recipe

Oven-baked Spicy Asian Chicken Wings

Oven baked crispy teriyaki chicken wings

I love chicken wings, especially for bentos. They are small and much easier to pack than legs, and come with a readymade handle, especially the drumettes (the thickest part). So I try various recipes for them. Many of the tastiest ways of cooking chicken wings involve deep-frying. I don't know about you, but as much as I love fried chicken, especially karaage, I do not like deep frying too often.

This is an oven baked version that tastes very fried-chicken like, with a crispy finish that stays that way for a while even when cold. I've given them a spicy-savory-sweet flavor; the spice comes from gochujang, a miso-like Korean chili pepper paste that I have a serious crush on. (See my previous recipe using gochujang.) I'm calling them Asian since they have that kind of pan-Asian flavor that is so popular these days. They are of course, perfect for bentos. I'd suggest having some for dinner and setting aside some for bentos. You may have to hide the ones set aside from midnight fridge raiders though. continue reading...

Soft Polenta For Dinner, Fried Polenta Cakes for Bento

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Fried polenta cakes are surprisingly good cold, so they make a nice change-of-pace carb in a bento, especially if you just happen to have some leftover polenta from dinner. continue reading...

Spinach Tamagoyaki (Spinach-packed omelette)

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This is a very easy to make tamagoyaki (Japanese style omelette) that is chock full of spinach. Even spinach doubters may like this, since the egg, onion and garlic neutralize the iron-rich quality which some people have problems with. It is basically a whole load of spinach that is held together with egg. It does not use the rolling/folding technique used for plain tamagoyaki or the one-egg version, so you may find it a lot easier to make. continue reading...

Cubed Tofu and Broccoli with Miso and Kochujang (gochujang)

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Not the best looking dish, but a very assertively tasty tofu dish that is great for bentos, whether you’re a vegan/vegetarian or not. continue reading...

Bento staple: All-purpose winter vegetable mix for rice and more

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This is a very versatile vegetable-only or vegetable and chicken mix that can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week, or for a month in the freezer. As long as you use a vegetarian/vegan protein it will be vegan/vegetarian, but if you are an omnivore you can use chicken. Let me give you the recipe first, and then show you a couple of ways to use it. continue reading...

Yuzu scented winter vegetable tsukemono (pickles)

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Here’s a super-easy tsukemono or Japanese style pickle that only takes about 10 minutes to prep. It makes a great bento vegetable or salad substitute. continue reading...

Sweet, sour and salty 'instant' radish pickles

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[While I’m still getting back up to speed, please enjoy this recipe for ‘instant’ pickled radishes, great in any bento or in a salad. Originally published in May 2009. It’s kind of funny to re-read this post and realize we were still waffling about buying a house in France or not. I guess we did, after all!]

While radishes are available year-round, spring seems to be the perfect time to enjoy their crisp, peppery crunchiness. They are also really pretty. I love them just as-is, perhaps with a little salt, or sliced up in salads, but I’ve also been playing around with various formulas to make instant pickles or ichiyazuke (一夜漬け, or ‘overnight pickles’) with them. Here’s one result that’s sweet, salty, sour and peppery - a great bento box side dish. continue reading...