Homemade furikake no. 2: Carrot and sesame seeds

fukake2_carrotsesame450.jpg

Carrots are a staple of just about everyone’s fridge I think. They are really good for you, but it can be rather hard to find different ways of eating them. This sweet, savory and spicy furikake uses up whole carrots as well as bits of carrot left over from other uses. Plenty of sesame seeds are added for flavor and texture - and they’re not bad for you either. The warm, brown-orange color perks up a dull looking bento, especially on white rice. continue reading...

Bento no. 7: A mostly make-ahead bento with fall vegetables and tamagoyaki

bento_7_450.jpg

Bento contents:

  • 1 1/2 cups (370ml) sweet potato rice (300 cal)
  • Braised spicy daikon radish and carrot (50 cal)
  • Japanese-style omelette (tamagoyaki) with green onions (120 cal)
  • Stewed dried shiitake mushrooms (5 cal)
  • Broccoli florets with wasabi sauce (5 cal)

Total calories (approx): 480 cal (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 30 minutes total (20 the night before, 10 in the morning)

Type: Japanese, no meat (egg) continue reading...

Bento no. 6: Assemble-your-own pita bread sandwich bento

bento_6_450.jpg

Bento contents:

  • 2 small pita breads (or use one regular size) (150cal)
  • 3 black bean vegan burgers (150cal)
  • Fruit salad containing 1/2 small apple and 1/2 small pear (120cal)
  • 1 container low-fat yogurt (60 cal)
  • Mixed salad - lettuce, carrots, red pepper, tomato (20 cal)
  • 1 tablespoon homemade preserves (about 50 cal)
  • Tzatziki salt

Total calories (approx): 550 cal (how calories are calculated)

Type: Sort of Middle-Eastern, bread based continue reading...

Bento no. 5: Black bean burger and mushroom rice vegan bento

bento_5_450.jpg

Bento contents:

  • Vegan mushroom rice, with 1 cup white rice (190 calories)
  • Black bean mini burgers with tomato sauce (250 calories)
  • Instant radish pickles (5 calories)
  • Blanched spinach (20 calories)

Total calories (approx.) 465 calories (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 30 minutes total (20 the night before, 10 in the morning)

Type: Japanese vegan continue reading...

Popular types of homemade bento, with example sites and books

As I touched upon briefly in Bento Basics, there are different kinds of bento box meals, and this site is primarily concerned with bento lunch boxes. Even these come in different varieties.

There are three main types of homemade bento lunches that are popular in Japan at the moment. Here I’ll try to describe them, with example blogs and books from Japan. continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 1: Radish leaves, bonito flakes and tiny shrimp

fukake1_radishkatsuoebi_450.jpg

If you’ve been exploring the aisles of a Japanese grocery store or looking at bento recipes, you’ve probably encountered furikake already. Commercial furikake usually comes in small foil packets or glass jars, in all kinds of salty flavors. Furikake is a dry or semi-dry condiment that is sprinkled on, or mixed into, rice. David Rosengarten, ex-Food Network host and gourmet food expert, declares it to be a miracle in a jar. continue reading...

Prepping for the upcoming week's bento making on the weekend

jug of soaking kombu During the week I often get so rushed and busy with everyday life that I barely have time to stop and think about anything, including making bento lunches. So I try to do a little prepping over the weekend, when I have some extra time. I’m not really talking about spending hours in the kitchen, but easy things that can be done either in a few minutes, or unattended while I do the laundry or just take a long nap. continue reading...

Site news: Cross site search

A little site news: I’ve added a new search function to the site that will search both Just Hungry and Just Bento for your convenience. It’s using Google Custom Search, which is a very easy way of setting up multi-site searches. continue reading...