Spices and sauces in the Bento.

Bento-ing from: NYC › New York › USA
Joined: 2 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 7 years 31 weeks ago.

Hello Maki!

I am a brand new addition to JustBento (and Bentos in general...and Japanese cooking in general) but your site has been a million times more helpful than the internet as whole in answering questions and giving ideas and how-tos so thank you for that.

Currently, I'm in the preparation and research stage and that includes recipes and I had a few questions:

1. As far as spices and sauces go, what are some "staples" I should have in my kitchen?

2. I love curry but the one time I attempted a recipe at home, the smell of it (as tasty as it was) lingered for a long time. I noticed a few curried dishes recipes on your site but I was wondering how does one include this in a Bento? Doesn't the curry smell or any other strong odors linger in the box?

Thank you again for JustBento!

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Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 6 years 35 weeks ago.
Re: Spices and sauces in the Bento.

I would say that you run the risk of lingering odors with any dish with strong flavors. And believe me when I lived with my mother she thought everything I made was too strong and would stink up the house (compared to a woman who barely uses black pepper). The best thing to do is have good ventilation, cook with the vent on and/or the window(s) open.

When I make something with strong flavors I generally try to go for things that are more mild to pair with it. Like if I make curry, I pair it with plain brown rice and maybe some cucumber for contrast.

Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 30 weeks ago.
Re: Spices and sauces in the Bento.

Hi fourfaced and welcome to the forums!

Regarding curry and spices, for the bento-friendly recipes on this site I dont use a whole lot in a dish, just a little bit to enhance the flavor. So they really aren't as strong as you might think. Try one and see!

Now if you have a spicy sauce with curry or other type spices, plus oil, the combination of oil and spice can be a bit pungent, and may even linger in your plastic bento box even after washing, which can be a bother. If you want to bring that type of thing for lunch, it might be best to follow the example of Indian cooks and use metal/stainless steel containers rather than plastic (the standard Indian portable meal container is a stainless stell tiffin).

Regarding spices and such - you don't really need to buy anything special, since bento food is just regular food that's tasty cold, and fits into a compact container. If you want to try Japanese recipes, here's a list of ingredients that I use for Japanese cooking, so you could start from the top (the most important ingredients) and work your way down gradually!


The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

Bento-ing from: NYC › New York › USA
Joined: 2 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 7 years 31 weeks ago.
Re: Spices and sauces in the Bento.

Thank you, Stephanie! The problem was, my old apartment was tiny and the kitchen didn't have a window so the smell had nowhere to go but the livingroom and bedroom. I have a window next to my stove so I think I will give it another try!

Thank you so much, Maki! I will have to look around for one of those then if I decide to do anything really strong. First and foremost, though, is that I will definitely be trying a few recipes on here. And thank you for the link to the list! Extremely helpful!

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