Bento no. 11: Gyuudon (beef bowl) bento with konnyaku

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Bento contents:

  • Gyuudon with konnyaku: Beef, onions and konnyaku on simmered in a sweet-savory sauce (220cal)
  • on 1 cup brown rice (220 cal)
  • Blanched greens (10 cal)
  • Pickled radish (5 cal)

Total calories (approx): 455 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 25 minutes total (15 the night before, 10 in the morning)

Type: Japanese

The top trick used here is setting aside some ingredients for a dinner dish to make the main part of this bento at the same time. continue reading...

Bento box of the week: Hand carved and lacquered Japanese elm

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Hey, a new series! Every week on or around Wednesday, I’ll be featuring a bento box or bento accessory that has caught my eye for some reason. I’ll try to stick to items that can be ordered online as much as possible, unless it’s something truly exceptional.

Important notice: This bento box can be selected as your prize in the Menu for Hope drawing! continue reading...

Bento archive list (1)

A list of bentos no. 1 to 30 featured so far on Just Bento. continue reading...

Bento no. 10: Vegan bento featuring kiriboshi daikon and chickpea fritters

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Bento contents:

  • Kiriboshi Daikon (dried daikon radish) fritters
  • Carrot and lemon salad
  • Boiled edamame

Total calories (approx): 380-400 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 25 minutes total (10 the night before, 15 in the morning)

Type: Fusion-vegan-gluten-free continue reading...

Bento tips via Twitter

onigirikorokoro.gifIf you are a Twitter user, I’ve started to post site updates and short bento or food related things there. I’ll try to update, er I mean tweet, at least several times a week, or whenever an idea strikes me that’s too short perhaps for a full post.

Update: I’ve divided my Twittering to two accounts. The @justbento has site updates for both Just Bento and Just Hungry, plus bento-related tweets occasionally, while @makiwi is where I tweet about whatever is on my mind, at random. So, follow one, or both if you dare!

continue reading...

The best Japanese bento books if you don't read Japanese

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There are lots of bento-related books published every year in Japan. While most of them have plenty of colorful pictures, some are too wordy to be really useful for people who don’t read Japanese. Here is a list of books that I have in my collection that I think would be very useful even if you don’t read the text. Most of these books reflect my preference for books about healthy, vegetable-centric bento, mainly aimed at adults.

I’ll be updating this page from time to time, so please check back occasionally. You can also see other, less annotated book recommendations in the Amazon Japan aStore. continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 3: Noritama

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Noritama is one of the most popular flavors of furikake available commercially. Nori means the seaweed that’s used as a sushi roll or onigiri wrapper, and tama is short for tamago, or egg. The base, which gives the most flavor to the furikake, is bonito flakes or katsuobushi.

Surprisingly perhaps, noritama is one of the more fiddly furikake to make at home, though it’s by no means difficult. But I like to make it occasionally anyway becase I find commercial noritama to be a bit too salty. This version is lower on salt, so you can pile it on your rice if you want to. Naturally it’s free of any preservatives, MSG, or what have you. It’s also a lot cheaper than the commercial versions, even if you have to pay premium prices for the bonito flakes and nori as I do. continue reading...

2007 Holiday Gift Guide for the bento fan in your life

continue reading...xmas-onigiri.pngIt's that time of the year again. Here are some Christmas and holiday gift ideas for the bento maker in your life, or even someone who's just thinking about making bento in the new year. Perhaps that person is you, in which case you could use this as a list for Santa to refer to. I've made some suggestions in all price ranges, because you never know how generous Santa is feeling.