April 2009

All the content on this site by month.


Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 460 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 10 minutes the night before; 15 minutes in the morning

Type: Traditional Japanese

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


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.

Princess Bento Box & Tamagoyaki

  • Posted on: 25 April 2009
  • By: anon.
The other day, I went on a search for a bento box at a large mall in Southern California. I knew that they had a few Asian stores and gift shops (mostly anime) so I had an intention of purchasing a bento-like box at one of the shops. Sadly, I found nothing. >.< And the worst part is that the sales associates were no help. I told this one woman I was looking for a lunch box, and she pointed to some purses. -_-;;
If you have 'get notified for new replies to your comment' turned on, and you got mass emails today from the server (aka Onigiribot) for old comments, it was a technical glitch. My apologies! Short version: the database burped. Long version: I had to restart the database server, and somehow all 'anonymous' comments got unpublished. So, I was publishing them 20 rows at a time, before I realized that that would cause new notifications to go out again! (Massive thanks to Lyvvie for letting me know before I spammed more people!) Then I remembered the power of command line MySQL. Whew! So anyway, I'm really sorry if you did get tons of emails! And...have a great weekend! ^_^;

bento-break D:

  • Posted on: 23 April 2009
  • By: MitarashiDango
The reason why I have no been updating is because I've lost my bento box and my bentos don't look pretty anymore >< In addition, my bentos are just simple, cook-and-dump lunches. Nothing special or pretty.. I have ordered a new set from JList.com and it should arrive next week.. together with other bento accessories! I shall be back to posting pictures this weekend, when I embark on Japanese seaweed salad project (recipe suggestion thanks goes to Maki-san, on the forums).

Why I bento: bento = love

  • Posted on: 23 April 2009
  • By: anon.
"I started a bento box because well, it makes me feel happy inside. :3 It helps me wake up early to pack my lunch, use food and left-overs in the kitchen that usually get wasted. It also helps me stop buying "out on a whim" desserts and food at restaurants and cafes (which are pricey!). Also, and most of all, recently, it's started to be a cute project with my boyfriend and I. We both used to pursue culinary arts and have a certain love for cooking. Seeing all the yummy food I'm making makes him interact with this new hobby. Hehe, and when we get older, he'll know that I'll pack him a good lunch for work. So, I guess this bento boxing idea helps my soul and heart more than anything else. :] bento = love."
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Homemade furikake no. 10: Sardines and pine nuts


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.

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.

Fun with Japanese egg molds


Something fun from the archives, in keeping with Easter. Incidentally, I haven't been able to update Just Bento this week due to a sudden change of plans, but I'll be back next week with frugal bento recipes and more. So until then...enjoy your weekend!

Egg molds are a fairly easy way to add some cuteness to a bento box. They are meant for kids' bentos, but there's nothing to stop you from using them for yourself of course. I usually can't be bothered to make molded eggs for everyday bentos, but for picnics and parties they are quite a lot of fun.


Egg molds are offered by various online sources such as J-List and eBay merchants (see the left sidebar for some listings), as well as at 100 yen stores. There are two types of egg molds: one has a simple clamshell shape with a fastener, and the other has a inner half-shell. You can use the latter kind without the inner half-shell too. Either way, be sure you get one that has the clamshell shape and the closing fastener - these features are what make an egg mold work properly.

Bento 2

  • Posted on: 8 April 2009
  • By: shadow22cat
Well, this is my bento for today! It's another sandwich one, only this time it has cheddar instead of Colby Jack. I managed to get the entire sandwich in it this time, don't know what was wrong with last time's. It looks tasty to me. :P
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Hi everybody!

  • Posted on: 7 April 2009
  • By: shadow22cat
Hi! Yay I have a new blog! I didn't make a bento today because I wasn't feeling very well. :( Instead, I finished the little piece of sandwich leftover from yesterday and had a chicken ramen instant cup noodle. Still good, but not as fun. Now, Passover should be interesting if I keep this up. Not, allowed to have bread, rice, beans, etc. I'll have to use special Kosher for Passover food. This will probably start with my lunches on April 9th until April 17th. That should be fun to see though, if I take pictures. This what I made yesterday: Sandwich Bento -Whole wheat bread

1st post!

  • Posted on: 5 April 2009
  • By: MitarashiDango
Thank you, Maki-san for setting up my blog!! I'm so happy to find out when I woke up about an hour ago! I now have somewhere to blog my food adventures with. I first thought of using LJ, which was created about year ago and is still left empty; or maybe blogspot.. I've always wanted to have a blog for my design portfolio and random thoughts, so it won't be nice to see posts about what I bento there ^^;
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A Frugal Recipe: Curried Lentil Risotto


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.

Keep track of your bento lunch savings in April


During Frugal Bento Month, I have a simple challenge for you. That is to keep track of how much you save by making and bringing your own lunch instead of buying lunch.

Note that if you're already making bentos almost daily and you have a good grip on your spending, you may not see the benefits. But if you're just thinking about making bentos or just starting out, or if you have no idea how much you might be saving, it's somewhere to start. Or perhaps you can use it to convince your spouse/boy/girlfriend or family about the benefits of bentos.