping the calories in mind!
Therefore the three nigiri/rice balls were of medium size, one with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum and a little black sesame, and two with fried salted salmon. She added a few cornichons.
As for the “garnish”, she included boiled brocoli, fresh pimento, a plum tomato, and her excellent Tamagoyaki/Japanese Omelette. She had added sweet pork miso to the eggs, thus creating a new and interesting taste.
No need for dessert!
March 2nd, 2009
Today’s bento could have been called “leftovers bento”!
And for once I did participate to its making, unwittingly I must admit!
First the rice part consisted of rice steamed with curry powder, spices and a little olive oil. The Missus mixed it with some of the fine ratatouille salad I had made for last night dinner! Quite tasty, I must admit! LOL
As for the garnish, she provided me with a boiled egg, plum tomato, cornichons, trevise, lettuce, and water cress.
The meat part was a bit of an innovation. The Missus thawed pieces of frozen tuna, seasoned them a little first, then fried them on one side, turned them over and while they cooked she placed cheese on one and spiced veg tomato sauce on another one. Once cooked they formed an interesting “sandwich”!
No dessert this time. I expect a big dinner back home tonight! LOL
February 25th, 2009
Three bento in a row! Some people are going to get fed up with reading these articles! LOL
The reason was that we saw heavy rainfor the third day, and I did not feel like having to come back home and travel back to work four times in one of those rancid-smelling buses!
Just to tell you how inclement the weather is, I actually ran out of umbrellas at home and had found myself carrying no less than three of them back home fromthe office last night!
So I put the poor Missus at work. Actually I suspect she was not so unhappy about that, what with being given an easier day at home before going to work in the afternoon!
She checked what was in the fridge this morning and came up with a real sandwich bento (yesterday’s was an open-style one!). The meal still qualified as a packed lunch as the sandwich was wrapped into sandwich paper and a box of salad was added. LOL
She came up with this hearty double-decker fit for a big (I’m big only around the waist! ) man’s appetite (mind you, some youngsters might be left still hungry after that!):
On the first slice of toasted bread she lay some lettuce, then a thick layer of avocado salad paste she made when she discovered the one left in the fridge. She added some small shrimps (found frozen in the fridge) she had fried beforehand. On the second layer more avocado paste with sliced boiled egg and black olives.
She closed the lot with one more slice of bread toasted with cheese (the other two slices had been toasted as they were).
As for the salad box, boiled broccoli and plum tomatoes on a bed of Trevise lettuce.
I’m not going to complain!
February 24th, 2009
Yesterday’s bento having been a solid one, the Missus kept the calories in mind when she prepared today’s bento this morning while I was having my morning (Japanese) bath!
The bread had been bought at the local supermarket (soft English style with “seeds” ) and toasted.
As for the main dish:
Beans and corn salad like yesterday.
Boiled broccoli, plum tomatoes and lettuce (hand-broken).
Home-made chciken ham slices, a specialty of the Missus) with English sweet pickles.
Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette. Since the Missus made the make to say she wanted to experiment, I ask for it every time!
For dessert, a mixture of fresh strawberries, kiwi and mini banana.
Still got full!LOL
February, 23rd, 2009
Today’s lunch box was devised for a big appetite!
Just in case you make a mistake, the banana featured in the picture is a mini banana from Ecuador, not a full-sized one!
As for the rice part, the Missus first made fairly large nigiri/rice balls with steamed rice mixed with Japanese cucumber pickles and black sesame seeds. She them wrapped them into thin pork slices, brushed the pork with a tare/sauce she had prepared beforehand and fried the the balls whole. She let them cool down before wrapping them in a shiso/perilla leaf. She provided me with some French pickles for the final touch.
I needed a fork to eat the salad as chopsticks would have taken a bit too long (or was it planned?): on a bed of finely chopped vegetables (mainly cabbage) she placed boiled broccoli (flowers and stems), lettuce (hand-broken, not cut) beans and corn mix, Ameera Rubbins mini tomatoes (very sweet, grown exclusively in Shizuoka), a half half-boiled egg sprinkled with black sesame and black olives. Made for some appetizing colours, I must admit!
A very satisfying bento, I agree!
February 17th, 2009
With temperatures falling back to normal in somewhat (comparatively) cold weather, The Missus kept to the classic kind of bento this morning.
The staple part was rice steamed with beans (including the beans juice/soup) and hijiki/sweet seaweed, to which she added fried “shiozake/salmon preserved in salt and Chinese pickles.
