also-rans

Smoked salmon chirashizushi plus sushi rice how-to on JustHungry

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Learn how to make sushi rice, plus tips for sushi as bento. continue reading...

A very Japanese spring vegetable bento

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Here’s a very Japanese, vegetable based spring bento from a few weeks ago. continue reading...

Chana Dal with Fennel and Almonds

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An Indian-influenced complete-meal recipe, great for thermal lunch jars or cold in regular bentos. Vegan, gluten-free, and even diabetic-friendly, but I promise it still tastes terrific! 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...

A very Japanese bento featuring stewed herring

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Here is a bento assembled mainly with leftovers and stocked items from my mother’s Japanese kitchen. continue reading...

A sushi roll bento, plus how to make sushi rolls without a sushi mat

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Here is something that I had in my archives - a sushi roll bento, made with ingredients that you might not have thought belong in a sushi. Plus, how to make a fat sushi roll without a sushi mat! continue reading...

Japanese Scotch Egg

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First off, I haven’t actually uploaded a complete bento here in ages, so here is one! It features Japanese Scotch eggs, which you see in the near-most box. (The rest of the bento consists of cucumber slices with sea salt; a carrot and celeriac salad; onigiri with umeboshi filling; banana and mini-cupcakes. The whole bento is about 1100 calories - I intended it to be for 2, but ended up eating the whole thing by myself!)

The original Scotch egg is a British pub snack, made by wrapping a hardboiled egg in sausage meat and deep frying it. The Japanese version uses a ground beef/pork meat mix, and is either deep fried, panfried or baked in the oven. I usually bake them or panfry them, though deep frying is best if you want perfectly round Scotch eggs.

Japanese style Scotch egg is considered to be rather retro in Japan these days. They are typical of yohshoku or youshoku, Japanese-style Western cooking, where foods from the West have been adapted (mostly in the post-WWII period up to the 1970s or so) to suit Japanese tastes and available ingredients. (More about yohshoku.)

I rather hesitated to post this recipe since it doesn’t quite fit the usual criteria for recipes here. It takes some time and effort to make, so it’s not practical for a busy morning. It’s not very low in calories. And, it doesn’t really freeze well, because frozen hard boiled egg turns rubbery and hard, so it’s not even a good make-ahead staple item! Other than that though, it is quite delicious at room temperature, so very well suited for bentos. You can make a few and keep them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Or make them for dinner and leave one for next day’s bento! That bright yellow and white egg against the brown of the meat is very cheery. continue reading...

Spring Pasta and Chickpea Salad and Bento-Friendly Pasta Salad Basics

Spring pasta salad bento

We are now entering pasta salad season, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere. Easy to assemble and delicious at room temperature, at first glance you might think that pasta salads are perfect in bentos. There are a few things to watch out for though, in order to make sure that your salad is as safe as it is delicious at lunchtime. I also have a super-easy Chickpea and Pasta Salad recipe that is very bento-friendly; it’s vegetarian (easily converted to being vegan), to fit in with the theme for this month. continue reading...