how-to

Bento 101 (Getting Into the Bento Making Habit): Part 1: What can I eat?

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Welcome to the first lesson of Bento 101: Getting Into The Bento Making Habit! As the course name implies, and as I outlined previously, this course is all about incorporating the bento making habit into your daily routine. continue reading...

Bento 101: Getting Into The Bento Habit course materials and further notes

The response to the Getting Into The Bento Habit course announcement has been overwhelming! I’m really glad to see so many people interested in participating. I’m busy getting things ready now.

Reading through the comments, there may be a little bit of misunderstanding about the objectives of this course, so I just wanted to clarify them here. continue reading...

Bento courses 2013

This is the top page for listing all the bento courses conducted in 2013 on JustBento.

All courses are absolutely free. And if you miss them when they are running 'live' you can just go back to the lessons posted and follow them on your own time.

Making bento lunches in a dorm room

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[It’s back-to-school time! This article was originally posted in September 2008, and revised several times since. There are lots of great ideas in the comments, so be sure to check them out! ]

Here’s a great question from reader Jan:

I live in a college dorm, and I only have a microwave, water kettle and George Foreman-style grill (we aren’t allowed to have hotplates in here). Is it an option to grill tofu? And do you have any other suggestions for cooking with my limited resources?

Eating healthy in a dorm room can be a challenge indeed, especially without a fully equipped kitchen. I actually lived in a dorm-like setting (it was off-campus housing but set up like a dorm) for a few months during my early days in college. We had access to an ancient refrigerator, which was compartmentalized inside into lockable litle safe-like boxes with nameplates and keys (!). Each box was about the size of a hotel room safe, so there was barely enough space there for each person to store an apple and a can of soda. We could have a water heater in our rooms, but that was about it (though there were suspiciousl smells periodically wafting about the place from various rooms). I did move to a better place as soon as I could, but here’s what I remember doing from those days, plus some ideas about using those luxury items, a grill and a microwave! continue reading...

Christmas bentos bring good cheer to lunch

Bento #13: Santa Claus Onigiri

Some really cute yet easy to emulate Christmas themed bentos from the JustBento community. continue reading...

Bento supplies vendor news, plus a summer bento safety reminder

Some news from the great bento suppliers who help to keep this site going, plus a reminder to keep your food safe during the summer months. continue reading...

How to cook rice in a frying pan article over on Just Hungry

I know that not everyone who follows JustBento follows my other food site, JustHungry. I put my ‘foundation’ type Japanese recipes over there more often than not, while I have especially bento-friendly recipes here on JustBento. Today though, there’s a recipe and how-to for making Japanese style rice (the method should be adaptable to other types of rice) in a frying pan. I know that the subject of whether or not a rice cooker is needed for bento-making comes up quite a lot in the forums, so if you’re looking for an alternative to getting a rice cooker, or just another backup rice-making method, give the good old frying pan a try! continue reading...

All about ekiben, Japanese train station bentos

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During my most recent trip back to Japan, I had a chance to do some proper train travelling, indulging in several ekiben or station bentos along the way. Here’s a brief report, plus what you need to know if you try your own train and ekiben trip. continue reading...