staples

Homemade furikake no. 5: Sweet bacon

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I’ve neglected the furikake series for a while, but it’s back!

And what better way to return, than with bacon.

I have bacon on the mind recently for some reason. I’m not overindulging in it, but it’s fun trying to figure out different ways of incorporating bacon in one’s life.

Bacon goes with everything, including rice. It’s salty and bacon-y. I’ve souped it up by adding some Japanese flavors sweet-salty flavors. The result is almost like bacon candy. A little goes a long way.

It’s great sprinkled on just about everything. Besides rice, you could sprinkle it on eggs, vegetables, your tongue… continue reading...

And while we're at it...what are your favorite bento staples?

instant tsukemono mixI mentioned a few bento-oriented staples to keep around in my previous post about maintaining variety in your bentos. I’ve just done a quick look around my kitchen, and here are the things I have stocked as staples that I bought or made with future bentos in mind, besides the things I’ve mentioned already.

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Getting started with bento making: Variety and saving money

A main reason many people like to, or want to, make bento lunches is for more variety, to save money, and to have some fun too. In my mind these aspects are quite interconnected.

There are three sources for filling your bento box. One is food that you make specifically for it, usually in the morning or perhaps the night before. The second is leftovers from other meals. The third is with stock or staple items (aka johbisai). The key to keeping a good variety in your bento meals is to use all three sources in in a smart way. continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 4: Spicy curry peanut

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Warning: This furikake is very dangerous. It is so more-ish that you might find yourself putting spoonfuls of it directly in your mouth. To prevent this, I recommend making it a tad spicier than you might be comfortable with eating it on its own, so it will not disappear before you can use it on your rice. The spicy-salty-sweet taste, coupled with the interesting textures of the peanuts and the seeds, is quite hard to resist.

It’s the least Japanese-tasting furikake so far perhaps, but it fits plain white or brown rice very well. It is not exactly low-calorie, but a tablespoon or so goes quite a long way to spice up things. continue reading...

Johbisai or Joubisai: Building up a bento making 'stash'

Anyone who does any kind of art or craft work is familiar with the concept of a stash. A knitter for example has a stash of different kinds of yarn. This really helps to get the creative juices flowing. In bento making terms, the equivalent of a stash is joubisai (or johbisai) (常備菜). Literally this means ‘always available food’. They are stored foods that can be kept for a while, which can be pulled out and used on short notice, and enrich and streamline the bento making process. continue reading...