As for the accompaniment, it was mixture of European and Asian fare:
From left to right: Aubergines/egg plants and pimento fried in Chinese spicy sauce with white sesame seeds, “tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette containing cheese and tobikko/flying fish roe (quite tasty!), small fried spicy chorizo sausages, mini tomatoes, boiled Romanesco broccoli and cress (all vegetables grown in Shizuoka).
A hearty and tasty lunch (I will have to an official compliment one day! LOL)
February 10th, 2009
Today’s bento was definitely on the classic side!
Four big nigiri/rice balls, two them mixed with chopped Japanese-style oickles, the other two for once wrapped inside a band of nori/dry seaweed comtainig each a sweet-style umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum.
Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette, chicken dango/meat balls (explained later), cress and mini-tomatoes and home-made pickled daikon.
As for the chicken meatballs, they came in two varieties:
-minced chicken mixed with salt, pepper, spices, Japanese sake and chopped leeks, the whole rolled into black sesame seeds.
-Minced chicken mixed salt, pepper, different spices, Japanese sake, the whole rolled in chopped raw wantan skins.
Both times were then rolled into cornstarch and deep-fried.
As for the salad, it included two kinds of broccoli:
That picture is for Corre who lives in Japan, but does not believe such vegetables are grown in Japan! LOL.
Green Romanesco Broccoli and Violet Broccoli, which turn blue upon being boiled!
On a bed of chopped greens.
Quite a big bento, actually!
February 9th, 2009
The Missus might have got wind of (I’m sure she hasn’t, LOL) my proposal to Foodbuzz for a Budget Lunch idea as today’s bento was definitely on the budget line!
Both of us had got up late, and the Missus was not in the mood to make anything elaborate. I just told her that sandwiches would be fine.
I’m not one to complain, what with my bulging waist!
Mind you, when I opened the sandwich package, I noticed that my (?) half had added a little twist. She devised the sandwich as a “double-decker” with three pieces of toasted bread.
The first deck consisted of a layer of guacomole-style avocado paste with tobikko/flying fish roe, lettuce, and plenty of smoked salmon.
The second deck was filled with egg salad. It made for a hearty sandwich.
As for my dose of Vitamin C, I was served the usual bed of chopped greens with boiled violet broccoli (grown in Shizuoka), small pieces of violet lettuce (same grower as for the broccoli), cress, mini-tomatoes, and strawberries for dessert.
I was still hungry past 5 p.m. Oh, well…
February 3rd, 2009
Today’s Bento could called “traditional” or “claasic”. At least in its concept and presentation, but with a little twist!
The rice is concealed by a topping made of Japanese-style scrambled eggs and a fried mixture of minced chicken and tofu (combined as a paste first, then fried). On the left, a trio of accompaniments: renkon (lotus roots) and tea-smoked chicken ham (bottom), home-made daikon pickles (one plain, the other marinated in umezu/Japanese plum vinegar-middle), and stewed soy bean salad by the Missus’ mother.
The rice dish and the garnish are divided with a line of broiled broccoli.
The little twist was the Missus steamed the rice with green tea powder. If you want to try it (very tasty), sprinkle the rice (in water) with plenty of green tea powder before steaming. Mix the lot only once the rice is properly cooked.
As for the salad, simple affair: On a bed of shredded greens more greens, walnuts and Shizuoka-grown strawberries for dessert1
Had a little problem standing up after that!
February 2nd, 2009
The days are still (relatively at 11 degrees!) cold in Shizuoka City, and the Missus thought of providing me with the right kind of needed calories.
Therefore, I was offered 4 fairly large “nigiri/rice balls” containing “hijiki/sweet seaweed” topped with “soft” umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums, the whole wrapped into “shiso/perilla” leaves.
The plain “tamagoyaki/Japanese Omlelette” arrangement drew my attention as she alternated them upwards and sideways.
My compliment only drew a hiding (-“I always present them so!”-“Sorry, girl! I was too hungry to notice it before!”) from my (?) half. LOL
As for the “accompaniment”, I was served, on a bed of chopped greens, home-made “chicken ham” later smoked with tea leaves. I refrained from complimenting as I had my dose of hiding for the day. Then some lettuce (not cut, but hand-shred), cornichons, plum tomatoes and fruit for dessert: Shizuoka-grown orange, golden kiwi and strawberries.
If I can’t compliment, I can’t complain, either! LOL
January 27th, 2009
For once, my Tuesday’s Sandwich Bento featured a real sandwich!
The Missus had baked new bread last night. She toasted two slices of them and inserted in between lettuce, fried slices of tuna she had covered with deep-fry powder mix and cornstarch seasoned with pepper and a little salt, and two slices of “renkon/lotus roots” she had fried to a crisp.
