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Bentos (2003-2008)


torakris
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My last undokai bento for yochien (pre-school) :sad: after 7 years straight (with 3 kids) my son will be starting elementary school in the spring....

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Hide (left) played keyboard in the band

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Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Only a quick trip to Loft in Shibuya (thanks again sk_ward) where I bought those:

gallery_24933_3174_15000.jpg

Little containers for thick sauces such as mayo, tomato sauce, mustard, peanut butter etc.

My husband was on the winning team for the tug-of-war and received the exact same thing as a prize, it even came in a Loft bag!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Friday's kindergarten bento

Aww, so cute! What do you mix in the onigiri, torakris? Have you used the "push case" yet? :laugh: I haven't used mine yet, I'm waiting for an opportunity to fill in with ganache!

My husband said his obento (from the pics above) was waaaay too big for him, so now we're making it much much smaller and it's been very easy and quick to prepare.

I know most of you here prepare the obento fresh in the morning (I'm a cheater, I make it a night before and put in the fridge because he can warm up in the microwave in the office). So i'd like to hear from you what are your Top Tips to save time making the obento in the morning?

:smile:

Marcia

Edited by Marcia (log)
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One of my sons has a long commute, so this year I joined the 5am bento makers...urgh.

Top time savers:

* Make one item the night before. Not only does it save time, it starts you thinking on what will go with that item, thus speeding up the rest of the bento-making.

* Pre-mixed seasonings. The one I find most useful is strong katsuo dashi mixed 1:1 with shoyu (keep refrigerated). Handy for dressing greens, and for adding to simmering vegetables.

* Asa-zuke quick pickle mix makes it easy to have plenty of vegetables in the bento.

* I buy two of each type of bento box. That way I can pack some items the night before (before the day's bento boxes have arrived home to be washed), and it's also easy for me to estimate amounts when I'm always using the same container.

By next year, everybody in the family will be taking a bento. I no longer have to worry about preparing minute amounts of food for bento - it's just another meal to make.

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Great tips Helen, thanks.

What about the rice? Do you 5am bento makers...

a) make the rice in the morning (or program the rice cooker)

b) keep the rice cooker ON all night (very tempting... but costy)

c) use cold rice and warm it up in the microwave (sacrilege?) :raz:

I make rice for dinner using rice cooker. As soon as it's ready I took a portion and fill in the bento box. Cool it down, close it tightly and in the fridge it goes. Next day my husband warm it up in the microwave. I do the same for my lunch, I don't think it tastes bad. Of course fresh rice is better, but microwaved rice is not so bad.

:smile:

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Definitely the sacrilege option!

That would bother me less if any of us could warm the rice at lunch time, but we can't, and I'm aware from eating bentos myself that the rice is less tasty, and more crumbly and hard when cooked the night before, even though I reheat it in the morning. I just use a lot of pickles, nori, and furikake!

The reason is that when I only have 2 bentos to make, it's too difficult to cook a tiny amount of rice in the morning. However, some people cook rice in the morning using a microwave rice cooker (which will cook as little as a half-cup of rice) - put the rice to soak the night before, and zap it in the morning. I have one somewhere, but I've forgotten how long the rice needs to be cookedt for... :blush:

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At the nursery school that my two kids went to, lunch was served, but each child had to bring a bento of cooked rice (or a slice of bread). My wife and I usually cooked rice in the morning, but when we had to cook it for supper for some reason, we wrapped one bento-ful of rice tight in plastic wrap as soon as the rice was cooked (within 30 minutes or so after it was cooked), let it cool for some time (for 30 minutes or so), and put it in the freezer. The next morning, we took it out and reheated it in the microwave. I don't know if this is the best way, but it was at least a method recommended in a TV show.

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Friday's kindergarten bento

Aww, so cute! What do you mix in the onigiri, torakris? Have you used the "push case" yet? :laugh: I haven't used mine yet, I'm waiting for an opportunity to fill in with ganache!

I know most of you here prepare the obento fresh in the morning (I'm a cheater, I make it a night before and put in the fridge because he can warm up in the microwave in the office). So i'd like to hear from you what are your Top Tips to save time making the obento in the morning?

:smile:

Marcia

The onigiri are flavored with yukari furikake, my son's current favorite.

I still have yet to use the push cases as well.

I do 10 minute bentos in the morning for my husband, they go into a container that keeps them warm until lunch. I use instant soups (or leftovers which are rare) and the rice is either cooked with a timer or heated in the microwave. The most important thing for me is to know what I am going to put in the bento before I go to sleep. Because he has soup as well I don't feel bad if I only have time to make just two other dishes, but I try for 3. If I have something leftover from the night before, I heat that up. I do a lot of eggs, mini omelettes with different fillings every day.

Today's obento had rice and soup (miso with wakame) grilled harasu (salmon belly), leftover turnip and carrot gratin (this was placed in a foil cup and grilled along with the harasu in the fish grill), and frozen corn sauteed with nira (garlic chives).

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Some days my husband still ask to take sandwiches instead of cooked meals. So we alternate between bento and sandwiches. His favourite sandwiches are:

- baguette with a bit of pesto, sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella

- wholemeal sliced bread, tuna with mayo, grated carrots and spring onions (scallion)

- white sliced bread, ham, cheese and Branston pickles (couldn't be any less british)

They are all easy to assemble, we make it a night before, wrap in clinging film and leave in the fridge. When he takes sandwiches we make sure to include more fruits in his lunchbox.

For obento, I like to stock some frozen vegetables (broccolli, peas, green soy beans without the pod). They are clean, trimmed and ready to cook, so it's quick.

