Time required: 5-10 minutes

Homemade furikake no. 11: Spicy radish leaves

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This furikake may not even look like furikake, since it’s wet, but it can be used in every way dry furikake can. You can keep it in the refrigerator for a week or so, or freeze it in small batches. And since it’s using radish leaves (leftover from making radish pickles for example), it’s very frugal and nutritious too. It’s a vegan variation of the first furikake recipe I posted, and just as delicious. continue reading...

Bento filler: Green beans and aburaage (fried tofu skins)

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I swear this site has not gone all vegetarian - I’ll have some recipes for you omnivores soon! Still, now that the weather is so sunny and beautiful here, and with the abundance of great produce, it just seems easier to think up vegetable recipes. This one can be used as a filler or a vegan main in a bento, and is dead easy to make - and it just uses four ingredients! The main ones are fresh green beans and aburaage, deep fried tofu skins. No oil is added, since we utilize the residual oil on the aburaage instead. This dish keeps quite well in the refrigerator, so you can make a batch and use it throughout the week. continue reading...

Bento filler: Zucchini flower blossom-end fritters

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Zucchini or courgette flowers are beautiful things to behold at the market. The most commonly seen recipes using them seem to call for stuffing them with meat or cheese, but they are great just simply fried too.

When trying to come up with a fritter that would fit neatly into a bento box, I found that the floppy flower petals got a bit too messy looking. So I cut them off, ending up with just the round blossom ends. They look rather like giant buttercups.

These little fritters are good hot or cold. They are very easy to make, so I would suggest making them for dinner and holding back a few for your bento the next day. continue reading...

Bento no. 66: Vegan Iridofu Donburi Bento

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Bento contents:

  • 1 cup (240ml, about 150g) brown rice, 240 calories
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) vegan iri dofu, 225 calories
  • Snow peas and pickled red ginger (beni shouga) for garnish

Total calories (approx): 465 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 15 minutes the night before; 5 minutes in the morning

Type: Traditional Japanese, vegan continue reading...

Carrot and cheese stars, flowers, hearts

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A very simple yet effective bento decoration, suitable for all types of bento. continue reading...

Very Easy Marinated Chicken Skewers

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The chicken recipes here on Just Bento are always very popular. And why not? Chicken is relatively inexpensive, cooks fast, and is fairly low-fat if you trim it judiciously.

This very simple Asian-fusionesque flavored marinated chicken breast recipe can be made without the skewers, but it’s just that much more fun, and somehow seems to taste better, if you put it on a stick. continue reading...

Bento no. 60: Breakfast and Lunch Combo Bento With Lentil Snacks

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Bento Contents:

Breakfast:

  • 1/2 cup muesli, 150 cal
  • About 2 Tbs. dried cranberries, 60 cal
  • 1/2 container (90g) Greek yogurt, 75 cal

Total calories for breakfast (approx): 285

Lunch:

  • 6 Spicy Lentil Snacks, 270 cal
  • Carrot sticks from 1 medium carrot, 30 cal
  • 1/2 container (90g) Greek yogurt with spices, 75 cal
  • Some greens, 5 cal

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

Time needed: 5-10 minutes in the morning - mainly just packing things up (You could pack the whole bento the night before; this bento will not suffer much in quality.)

Type: Vegetarian, not Japanese, 2-in-1 continue reading...

Ham Negimayaki (Green Onions Wrapped in Ham and Panfried)

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Negimayaki (ネギマ焼き) or negima as it’s often abbreviated, is scallions or green onions wrapped in thinly sliced meat and pan fried. It’s usually made with thinly sliced beef or pork in Japan. The thing is though, while very thinly slice meat is a standard cut available at any supermarket in Japan, here in Europe it’s not. If I want that cut I have to ask the butcher to do it for me, or slice it myself.

However, ham and cured meat slices of all kinds is very easily available here, so that’s what I use for this version of negima. The advantage of using ham, besides its availibity and handiness, is that it’s already flavored, so you don’t have to add any more seasoning. The saltiness of it flavors the green onion inside too. These cook up very quickly. continue reading...