I really hate posting stuff like this...

…because let’s face it, it’s lame! But the reconstruction of the site is taking a lot longer than planned. But, it will be back as soon as possible - hopefully much improved! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the archives, such as the Keeping Your Bento Safe and Summer Bento Safety articles now that the weather is warmer in the northern hemisphere. In particular, please be careful about the safety of your proteins - not just meat, but vegetarian protains too like tofu. Be safe and healthy! And wish me luck to finally get this site reconstruction done… -_-

Rakuten Global free shipping offer, and monbento iPad giveaway

Two quick bits of news:

  • monbento is releasing a mobile app soon, and to commemorate they are giving away an iPad and 100 bento boxes.. No purchase necessary to enter.
  • Rakuten Global, the international part of the Japanese online shopping mall giant Rakuten, is holding a free global shipping campaign until May 17th. If you buy at least 10,000 yen worth of products from a participating merchant, up to 5,000 yen of your international shipping cost will be free (you’d pay for any extra shipping). This doesn’t just apply to bento box sellers of course so if you are a figure collector or a hobbyist or a Japanese fashion fan and so forth you could use this offer too. (I see one of my favorite craft supply stores there…) (Via @saraosenton - thanks Sara!) - this one is over now.

A beautiful Mother's Day bento

Mother's Day bento

My mother sent me photos of a gorgeous Mother’s Day bento my stepfather got for her (and for himself too of course!) yesterday. It’s from Hikagejaya, a restaurant in Hayama, a town near Kamakura in Kanagawa prefecture (where Yokohama, where my mom lives, is too). I’ve written about Hikagejaya previously; it’s one of my favorite restaurants in Japan, and their bentos are just wonderful. continue reading...

Technical note: The RSS feed and newsletter system has been switched to another service

A little technical note for people who read this site via Google Reader or another RSS reader, or subscribe to post updates via email:

I’ve switched over from Feedburner to another service called URI.LV. The reason I switched over is that Feedburner has kind of been neglected by Google (who owns the service) for a while now, and with their announcement that Google Reader is being shut down soon, it’s kind of logical to assume that Feedburner will fade away too.

  • If you are an email subscriber: You shouldn’t see much of a change at all, but there is a chance you may need to re-add the sender of the mail (thechef [at] justhungry [dot] com) to your address book if the emails end up in your spam folder.
  • If you are an RSS reader subscriber: You should not see any change at all. If you want to be doubly sure you’ll continue to receive updates, subscribe to this link and delete your Feedburner subscription.

(Incidentally, if you’re looking for a replacement for Google Reader and are Mac or iOS based, I’ve been using NetNewsWire for ever, even before there was a Google Reader. I highly recommend it. Otherwise if you’re looking for a web based solution Feedly looks pretty nice.)

This notice applies to both JustBento and JustHungry - it’s posted on both since not everyone subscribes to both. (AND WHY NOT??? (just kidding))

So that’s it for the techincal stuff. Going back to talking about food next time. ^_^

An article about bentos in JAL Skyward magazine

If you are on a Japan Airlines (JAL) international flight this month, I have a feature article in the May issue of Skyward, their in-flight magazine. It’s called Bento Love and is about the growing popularity of homemade bentos outside of Japan…a subject I have a bit of familiarity with ^_^ They don’t have an online readable version unfortunately, but if you do get to read it I’d love to hear from you. Here’s the link to their table on contents. continue reading...

My apologies to email subscribers...

We moved the site to a new server...and for some reason Feedburner (the service that sends emails of new posts) decided to send out the last 10 posts again one big email! It shouldn't happen again (fingers crossed). My apologies for clogging up your email box!

Oven-baked Spicy Asian Chicken Wings

Oven baked crispy teriyaki chicken wings

I love chicken wings, especially for bentos. They are small and much easier to pack than legs, and come with a readymade handle, especially the drumettes (the thickest part). So I try various recipes for them. Many of the tastiest ways of cooking chicken wings involve deep-frying. I don't know about you, but as much as I love fried chicken, especially karaage, I do not like deep frying too often.

This is an oven baked version that tastes very fried-chicken like, with a crispy finish that stays that way for a while even when cold. I've given them a spicy-savory-sweet flavor; the spice comes from gochujang, a miso-like Korean chili pepper paste that I have a serious crush on. (See my previous recipe using gochujang.) I'm calling them Asian since they have that kind of pan-Asian flavor that is so popular these days. They are of course, perfect for bentos. I'd suggest having some for dinner and setting aside some for bentos. You may have to hide the ones set aside from midnight fridge raiders though. continue reading...

Bento box spotlight: A real Pokeball bento box

pokeball-bento_0.jpg

There are plenty of Pokémon oriented bento things out there. Get da ze! continue reading...