Bento recipes

dried vs. fresh shiitake mushrooms

In some recipes (sticky rice for example) it says that you need dried shiitake mushrooms. Is it possible to replache them with fresh ones? Has anyone tried this? And if so, do you use the same quantity and method of cooking? I'm lucky enough to be able to buy fresh ones here :D

Whole Grains?

I'm supposed to be eating whole grains to help manage my cholesterol, but I can't stand the taste of wheat bread, nor do i particularly like brown rice. So far I've come up with Wheat Thins crackers and an oatmeal recipe I'm hoping will be good for breakfasts (trying it tomorrow morning). Any ideas for bento-friendly recipes where I won't taste the whole grains very strongly?

oyster sauce substitution

I would like to try bento n1 but I do not have oyster sauce: I found this recipe for a substitution and I would like if you think it would work... or maybe there is something else I could use instead of oyster sauce (which actually I have never tried before..)?



I'm very newbie to bento. Today I bought 2 packs of edamame's. It's just the little beans, not the pods. Should I cook them? If yes, for how long? Or just defrost and eat? How do you eat them and when?

Thanks! BM

sakè or mirin?

I have never used neither mirin nor sakè and would like to buy at least one of them. which one is more versatile, or more useful? is there any brand that you would recommend (available in Italy/Europe)?

cooking sprouted rice

I bought some brown rice and would like to sprout it. how long does it take approsimately to cook sprouted brown rice (on the stovetop)?

Baking Ideas

Hi everyone!

Although I've been a member for a year.. (time flies) this week is my first time I'm actively joining the forum.

I have a question to all you people about baked cookies/ and other goodies for bentos.

So far I've made Anzac biscuits and Museli bars (easy as!).

What else would you suggest?

I do make my bentos the night before, so they stay in the fridge and that with the moisture inside the bento box makes the cookies go soft :(

Does anyone have any suggested recipes for baked nibbles that wont go soft before hand?


Crazy about Bentos

non-mushy kabocha cooking method

This is a technique I picked up last Autumn from a Japanese TV show (日本人テスト)

Unfortunately, I could only get the gist of what was being explained as I don't speak the language. Even so, it seems to work very well.

In order to cook kabocha (I'm going to try the red Hokkaido squash today) so that it's tender but with the pieces firm and intact without a hint of 'mushiness', here is the method:

You will need a large deep pan and a heat resistant cup (such as a Japanese tea cup). continue reading...