japanese

Bento tidbits from Japan: Beautiful takeout bentos in Kamakura

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As part of my ongoing (irregular) series reporting on storebought bentos in Japan and elsewhere, here are a couple of gorgeous bentos bought and consumed in the historic town of Kamakura. 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...

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. 78: Vegan low-carb, low calorie, 'zen' bento

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Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 250 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 30 minutes (if all components are made in the morning, much less time if you make things in advance)

Type: Japanese, low carb, low calorie, vegan, “zen”! continue reading...

Sweet pepper and carrot confetti

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I am calling this colorful dish confetti, because it’s not quite assertively flavored enough to call it furikake. It is sort of a no-sugar (low-carb) and much lower calorie variation of Cooked to Death Hot and Sweet Peppers, though I have made the hot peppers optional. Even with no added sugar or sweetener, I think the natural sweetness of the vegetables comes through nicely. It’s a really useful vegetable side dish, to just pack on the side or sprinkle on top of rice or other things. You could also fold in a spoonful into tamagoyaki to make it really colorful. It can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days, or frozen. continue reading...

Bento no. 76: Chicken and pepper rice cooker bento

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Bento contents:

  • Chicken with peppers and sesame oil, 240 calories
  • Broccoli with wasabi sauce, using stevia as the sweetener instead of sugar and halving the sake, 20 calories
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) rice , 120 calories

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

Time needed: 5 to 10 minutes prep time, plus 20-30 minutes of cooking time

Type: Japanese, made in a rice cooker continue reading...

Great Bento Idea: Ochazuke bento from Not Another Brown Bag Lunch

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This week’s great bento idea from the bento community at large is from Mils of Not Another Brown Bag Lunch - it’s an ochazuke bento!

What is an ochazuke? As I explained some years ago, ochazuke is basically rice with various savory bits on it, over which hot green tea is poured. You mix up the rice, tea and bits, and slurp. Ochazuke is often served as the last course in a formal meal, or eaten simply as a quick late-night snack. It’s a great way to use up leftover rice for one thing. continue reading...