rice

Bento no. 76: Chicken and pepper rice cooker bento

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Bento contents:

  • Chicken with peppers and sesame oil, 240 calories
  • Broccoli with wasabi sauce, using stevia as the sweetener instead of sugar and halving the sake, 20 calories
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) rice , 120 calories

Total calories (approx): 380 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 5 to 10 minutes prep time, plus 20-30 minutes of cooking time

Type: Japanese, made in a rice cooker continue reading...

Great Bento Idea: Ochazuke bento from Not Another Brown Bag Lunch

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This week’s great bento idea from the bento community at large is from Mils of Not Another Brown Bag Lunch - it’s an ochazuke bento!

What is an ochazuke? As I explained some years ago, ochazuke is basically rice with various savory bits on it, over which hot green tea is poured. You mix up the rice, tea and bits, and slurp. Ochazuke is often served as the last course in a formal meal, or eaten simply as a quick late-night snack. It’s a great way to use up leftover rice for one thing. continue reading...

Kinpira rice burger and how to keep the rice of the 'bun' together

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A quick and easy trick for keeping the ‘bun’ part of a rice burger from falling apart. continue reading...

How to: Freezing pre-portioned rice

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From the archives: This is a foundation post for anyone interested in Japanese style bentos based around rice. Edited and updated to reflect some safety related questions. Be sure to read the linked bento safety posts too. Originally posted in October 2007.

Rice is the base carbohydrate for most Japanese style bento lunches, but the idea of cooking rice fresh every day may be rather daunting. If you have a rice cooker with a timer that can be set so that the rice is ready when you want to make your bento it is easier (and recommended if you make bentos daily). Of course this does mean that you need to rinse the rice the night before.

While I prefer to wash the rice the night before and set the timer on my rice cooker, I often freeze pre-portioned packets of rice to use on extra busy mornings. Rice freezes very well if you make sure that it’s still warm when you wrap up the portions. This retains the necessary moisture inside the plastic. It’s also a good idea to use sturdy, microwaveable wrap such as Saran Wrap. continue reading...

Quick onigiri tip: Show what's inside on the outside

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Here is an ultra-quick and easy tip for how to identify the filling of an onigiri (rice ball) without having to crack it open. continue reading...

Spring maze gohan: Green pea rice, Asparagus rice

The last pea in the pod

A very simple and frugal thing to make with fresh peas like this, and the stalk parts of asparagus. continue reading...

Natto or Tempeh Fried Rice

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This week, I’m aiming to make all of my bentos vegan or vegetarian. One reason is simply to have more vegan/vegetarian bento recipes up here! But the other more personal reasons are that, first of all, vegan/vegetarian meals often cost less than meat-centric meals, especially here in Switzerland where even the inexpensive cuts of meat and poultry are not so. The other is just for health; I often feel so much better when I’ve had a vegan bento.

This fried rice is a meal unto itself. There are some finely chopped vegetables as well as hijiki seaweed, and high quality protein in the form of brown rice and natto, those infamous sticky fermented soy beans. I have been hesitant about featuring natto-based recipes here or on Just Hungry, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that quite a few people actually do like it. Natto is an excellent and easily digestible source of protein, and when it’s cooked like this all of the gooey stickiness of it disappears. If you prefer though, you can substitute crumbled tempeh or even shelled edamame. continue reading...

Bento no. 49: Vegan rice burger bento

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Bento contents:

  • Rice Burger patties made of approx. 1 1/2 cups sprouted brown rice + 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, 350 cal
  • Mediterranean flavored green vegan burger using about 1/5th of the recipe, 120 cal
  • Cherry tomatoes, arugula, berries, 50 cal

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

Time needed: 20-25 minutes in the morning if making from scratch; much less if using pre-made/pre-frozen components

Type: Bread-free, vegan continue reading...