Bento no. 36: Spring vegetable bento with jumping fish


Bento contents:

  • 1 cup (1 cup = 220ml) bamboo shoot rice made with sprouted brown rice, 200 cal
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, bamboo shoot and snow pea stir-fry, 70 cal
  • 1 wiener cut into fish, 150 cal

Total calories (approx): 420 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 10 minutes in the morning

Type: Japanese, omnivore (wieners!)

This is a quick-assembly bento (about 10 minutes in the morning) that consists mainly of seasonal vegetables. I did use a wiener sausage for the protein part because I was running low on other protein ingredients, but it’s just one so I don’t feel too bad about it, especially since the rest of the bento is so healthy! I cut the wiener into little fish, and arranged them so they look as they they are swimming upstream. I’ve described the wiener fish here - the tutorial (in Japanese, but with very clear photos) is on this page. You could of course just cut up the sausage into diagonal slices - but the fish are more fun! One sausage yields 4 fish. To keep the bento all-vegan, substitute some veggie franks, fried tofu or other vegetable protein.

The main ideas to take away from this bento

  • Use vegetables in season as much as possible. Here I have used bamboo shoot, snow peas (mangetout) and asparagus. I know you can get snow peas shipped in year-round these days, but they are really in season in the spring. Featuring seasonal vegetables in your bento is a great way to get out of a same-old-bento rut, which I think we all get into sometimes.
  • Mixing in a low calorie, high fiber vegetable with rice lowers the calorie count while adding flavor and texture. Bamboo shoots have almost no calories. You can use carrots, broccoli stalks, and so on instead.

The bamboo shoot rice recipe is here. The stir fry is made like the one on the same page, but without the bacon and with a couple of asparagus spears added.


The rice should be assembled and the timer set the night before - or just make it the night before and have some for dinner! If you can prep the snow peas at least the night before it would save you a lot of time in the morning. A couple of the snow peas are blanched briefly and used to decorate the top of the rice.


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did you use a sauce on the weiners? or did they just cook up that way?

Next time I have weiners in the house, I’m totally making carp out of them! :D

I just dry-sautéed them (no

I just dry-sautéed them (no oil added) in a nonstick frying pan - there’s enough oil and seasonings in the sausage itself. Letting it get a bit crispy makes it tastier.

I really want to try the

I really want to try the bamboo shoot rice, but I have to wait until after I move. (Cleaning out the fridge and freezer has reached critical importance, so I can’t buy much I don’t already have in the house.) Hopefully Uwajimaya will still have some bamboo shoots in a few weeks.

Usually those decorative sausages don’t look very appealing to me, but the fishes do….

at first glance, i thought you were making flying fish...

in honor of this video! I will try it…they are so cute!

Flying fish off the coast of Japan sets new record flight time of 45 seconds


cute fish

I Love those cute fishes!

cute fishies!

I’m so making this bento tomorrow!

made it!

I made it today! My fishies didn’t curl up as nicely as yours (probably due to being turkey dogs and I’m sure not in natural casings which tend to shrink). I tried the dry skillet sautee method and like that a lot. Good tip.

other than hot dog

Didn’t have any hot dogs when I wanted to make the fish so I found vienna sausages…. They looked very pretty, nice coloring, but tasted very bad. Unless you’ree already a van of vienna… don’t try. (perfect size tho…)

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