I 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.
- Various little cans of Japanese fishy things - clams (asari), mackerel (sanma), etc.
- Inari zushi skin cans
- A couple of furikake packs
- A little bit of instant pickling mix , pictured above (need to make some more soon)
Freezer - here I have quite a lot!
- Frozen vegetables - peas, edamame, mixed veg
- Some frozen salted salmon
- A little zip bag of about 10 mini-burgers that I made the last time we had meatloaf
- A 500g bag of sesame seeds (they keep fresh longer in the freezer)
- Frozen thin fried tofu (aburaage)
- Some packs of boiled soybeans in liquid
- Some packs of hummus
- Thinly sliced beef that’s been wrapped in individual-use portions
- Half a pack of frozen shrimp shumai
What are your favorite bento staples?
[Update:] Some great ideas in the comments - be sure to check them out. One new to me that I’ll have to try out - Zoe’s idea of using dressing mix as furikake! It’s also great to see how popular edamame has become. Just a few years ago I could only get it at Japanese groceries, and not even at all of them!