Afairly big sandwich that took me some time to finish!
The “salad” had enough vitamin C and iron to lastme a week:
on a bed of shredded greens, a half egg, brocoli, mini tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cheese, olives, and orange (i must have missed somthing!) on which I poured dressing from the fridge!
Incidentally I keep not only chopsticks at work, but also a fork, spoon and a knife! LOL
January 26th, 2009
The weather has unseasonably cold these in Shizuoka. The water outside even froze outside during the night, in a region where it prctically never snows!
The Missus felt I was in the need for a few more body-warming calories!
Consequently she prepared no less than five “nigiri/rice balls”, three containing fried salmon and two mixed with “takuan/pickled daikon” and black sesame. She wrapped each in a large “shiso/perilla” leaf and added some pickled wasabi stems.
As for the “main dish”, she made some fresh “tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette”, fried a few “ika shumai/cutttle fish dumpling” over small lettuce leaves, boild brocli and Brussels sprouts (to which I added dressing at work), Home-made shredded daikon and carrots sweet pickles and a few mini-tomatoes.
Mind you, I still felt hungry in late afternoon!
January, 20th, 2009
Today was Tuesday, the day after Monday, both days when I can expect a bento by the Missus!
She had quite a battle this morning as things seem to drop or fly all the time!
Now, for the main dish, she steamed rice with hijiki/sweet seaweed and Kyo-ninjin/Kyoto-style deep red carrot and a couple of secrets she would not reveal.
She prepared tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette and chicken balls she fried with a seet and sour sauce containing thinly sliced kinkan/kumquats (in season right now/which reminds me I marinated some in vodka last year!) and served with black sesame. Plenty of lettuce and boiled Brussels sprouts.
As for the salad and dessert she included some yellow and violet yams/sweet potatoes salad, a plum tomato, boiled broccoli, shredded vegetables and cress, and finally a couple of “kinkan amani” (“kinkan” for kumquat, “ama” for sweet, “ni” for simmer) prepared by Lojol‘s wife!
Before I left she enquired if I was going to drink tonight (I didn’t last night). When I asked why, she replied she would have to take it in account before preparing dinner.
January 19th, 2009
The Missus has decided to expand here bento repertoire and to experiment with design and ingredients!
She devised two types of “nigiri/rice balls”:
Two were wrapped in a thin ham with a pair of mini-asparaguses. I ate them wrapped again inside lettuce provided together in the box.
As for the rice, it had been mixed withn white sesame.
The other two “sandwiched” a slice of seasoned smoked salmon and were wrapped again between two chickory/endive leaves and topped with cresson and capers.
I was provided with some cornichons and yam/sweet potato (yellow and violet) salad with black sesame in lieu of dessrt.
As for the salad dish, it contained a boiled half egg, boiled Brussels sprouts, brocoli and broad beans, cut plum tomatoes on a bed of shredded vegetables, to which I added dressing I keep in the fridge at work!
January 13th, 2009
Yesterday was a National Holiday in Japan, and instead of going to work with a bento, I ended up eating and drinking too much with the Missus at a friend’s home!
I requested for a light bento and was offered the following:
Vegetable quiche leftovers (I cooked it myself yesterday). and plenty o vegetables including yellow cauliflower locally grown, lettuce (local,too), midi tomatoes, cornichons and walnuts.
And the last (toasted) slice of home-baked bread (containing walnuts)!
Simple and ample!
January 6th, 2009
Yesterday’s bento did not qualify as this year’s first as the Missus refused to let me take a picture of the sandwich she had made!
Today, she came back with a vengeance, concocting a lunch fit for a man’s (or big teenager’s) solid appetite!
She also used a wooden box with a bamboo “curtain” lid for the “maki”/rolls.
I can already hear Rick moaning at the look of those rolls! LOL
The rolls were wrapped in lettuce instead of “nori”/dry seaweed.
The “shari”/sushi rice was mixed with “tobikko”/flying fish roe.
The filling consisted of smoked slamon and Japanese processed cheese with capers for decoration. These rolls were definitely American-sized!
As for the accompaniment the Missus worked hard (she actually threw me out of the kitchen!):
Boiled egg seasoned by leaving it overnight in the coca cola sauce of simmered pork she had made the day before, boiled Brussels sprouts, black olives, cornichons, carrot sticks, chickory/endive leaves, celery sticks (with leaves), Ameera Rubbins tomatoes (as sweet as strawberries!), and mayonnaise/black olives dip.
For dessert, winter mandarine (“mikan”) from her family’s garden!
Pretty full for the whole day, I can guarantee you!