I am a bit wary of putting Japanese YouTube videos here, because soon after I do they seem to be taken down. But I’m taking a chance with this one (via sherimiya on Twitter ) because it’s just too funny. It’s from a program on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System), one of the major Japanese TV networks, called Jitan Seikatsu Gaido Shou (時短生活ガイドショー) , an infotainment show about how to save time in all kinds of ways. (Shows like this make me want to move back to Tokyo, seriously.) In this segment, a mother manages to get her small son out of bed, ready and dressed for school, and make his bento, in about 4 1/2 minutes.
Despite the wackiness, there are a few ideas that look really useful, especially for bento making. The electric hot plate with indentations is a takoyaki pan  (she has it preheated, which is cheating a bit). She uses the indentations to cook a couple of slices of wiener sausages (franks), boil broccoli, and cook tamagoyaki. She also makes onigiri by dumping some rice and furikake into a screwtop jar, and having her son shake the jar around while he wiggles into his pants. I’m not sure about the pants part, but the jar looks like a great idea for making small round onigiri. I’ll have to try both the jar and the takoyaki pan sometime.
Another food related speed tip the mom shows is making a tuna sandwich (just squirt mayo on bread and add a couple of spoonfuls of canned tuna) with the crusts trimmed off and the edges sealed, by using a plastic box as the bread cutter. This type of sealed-edge sandwich is all the rage in Japan at the moment, and you can buy cutter gadgets that accomplish the cutting and sealing task , but the plastic box is a great cheap idea. It may only work on Japanese sliced bread though, which is rather stretchy and squishy. (It may work on British sliced bread too, or Wonderbread in the U.S.)
She also juices a whole apple by freezing and defrosting it. Not sure about that…
Here’s another video from the same series, showing how a single ‘salaryman’ gets ready in less than 5 minutes, including filtered coffee, bacon and eggs and toast for breakfast:
I am both in awe and slightly fearful of my countrymen and women.
What time-saving measures are part of your morning routine, bento related or not?