eggs

Spinach Tamagoyaki (Spinach-packed omelette)

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This is a very easy to make tamagoyaki (Japanese style omelette) that is chock full of spinach. Even spinach doubters may like this, since the egg, onion and garlic neutralize the iron-rich quality which some people have problems with. It is basically a whole load of spinach that is held together with egg. It does not use the rolling/folding technique used for plain tamagoyaki or the one-egg version, so you may find it a lot easier to make. continue reading...

Tofu and vegetable piccata

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From the archives. I got an email over the weekend from someone asking for vegetarian recipes. Well, there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes here actually. Here is one I posted last year, a tasty ovo-vegetarian tofu-and-egg dish inspired by healthy Korean cooking, named after a classic italian dish. And of course, great in bentos! continue reading...

Really frugal ramen soup eggs

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Yet another way to jazz up hard boiled eggs! This is really really easy and really frugal, dare I say cheap…. continue reading...

Rice cooker frittata with summer vegetables

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Here’s the first recipe from my minimal non-kitchen kitchen (see previously). This recipe has proved itself to be a keeper already - I’ve made it 3 times in the past couple of weeks. It is basically a vegetable frittata that is cooked in a rice cooker. continue reading...

Bento side: 3-minute omelette

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Well, I have finally delivered the first draft of my bento cookbook. There is still a lot of work to be done before the book will be ready for publication, but I am so relieved to clear this first hurdle at least. I was practically unable to think about any other recipes other than the ones destined to go in there for a long while, but now I can start thinking about new things for the site! (And yes, the book will have all new recipes and bentos, except for some basics. What’s the point of just copying recipes available online here, you know?)

Anyway, here is one of those barely-a-recipe ideas - yet another way to cook an egg. I make this when there is a spot to fill in a bento box, or as a late night snack. It literally comes together in 3 minutes, from breaking the egg to final result. It adds a bright spot of yellow with so little effort. Here I have mixed in some leftover chopped up green onion, but you can put in anything any number of things. I’ve tried furikake, some plain bonito flakes with a little soy sauce, bits of leftover meat or hamburger, canned tuna, mixed frozen vegetables straight from the freezer, and more. You can also leave it plain. 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...

Scrambled egg with green onion, or a deconstructed 1-egg tamagoyaki

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I admit that this is barely a recipe at all, unless you don’t know how to make scrambled eggs. It is essentially a 1 egg tamagoyaki for people in a hurry. Sure, a folded tamagoyaki only takes a few minutes to make, but sometimes even those few minutes can’t be spared.

So, here’s a scrambled egg that is perfect for bentos. I’ve added a little chopped green onion (left over from dinner the night before) for variety, but you could omit that if you’re in a really big hurry. To keep the scrambled egg neat and tidy, it’s packed in a silicone cupcake liner. continue reading...

Fun with Japanese egg molds

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Something fun from the archives, in keeping with Easter. Incidentally, I haven’t been able to update Just Bento this week due to a sudden change of plans, but I’ll be back next week with frugal bento recipes and more. So until then…enjoy your weekend!

Egg molds are a fairly easy way to add some cuteness to a bento box. They are meant for kids’ bentos, but there’s nothing to stop you from using them for yourself of course. I usually can’t be bothered to make molded eggs for everyday bentos, but for picnics and parties they are quite a lot of fun.

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Egg molds are offered by various online sources such as J-List and eBay merchants (see the left sidebar for some listings), as well as at 100 yen stores. There are two types of egg molds: one has a simple clamshell shape with a fastener, and the other has a inner half-shell. You can use the latter kind without the inner half-shell too. Either way, be sure you get one that has the clamshell shape and the closing fastener - these features are what make an egg mold work properly. continue reading...