A very Japanese bento featuring stewed herring

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Here's a bento assembled mostly from leftovers and stock foods - from my mother's Japanese kitchen that is!

In the top compartment: shinmai or new harvest rice, topped with some chirimenjako - semi-dried little fish - and a couple of slices of a type of long-keeping pickle called narazuke.

In the bottom compartment: herrings (nishin) stewed with umeboshi plum; stir fried green bell pepper; nimame or stewed beans; tamagoyaki; squid and vegetable ohitashi; and a piece of stewed atsuage fried tofu.

The only thing made fresh was the tamagoyaki - everything else was either already stocked in the freezer or refrigerator, or storebought (the chirimenjako and narazuke). The rice was from freezer stock. It took about 20 minutes to assemble, what with making the tamagoyaki and so on, but could have been done more efficiently I think.

I realize this is a pretty classically Japanese bento, but I thought it would be fun to show one like this - just to see what people (or rather, adults) have for bentos here! The stewed herrings were really delicious, sweet and savory with just a touch of acid, but my mother really doesn't have a recipe per se, so I'll try to work one out soon.

The box I used is a gorgeous magewappa. I'll have more about this box pretty soon...