Time required: 5-10 minutes

Soft Polenta For Dinner, Fried Polenta Cakes for Bento

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Fried polenta cakes are surprisingly good cold, so they make a nice change-of-pace carb in a bento, especially if you just happen to have some leftover polenta from dinner. continue reading...

Yuzu scented winter vegetable tsukemono (pickles)

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Here’s a super-easy tsukemono or Japanese style pickle that only takes about 10 minutes to prep. It makes a great bento vegetable or salad substitute. continue reading...

Sweet, sour and salty 'instant' radish pickles

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[While I’m still getting back up to speed, please enjoy this recipe for ‘instant’ pickled radishes, great in any bento or in a salad. Originally published in May 2009. It’s kind of funny to re-read this post and realize we were still waffling about buying a house in France or not. I guess we did, after all!]

While radishes are available year-round, spring seems to be the perfect time to enjoy their crisp, peppery crunchiness. They are also really pretty. I love them just as-is, perhaps with a little salt, or sliced up in salads, but I’ve also been playing around with various formulas to make instant pickles or ichiyazuke (一夜漬け, or ‘overnight pickles’) with them. Here’s one result that’s sweet, salty, sour and peppery - a great bento box side dish. continue reading...

Bento no. 81: Bean sprout burger bento with favorites

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Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 630 cal (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 5-10 minutes to assemble in the morning from pre-made components

Type: Japanese, a perennial favorite continue reading...

Bento no. 80: Deconstructed banh mi sandwich bento

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Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 510 cal (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 5-10 minutes in the morning from pre-made components

Type: Sort-of-Vietnamese (Asian), bread based continue reading...

Everyday Lunches To Go

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An article that really gets what this site, and the book, are all about. continue reading...

Okara and crab salad

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Here’s a super-easy recipe for a pretty healthy and versatile salad, using one of my favorite should-be-more-popular ingredients, okara. continue reading...

Bento no. 77: 3-part stash and leftovers bento

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Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 490 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 5 to 10 minutes to pack in the morning

Type: Not really Japanese, made from stash and leftovers continue reading...