eggs

Bento no. 39: The basics of how to fill a classic bento box

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Bento contents, 2-tier bento (580ml capacity):

  • 1 cup (1 cup=220ml) white rice, 240 cal
  • 1 small piece salted salmon, 50 cal
  • 1-egg tamagoyaki, 100 cal
  • Approx. 1/2 cup sweet pepper and onion confit, 40 calories
  • Blanched broccoli flowerets, 10 cal
  • Blanched snow peas (mangetout) 5 cal
  • Yukari (furikake made from umeboshi and red shiso leaves)

Total calories (approx): 445 (how calories are calculated)

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Bento contents, 1-tier bento (670ml capacity):

  • 1 cup (1 cup=220ml) white rice, 240 cal
  • 2 small pieces salted salmon, 100 cal
  • 1-egg tamagoyaki, 100 cal
  • Approx. 3/4 cup sweet pepper and onion confit, 60 calories
  • Blanched broccoli flowerets, 10 cal
  • Blanched snow peas (mangetout) 5 cal
  • Yukari (furikake made from umeboshi and red shiso leaves)

Total calories (approx): 515 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed for both: 10-20 minutes in the morning (depending on your assembly speed and neatness factor)

Type: Japanese, omnivore (salmon, egg)

This is a fairly standard, classic Japanese style bento. I make this type of bento far more than any other. I’ve already given instructions on how to make the individual pieces, but I thought it might be useful to see step-by-step how to pack a bento box properly, with an eye to the following:

  • Presentation and attractiveness
  • Calorie content
  • Speed and ease

I’ve used two standard type bento boxes; a 2-tier model, and a 1-tier model with a divider. continue reading...

Cheese and parsley microwave omelette

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Here’s another easy egg recipe made with 1 or 2 eggs. It’s made in the microwave, and the method can be used for an ‘omelette’ with all kinds of additives. Here I have used a little bit of leftover cheese and some parsley. It goes well in a rice based or bread based bento. Cooking egg in the microwave is mentioned in several Japanese bento books and magazine articles, from which I’ve adapted the following method. continue reading...

1 egg tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette)

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Tamagoyaki, the slightly sweet rolled Japanese omelette, is a standby protein item for bentos. It tastes great at room temperature, is fairly easy to make (once you’ve done it a few times), and is cheap too. Plus the cheery yellow color brightens up any bento box.

There is one drawback with tamagoyaki: unless you have a tiny tamagoyaki pan (which is a single-purpose piece of kitchen equipment, something I try to avoid stocking in my not-so-large kitchen), you need to make it with a least 2, preferably 3 or more, eggs, to produce the distinctive multilayers of egg. This is fine if you’re making bentos for two or more people, but when you’re making bento for one you may not necessarily want to eat 2 eggs at a time. And tamagoyaki held in the fridge for more than a day never tastes as nice.

This method of making a 1-egg tamagoyaki in a normal small frying pan was in a recent issue of Kyou no ryouri (Today’s Cooking), my favorite Japanese food magazine. I’ve tried it out a few times now, and I’m totally sold on it. It does make a slightly flatter tamagoyaki than a multi-egg one, but it still has those nice layers.

Here’s how to make it step by step. continue reading...

Stovetop leftover vegetable frittata

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Frittata, a thick Italian omelette, is an egg dish that’s great hot or cold. It’s perfect picnic fare, which means it’s also great for bento. The usual frittata recipe calls for baking it in the oven, but it’s hard to find the time to heat up the oven and then bake something on a weekday morning. This method of cooking it on the stovetop appeared in the April issue of kyou no ryouri (Today’s Cooking) magazine. The total cooking time is only about 10-15 minutes.

The original recipe just used broccoli, but I used a mix of steamed broccoli and the ever-useful red pepper and onion confit . You could make it with any cooked vegetable mix, so it’s a great way of using up leftovers. You could add chopped up leftover meat to this too if you like. Cheap, frugal and tasty! continue reading...

Eggs in treasure bags (Tamago no takarabukuro)

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Takarabukuro (宝袋) is a treasure bag. In food terms, it’s a small parcel that is cooked in a fried tofu skin (aburaage 油揚げ)bag - the one that’s used for inarizushi. Here an egg is dropped gently into the bag, and then poached - so, an egg in a treasure bag! It is delicious hot or cold, and is very nice in a bento box as a main or secondary protein. continue reading...

Bento no. 18: 3-color soboro bento

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Bento contents:

  • 1 cup (about 220ml) brown rice (220cal)
  • 2 Tbs. beef sorobo (80cal)
  • 2 Tbs. iri tamago (70cal)
  • Blanced Swiss chard leaves (5cal)
  • Swiss chard stalks sautéed in butter (30cal)
  • Hijiki with bean curd (50cal)
  • 3 fresh lichees or litchi (15cal)

Total calories (approx): 475 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 15-20 minutes in the morning, 20-30 previously

Type: Japanese continue reading...

Iri tamago or tamago soboro, another standard Japanese egg recipe

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There are three very commonly used Japanese egg recipes. One is tamagoyaki or atsuyaki tamago (and its variant, dashimaki tamago), a rolled omelette. Another is usuyaki tamago, a very thin omelette which is used as a wrapper or shredded and used as a topping. Ther third is iri tamago, finely scrambled eggs that are used quite a lot as a topping. It’s here because it’s such a handy ingredient for bento. If you think you need a bit of color and protein, there’s no faster egg dish you can make. continue reading...

Lazy easy tea eggs

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This is a sort of short-term storage staple. It only keeps in the refrigerator for about 3 or 4 days, but you can make them at any time and they are handy for filling a corner of a bento box.

There are many more complicated recipes for tea eggs, a traditional Chinese recipe. The boiled eggs are usually meant to be kept in the tea-based marinade with their shells on, carefully cracked all around so that a lovely marble pattern is revealed when the eggs are peeled.

My method is way simpler, and is motivated by the fact that I don’t really want to be fiddling around with peeling eggs in the morning. Since the eggs are totally peeled, the marinade will penetrate it faster and deeper, so you can start using them just an hour after you’ve put them in the liquid if you like. continue reading...