General Bento Discussion

Penny Squeezing

I know alot of pepole either a) want to save money by making bento's, b) have enough money but obect to spending more than neccesarry, or c) Just don't have a wasteful nature. Either way, their is alot of money wasted on bento's that doesn't need to be, so I thought a thread on money saving and food saving ideas might be called for. So those of us in the above catagories can all post our ideas and hints on how to be stingy without apearing so, and get ideas off each other.
My top hints for the moment are:
1) Reusing leftover rice and pasta saves both food and effort continue reading...

Bento Art or if it looks good, you'll eat it.

In case you miss it, here's an interesting article about "bento art":

My Japanese mother lives with my sister and her family. My sister has two elementary age boys and my mother (their grandmother) packs them a bento box for lunch. The boys have told me that their classmates are envious of their bento lunch since it looks so "cool" and better than their classmates' peanut butter and jam sandwich.


The BBC have put up a report on Bento in Japan :) Some of the designs are epic!

cooking for the week

Today was my day to cook for the next week. I work 7 days on and 7days off, so I need 7 lunches and one dinner for my work week. The dinner is because I go to a class one evening and leave straight from work. This weeks menu will be rice several days, a couple of days will be tofu nuggets, shrimp one day, teriyaki chicken and maybe some leftovers from family dinners. I made kinpura and marinated vegies. One day I will slice some cucumbers and put them in rice vinegar, another day I will steam some snow peas. For variety I will make some rice noodles once or twice. continue reading...

Non-spoiling bento?

I'm going on a trip sponsored by my dorm; the trip involves a long ride on a bus, and so I'm bringing bentos for the trip out. However, the last time I know I'll have access to a kitchen is on Thursday morning, and we return on an equally long bus ride literally all day Sunday. I'd like to pack at least some snacks in a bento box to avoid spending a lot buying food for the return trip - any ideas for recipes that can keep without refrigeration that long? >.> I'm thinking nuts are good, fruits with a thick rind if I don't cut them up... continue reading...

Thoughts On Canned Salmon

I was just wondering some thoughts on canned salmon from the bento community and it's applications to bento.

So far I have used it only a couple times, looking for a variety of proteins for my boo to enjoy in her bento. She likes it, and what I have done is drained it well, added a touch of salt, and used it as onigiri filling. I have also used it by itself. Both times she liked it. Maki has some wonderful applications for fresh salmon (I really want to try the salted salmon recipe sometime), but I was curious as to thoughts on the canned goods.

How does the food stay crispy?

I quite like dishes like pan-fried chicken nuggets, Chicken Kijiyaki (tomorrow's bento ^^), Chicken Kara-age or the Fried Shrimp as the meaty part of my bentos... But somehow the fried foods never stays crispy after a few hours in a bento box. I always let everything cool down completely before I put it in the box or before I close the lid but still... I mean, I don't expect my chicken to be super crispy, but it would be nice if it had a little crunch instead of being a little soggy. Does anybody have a trick? Maybe I am doing something wrong? continue reading...

Bento for Kidney Disease

An idea just popped in my head a few days ago and I wanted to post it and get opinions on it.

I have recently been diagnosed with Stage 3 Kidney Disease. (This simply means my kidneys are not working as well as they should and we are trying to get them to reboot.) I am thinking bentos would be a wonderful way to help me keep my food in check.

I go to see a nutritionist tomorrow and hopefully she will be able to give me a bit more solid information on what * I * need to do. continue reading...