recipe

Spring Pasta and Chickpea Salad and Bento-Friendly Pasta Salad Basics

Spring pasta salad bento

We are now entering pasta salad season, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere. Easy to assemble and delicious at room temperature, at first glance you might think that pasta salads are perfect in bentos. There are a few things to watch out for though, in order to make sure that your salad is as safe as it is delicious at lunchtime. I also have a super-easy Chickpea and Pasta Salad recipe that is very bento-friendly; it’s vegetarian (easily converted to being vegan), to fit in with the theme for this month. continue reading...

Scrambled egg with green onion, or a deconstructed 1-egg tamagoyaki

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I admit that this is barely a recipe at all, unless you don’t know how to make scrambled eggs. It is essentially a 1 egg tamagoyaki for people in a hurry. Sure, a folded tamagoyaki only takes a few minutes to make, but sometimes even those few minutes can’t be spared.

So, here’s a scrambled egg that is perfect for bentos. I’ve added a little chopped green onion (left over from dinner the night before) for variety, but you could omit that if you’re in a really big hurry. To keep the scrambled egg neat and tidy, it’s packed in a silicone cupcake liner. continue reading...

Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts

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I haven’t added a new furikake recipe in a long time. So, it’s about time I did. As I wrote in the first homemade furikake recipe article, the homemade kind has a lot of advantages over the storebought kind.

One of the advantages is cost, and this furikake uses a cheap yet healthy ingredient that’s available to most people, wherever they may live: Canned sardines! A can of about 4 ounces of sardines (120g) or so costs a couple of dollars or euros or whatever at most. And sardines are packed with good nutrients: Omega-3s, protein, calcium, etc.

I’ve attempted to stay away from Japanese ingredients with this one, since I occasonally get complaints from readers that they can’t get a hold of those ingredients. If you can’t get Worcestershire sauce for some reason, use steak sauce or a similar rich, brown sauce. If pine nuts (though this only uses 2 tablespoons) are beyond your means, use sesame seeds or chopped nuts of another kind.

This furikake is good on pasta as well as rice. continue reading...

Spring maze gohan: Green pea rice, Asparagus rice

The last pea in the pod

A very simple and frugal thing to make with fresh peas like this, and the stalk parts of asparagus. continue reading...

A Frugal Recipe: Curried Lentil Risotto

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In keeping with Frugal Bento Month, this inexpensive yet delicious spicy vegan recipe, which could be a main protein or a combined protein/carb in a bento, is a guest post by Sarah of Get Cooking, where she blogs about her adventures in eclectic home cooking in New York. continue reading...

Stuffed Pan Fried Hanpen, 'foxy' light fish cakes

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A light stuffed fish cake recipe that’s really good in bentos. continue reading...

Updated inarizushi recipe on Just Hungry

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In case you don’t follow Just Hungry (though, if you want to know about basic Japanese cooking techniques you really should :)) I’ve substantially updated the inarizushi recipe that I originally posted more than 4 years ago. The new article describes in detail how to make your own inarizushi skins, which, if you can get a hold of the aburaage (fried tofu skins), is not hard at all. The technique is useful for people who have had trouble with the infamous Eggs in Treasure Bags recipe!

Miso Marinated Pork (butaniku no misozuke)

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Something for the omnivores! Pork is the most popular meat in Japanese cooking, but so far I haven’t posted any (non-bacon) pork recipes on Just Bento, though I do have a couple over on Just Hungry that are bento-friendly, such as tonkatsu (breaded and fried pork cutlets). This classic sweet-salty, intensely flavored miso marinated pork is really well suited to bentos. It is similar to miso chicken, but a bit more complex in flavor. continue reading...