General Bento Discussion

Bento withdrawl

My refrigerator died over the weekend. Which means my choice for bentos lunches is rather limited for at least the week. The thought of how much money I'll be spending for lunch (and dinner!) is rather frightening. Any suggestions for fridge-free -- i.e., no cold storage available -- bento lunches? I can do a noodle salad, but after that I've run out of ideas.


Can someone please demystify umeboshi for me?

I'm very interested in trying umeboshi, but the last time I went to a large Asian market to buy some, there were dozens of different varieties...and all of them described in Japanese, which I do not read. Can someone point out a good brand or type to try? Some I saw were dry packed, others were sitting in liquid. Some looked firm and wrinkly and others were plump and looked soft. I'm just so confused.

Is there one in particular that's just very popular and/or a good choice for an umeboshi newbie? continue reading...

Packing Soup for Kindergartener

I've never worried before about packing soup in a thermos; it has always seemed really straightforward. My kindergartener has just requested miso soup for his lunch. I'd love to send some, but I'm nervous about sending a thermos full of hot soup for a little guy (fearing scalds).

Is it safe to pack it less than boiling, piping hot? Or should it cool down between 6:30 and 11 am enough to be pleasantly warm instead of scalding?

Another media request: Calling NYC area bento lovers this time!

Yes bentos are hot. This time, a TV reporter wants to talk to bentoists in New York City (preferably) or the NYC area. You must be willing to appear on TV, obviously. If you're interested send me an email at maki at makikoitoh com with your real name, email addy, and phone number where the reporter can reach you. (I am not disclosing what media outlet it is, but it is a legit one.)

ETA: The reporter wants to talk to Americans (I guess that means, no Japanese expats...) who love to make their own bentos.

(Update): Whoa that was fast. The reporter has what she was looking for, so please don't email any more. Thanks! continue reading...

Your favorite recipes on Just Bento?

(from the forum:)

Hi everyone. A lot of new people have joined us this week, and visitor count is way up too. To help them out a bit, maybe some JB veterans can tell everyone what their favorite recipes here (or on Just Hungry) are. A link to the recipe would be great, but I can dig it out too. Thanks! continue reading...

Calling bento lovers in Portland, Oregon

OK, I think it's official now - bentos are hot! Now there is a journalist who wants to talk to people who make bentos in the Portland, Oregon area. If you are interested in being interviewed, please email me at maki at makikoitoh dot com ASAP.

Are you a young person who makes bentos? Another reporter wants to talk to you!

The interest in bentos seems to be growing! Another reporter, this time from a major U.S. newspaper, wants to talk to young Americans or U.S. residents (college/grad students, high school students etc…or younger even) who make bentos regularly. If you’re interested in possibly seeing your name in print, shoot me an email at maki at makikoitoh com, or send me a DM with your email addy to my Twitter account.

Update: Wow, the response has been overwhelming. The reporter has more than enough people to interview now. Thanks everyone!

Are you a parent who makes bentos for your kids? A reporter wants to talk to you

A reporter from The Globe and Mail (a Canadian paper) wants to talk to parents who make bentos for their their children, for an upcoming story. If you’re interested in being interviewed (especially if you are Canadian, but even if you’re not) shoot me an email at maki at makikoitoh com and I’ll forward you to the reporter. Become famous! hey!

Update: The reporter has enough people now to interview. Thank you everyone who responded!