Bento no. 2: Chicken and vegetable donburi-style bento

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Bento Contents:

  • Brown rice (1 cup, 220 calories)
  • Chicken and vegetable stir-fry (250 calories)
  • Glazed baby carrots (50 calories)

Total calories (approx.): 520 calories (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 15-20 minutes

Type: Japanese continue reading...

Johbisai or Joubisai: Building up a bento making 'stash'

Anyone who does any kind of art or craft work is familiar with the concept of a stash. A knitter for example has a stash of different kinds of yarn. This really helps to get the creative juices flowing. In bento making terms, the equivalent of a stash is joubisai (or johbisai) (常備菜). Literally this means ‘always available food’. They are stored foods that can be kept for a while, which can be pulled out and used on short notice, and enrich and streamline the bento making process. continue reading...

How bento lunches helped me lose 30+ lbs (so far)

When I got married to a Swiss guy more than a decade or so ago, one of his friends in Germany sent him a letter congratulating him for ‘catching a beautiful Asian gazelle’. The Swiss guy told me this while rolling on the floor laughing, where I kicked him hard. Ah, the point is not that I’m a spouse abuser, but that I’m nowhere near being gracefully gazelle-like. Going against the stereotype of the skinny Asian chick, I’ve always been on the round and cute side rather than sylph like.

This has bothered me of course off and on over the years, but I’ve never been good at sticking to any kind of diet. I just love to eat tasty food too much, and I also love to cook. This is where bento lunches come in. continue reading...

Bento no. 1: A basic bento in 20 minutes

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Bento contents:

  • Brown rice (1 cup, 220 calories)
  • Atsuage tofu (deep fried tofu) with green onions and oyster sauce (250 calories)
  • Quail egg (30 calories)
  • Blanched carrots and green beans (40 calories)
  • Black sesame seeds (5 calories)

Total calories (approx): 545 calories (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 20 minutes

Type: Japanese continue reading...

Essential equipment and supplies for making bento lunches

Bento lunches need to be assembled in the morning to taste as good as they can at lunch time. I aim to make any bento lunch in 20 minutes or less. On occasion I may go to 30 minutes, but that’s as much time as I can realistically spend. I find all of the things listed here to be very useful. continue reading...

Welcome to Just Bento

For a long time, I've been mulling over the subject of bento. Since Just Hungry is dedicated in large part to Japanese cooking, there are quite a few entries there of interest to bento fans, but I really wanted to make a site that was only about bento making, from my point of view. So, about 2 years after I first registered the domain and long hours of procrastination - I present to you Just Bento.

Selecting the right bento lunch box

How to select the right bento lunch box for you. continue reading...

Bento Basics

The basics of bento, and the type of bento you’ll see mostly here. continue reading...