recipe

Homemade furikake no. 7: Salmon furikake (or Sake flakes)

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Is this salmon (sake) furikake? Or is it salmon (sake) flakes? Or maybe it’s even salmon soboro. Whatever you call it, it’s finely flaked salmon that you can sprinkle onto plain rice, use as an onigiri filling, or on ochazuke. You could fold it into egg for a salmon omelette, on boiled vegetables…whatever your imagination can come up with.

Salmon flakes are often sold in jars that cost around $8 for about 150g. You can make it yourself for less than $3, depending on how expensive the salmon is. You can be even more frugal and use the little bits that are stuck on the bones when you filet a whole salmon. This is probably how fish soboro or flakes or furikake was invented in the first place. continue reading...

Poached frozen tofu and fried frozen tofu cutlets

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This is a very juicy and tasty way of cooking frozen tofu - and it’s not Japanese, for a change. A great vegan protein dish! continue reading...

Iri tamago or tamago soboro, another standard Japanese egg recipe

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There are three very commonly used Japanese egg recipes. One is tamagoyaki or atsuyaki tamago (and its variant, dashimaki tamago), a rolled omelette. Another is usuyaki tamago, a very thin omelette which is used as a wrapper or shredded and used as a topping. Ther third is iri tamago, finely scrambled eggs that are used quite a lot as a topping. It’s here because it’s such a handy ingredient for bento. If you think you need a bit of color and protein, there’s no faster egg dish you can make. continue reading...

Basic meat soboro, a great bento staple

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A soboro is rather like furikake, except that it’s moister. It’s used like furikake in many situations - sprinkled onto rice, folded into other things like eggs, and more. Soboro can be made of ground meat, flaked fish (though fish soboro is often called oboro instead), or egg (egg soboro is often called iri tamago, just to keep you confused!) Meat soboro (niku soboro) keeps for about a week in the refrigerator, and freezes beautifully, making it a great bento johbisai or staple for the omnivore. continue reading...

Bento no. 16: A minimalist vegan bento for a tender tummy

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(click on image for a bigger view)

Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 400 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 10 minutes in the morning, a bit of this and that previously

Type: Japanese, vegan, gluten-free continue reading...

Stewed hijiki seaweed with carrots and fried tofu

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This is a very classic Japanese staple dish. More often than not, I have some variation of it in my refrigerator. The base is hijiki seaweed, which is soaked and reconstituted then cooked in dashi with various other ingredients that give it flavor. It’s great to add to a bento box.

This version has carrots and fried tofu in it. Cutting them into fancy shapes is totally optional, but it does make your bentos a bit more fun.

I’ve used me-hijiki for this but you can use the regular long branch hijiki too. continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 5: Sweet bacon

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I’ve neglected the furikake series for a while, but it’s back!

And what better way to return, than with bacon.

I have bacon on the mind recently for some reason. I’m not overindulging in it, but it’s fun trying to figure out different ways of incorporating bacon in one’s life.

Bacon goes with everything, including rice. It’s salty and bacon-y. I’ve souped it up by adding some Japanese flavors sweet-salty flavors. The result is almost like bacon candy. A little goes a long way.

It’s great sprinkled on just about everything. Besides rice, you could sprinkle it on eggs, vegetables, your tongue… continue reading...

Lazy easy tea eggs

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This is a sort of short-term storage staple. It only keeps in the refrigerator for about 3 or 4 days, but you can make them at any time and they are handy for filling a corner of a bento box.

There are many more complicated recipes for tea eggs, a traditional Chinese recipe. The boiled eggs are usually meant to be kept in the tea-based marinade with their shells on, carefully cracked all around so that a lovely marble pattern is revealed when the eggs are peeled.

My method is way simpler, and is motivated by the fact that I don’t really want to be fiddling around with peeling eggs in the morning. Since the eggs are totally peeled, the marinade will penetrate it faster and deeper, so you can start using them just an hour after you’ve put them in the liquid if you like. continue reading...