pork

Pork (or beef) and mushroom roll-ups

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This is the kind of bento item that you see quite often in homemade Japanese bentos - a simple deep fried fritter or nugget. I haven't featured a lot of these on these pages, because I know that many JustBento readers are leery of deep frying in general. However, they are quite easy to make, especially if you make them for dinner and reserve one or two for next day's bento - or even freeze a few. The general theory behind including a bit of fried food in a bento is to make it just a bit more filling and substantial. And remember, for a bento you only need one or two. continue reading...

Bento No. 75: An entirely made-ahead bento featuring mini cabbage rolls

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Bento contents:

  • 3 bento sized mini cabbage rolls, 180 calories
  • Green beans with ginger stir fried in sesame oil, 60 calories
  • Green beans stir fried with ginger and sesame oil, 60 calories
  • Carrot slices cooked with the cabbage rolls, 5 calories
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) rice from frozen stash, 160 calories

Total calories (approx): 405 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 5 to 10 minutes in the morning to defrost and pack up the bento

Type: Japanese, everything made in advance; low-carb adjustable by reducing or replacing rice continue reading...

Bento sized mini cabbage rolls

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I love cabbage rolls, whether rolled or deconstructed, but regular sized ones are a bit too large and sloppy in my mind to put into all but the largest bento boxes. These are little bento sized cabbage rolls, just a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball. They aren’t too showy to look at, but are deliciously juicy hot or cold. They are kept compact and slim by using napa or Chinese cabbage instead of regular cabbage leaves, since napa cabbage leaves are thinner and more tender, and using the smaller inner leaves that are about 10 inches (25cm) long.

Another feature of these mini cabbage rolls is that I tried making them in a rice cooker, and they came out great. I’ve also given instructions for making them on the stovetop, but if you’re looking for more ways to utilize your rice cooker, you may want to try it out that way. continue reading...

Char siu or yakibuta - Chinese style roast pork

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I have posted a recipe for char siu, or Chinese style roast pork, previously. But that was way back in 2004, and my standard go-to recipe has changed a bit since then. Plus, it makes a great staple for bentos, so here it is. continue reading...

Bento no. 64: Miso marinated pork, plus using up leftover bits from decorating bentos

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Bento Contents:

  • 1 cup/220ml brown rice, 240 calories
  • About 100g / 3.5 oz Miso marinated pork made with lean pork, 160 calories
  • 1-egg tamagoyaki with nori, 110 calories
  • Spring greens namuru made with a mixture of baby spinach and arugula (rucola, rocket) leaves, 50 cal
  • Carrot and zucchini flowers (plus the leftover bits), 10 calories

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

Time needed: 15-20 minutes in the morning

Type: Japanese, decorative

This bento shows a couple of ways of using up those awkward leftover cut-off bits of nori, vegetable and so on that you end up with whenever you make decorative cut-outs for your bentos. continue reading...

Miso Marinated Pork (butaniku no misozuke)

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Something for the omnivores! Pork is the most popular meat in Japanese cooking, but so far I haven’t posted any (non-bacon) pork recipes on Just Bento, though I do have a couple over on Just Hungry that are bento-friendly, such as tonkatsu (breaded and fried pork cutlets). This classic sweet-salty, intensely flavored miso marinated pork is really well suited to bentos. It is similar to miso chicken, but a bit more complex in flavor. continue reading...

Bento sized mini-meatloaves

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Who doesn’t love a meatloaf? (If you eat meat, that is.) Sliced leftover meatloaf is great in sandwiches, and it’s also very nice in a bento box. Meatloaves also freeze very well, since they have a moistness to them.

While I do like to make a big meatloaf now and then, I also like to make these mini-sized meatloaves specifically for the bento freezer stash. I often reserve a couple for dinner, and wrap and freeze the rest.

You could use your own favorite meatloaf recipe for this, but here is one in case you need it. The key point here is the size, perfect for bento boxes and sandwiches. continue reading...