johbisai

Bento staple: All-purpose winter vegetable mix for rice and more

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This is a very versatile vegetable-only or vegetable and chicken mix that can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week, or for a month in the freezer. As long as you use a vegetarian/vegan protein it will be vegan/vegetarian, but if you are an omnivore you can use chicken. Let me give you the recipe first, and then show you a couple of ways to use it. continue reading...

Bento 101 (Getting into the Bento Making Habit) Part 4:The Power Of the Bento Stash

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Welcome to Part 4 (which is actually the 5th lesson) of Bento 101! If you have been following along on schedule, by now you should have packed a bento and brought it along to work or school. How was the experience for you? Was it too much work or doable? Did you run into any problems during transit (such as your box leaking) or during lunch (such as your co-workers trying to steal your lunch or making comments)? Above all, is it something you see yourself doing regularly? If the answer to the last question is yes, then you’re well on your way to becoming a bento convert.

The theme of this lesson is about something that will enhance your bentos in many ways… continue reading...

Yuzu scented winter vegetable tsukemono (pickles)

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Here’s a super-easy tsukemono or Japanese style pickle that only takes about 10 minutes to prep. It makes a great bento vegetable or salad substitute. continue reading...

Sweet, sour and salty 'instant' radish pickles

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[While I’m still getting back up to speed, please enjoy this recipe for ‘instant’ pickled radishes, great in any bento or in a salad. Originally published in May 2009. It’s kind of funny to re-read this post and realize we were still waffling about buying a house in France or not. I guess we did, after all!]

While radishes are available year-round, spring seems to be the perfect time to enjoy their crisp, peppery crunchiness. They are also really pretty. I love them just as-is, perhaps with a little salt, or sliced up in salads, but I’ve also been playing around with various formulas to make instant pickles or ichiyazuke (一夜漬け, or ‘overnight pickles’) with them. Here’s one result that’s sweet, salty, sour and peppery - a great bento box side dish. continue reading...

Basic taco meat mix

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It’s hard to believe that I have never posted this really basic basic, but looking though my archives I have not. So here it is, a ‘taco meat’ mix that I make all the time in some quantity, freezing in portions. It can be used in tacos of course, as well as a sort of Western-tasting soboro to top rice. I try to get as many vegetables as I can into it. This most recent batch was made by The Guy by the way, proving that it’s quite fuss-free…provided your Guy (or Girl, whichever designation fits the non-cooking partner in your household) doesn’t mind chopping vegetables, or else can use a food processor. 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...

All-season shredded vegetable pickle-salad, plus migrating birds!

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A very simple ‘instant’ pickle-relish-salad made with always available vegetables, plus an equally easy decorative cutting technique. continue reading...

Two-color namasu, a make-ahead daikon radish and carrot salad

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Here’s a recipe for a classic vegetable dish that is served at New Year’s in Japan. It actually gets better after some time in the refrigerator, and is a great bento side dish that may even bring you some luck! continue reading...