rice

The Onigiri (Omusubi) FAQ

smileyonigiri.pngI have written quite exhaustively about onigiri, or rice balls, here on Just Bento as well as on Just Hungry. Many people have asked similar questions about onigiri, which seem to just be gaining and gaining in popularity these days.

So I’ve assembled a list of Onigiri FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). I’ll update this list when I see (or remember) other questions periodically. Hopefully your questions are answered here - if not, you know what to do! (ask in the comments!)

continue reading...

Lower-calorie higher fibre inarizushi with hijiki

inarihijiki1.jpg

Inarizushi are excellent for bento, but they can be a bit high in calories since they are stuffed with sushi rice. The original version with a 100% rice filling has about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of rice per bag, which makes each inarizushi about 110 to 130 calories. On the other hand these inarizushi are about 80 to 100 calories per piece. The secret is in the filling. continue reading...

Quick tip: Cubed bento rice

cuberice1.jpg

‘Cut’ your packed rice into cubes for function and looks! continue reading...

Making onigiri with a plastic bag

sam-onigiri.jpg

Reader Samantha sent in a great way to make onigiri that cleverly uses the corner of a plastic bag, to make these perfectly triangular or cone-shaped rice balls. continue reading...

Experimenting with frozen tuna salad, plus a tuna sushi rice sandwich

tunaoshizushi480.jpg

Few things are as easy to make or as tasty for lunch than a simple tuna salad sandwich. It’s one of my favorite things to make when I’m too busy or occupied for more involved cooking. But porting around tuna salad when the weather is warm can be a bit of a problem.

I’ve been experimenting with freezing tuna salad in different ways, or rather stages of development as it were, as well as different tuna salad mixes. continue reading...

All natural vegetable based green, pink and orange rice

coloredriceanimals1_480.jpg

Previously, I showed you how to make orange colored carrot rice. The make-in-a-few minutes microwave method was especially popular. So, here’s how to make pink (or purple) and green colored rice just as easily. The best thing about them is that they are colored just with vegetables - no hard to pronounce ingredients in sight.

I’ve used white rice for color clarity, but you could use regular or sprouted brown rice instead. I used leftover rice from the night before; you could also use defrosted frozen rice. continue reading...

Noriben, a true Japanese classic

noriben_480.jpg

There are some dishes that are so basic to make that they barely ever get mentioned in cookbooks. Noriben (the word comes from nori and bento mashed together) is one of them. It’s a really basic bento, consisting of just 3 or 4 ingredients: rice, nori seaweed, soy sauce, and often dried bonito flakes. It’s tasty and inexpensive. It was standby for my mother when there was nothing else in the house except for a few pantry staples, and she had to make bento for two of the kids plus my father.

Whether or not you’d like noriben or not depends on whether you like the sea-taste of nori and soy sauce. It’s one of those things that Japanese people tend to think that only a Japanese person could really love. It makes most Japanese people feel very nostalgic.

For the sake of nutritional balance you might want to have other, not too salty things in your bento box with noriben, such as steamed vegetables, chicken, fried tofu, or a piece of grilled fish. continue reading...

Okowa: Sticky rice with all kinds of good things

okowa1.jpg

Okowa (おこわ)is the name given to a type of rice dish in which sticky glutinous rice is mixed with all kinds of vegetables or meat and steamed. It’s related to Chinese sticky rice, which you might have had as part of a dim sum meal. If the rice mix is steamed in small packets, wrapped in a bamboo leaf, it’s called chimaki. You can mix any number of things in with the rice to make it a complete meal in itself. continue reading...