I also buy lots of canned beans such as butter beans, cannelli beans and chickpeas, so i can open it, rinse, mix with cherry tomatoes and coriander leaves, season with salt and extra virgin olive oil and a tasty salad is born. The beans are also great to add protein in a soup.

:wink:

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Kinkistyle, my younger son would agree with you completely.

Last night, just AFTER I'd put on rice on to cook for bentos, my son1 said he needed a bento today too.

Today: Fresh (unsalted) cod deepfried in breadcrumbs and white sesame, with okra in breadcrumbs and black sesame.

Carrots in su-miso.

Broccoli :shock: (how boring - but it was the only fresh-looking green vegetable in the shop).

Home-made fukujin-zuke, nice and crunchy since I learned to have the mirin and soy boiling rapidly before adding the pickles and vegetables.

Rice molded shokado-style for ease of eating, sharp-flavored early mikan.

Tomorrow:

Gingered tsukudani of clams,

Thick deepfried tofu simmered with miso and ginger.

Patties of daikon leaves and satsuma-imo.

"Hitashi" of thin-sliced daikon.

Momi-zuke of mitsuba, maybe?

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pic027.jpg

Just joining in the fun, my grandson's bento... :raz:

top : yogurt drink, M&M chocolates and marshmallow biscuit

bottom : enoki mushrooms, steamed chicken fillets and egg tofu with rice seasoned with sauce undernearth.

Edited by peony (log)

peony

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got a Zojirushi Mr. Bento insulated food jar a couple of weeks ago; two days a week finds me at school from 730am till 530pm, and the prices for meals at school are exorbitant.

Here's a site dedicated to that particular style of bento: Mr. Bento Porn

...and here's a site featuring the more traditional styles: Bento Boxes

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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Here's a site dedicated to that particular style of bento: Mr. Bento Porn

...and here's a site featuring the more traditional styles: Bento Boxes

I saw a little pink "Hello Kitty" mayonaise container on eBay a few years ago, and I guess ever since then it's been just a matter of time?

Now I'm really really having a hard time restraining myself from ordering huge quantities of bento paraphenalia!

THANX SB :huh:

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Here's a site dedicated to that particular style of bento: Mr. Bento Porn

...and here's a site featuring the more traditional styles: Bento Boxes

I saw a little pink "Hello Kitty" mayonaise container on eBay a few years ago, and I guess ever since then it's been just a matter of time?

Now I'm really really having a hard time restraining myself from ordering huge quantities of bento paraphenalia!

THANX SB :huh:

[Darth Vader voice] Steeeeeeeeeeeve....come over to the daaaaaaaaaark siiiiiiiide....bento boxes are waaaaaaaiting.....[/Darth Vader voice]

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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Here's a site dedicated to that particular style of bento: Mr. Bento Porn

...and here's a site featuring the more traditional styles: Bento Boxes

I saw a little pink "Hello Kitty" mayonaise container on eBay a few years ago, and I guess ever since then it's been just a matter of time?

Now I'm really really having a hard time restraining myself from ordering huge quantities of bento paraphenalia!

THANX SB :huh:

[Darth Vader voice] Steeeeeeeeeeeve....come over to the daaaaaaaaaark siiiiiiiide....bento boxes are waaaaaaaiting.....[/Darth Vader voice]

Now tell me THIS ain't cute with a capital "Q"? :biggrin:

SB (smitten with the mouthless kitten) :wub:

(check out the pic in the upper right-hand corner)

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Here's a site dedicated to that particular style of bento: Mr. Bento Porn

...and here's a site featuring the more traditional styles: Bento Boxes

I saw a little pink "Hello Kitty" mayonaise container on eBay a few years ago, and I guess ever since then it's been just a matter of time?

Now I'm really really having a hard time restraining myself from ordering huge quantities of bento paraphenalia!

THANX SB :huh:

[Darth Vader voice] Steeeeeeeeeeeve....come over to the daaaaaaaaaark siiiiiiiide....bento boxes are waaaaaaaiting.....[/Darth Vader voice]

Now tell me THIS ain't cute with a capital "Q"? :biggrin:

SB (smitten with the mouthless kitten) :wub:

(check out the pic in the upper right-hand corner)

To quote the box cover, it's "Cute, Cuddly, A Bundle of Fun!"

I want some of those multi-shaped hard-boiled egg molds...

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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Hi!

I'm back from our wonderful holidays in Japan! Oh, how we loved the country... I didn't have much time to go hunting for my bento accessories. Only a quick trip to Loft in Shibuya (thanks again sk_ward) where I bought those:

gallery_24933_3174_15000.jpg

Little containers for thick sauces such as mayo, tomato sauce, mustard, peanut butter etc.

gallery_24933_3174_10701.jpg

Cute dressing and sauce containers.

Back in Taiwan I went to this Japanese shop and found some more things I couldn't find in Loft:

gallery_24933_3174_25868.jpg

Sandwiches cutters

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And my beloved Egg Molds I was looking for!

And today my husband took his first bento box to work. In UK he normally makes some pasta or sandwiches for his lunch. But this time I made him a complete meal with a bunny shaped boiled egg.

gallery_24933_3174_19751.jpg

He's just called me to say that he ate it all and it was very good.

:smile:

OMG those egg molds are precious!

Look at this cloth kids play bento:

http://www.almasdesigns.com/store/index.cf...ushi_Box_18.htm

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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are bento boxes strictly for kids or are they for adults as well?  I would guess that elaborate bento box posted earlier is for an adult?

btw I went to bentotv.com and I couldn't see the videos  :hmmm: but all the stuff on ebay is adorable!!!  My favorite is the halloween stencil  that I believe is for furikake (sp?)

rice stencil

Sheena Greena?

Quicktime never alerts you when it needs updating. Go to their website and download QT 7.0 and install it and you will then be able to see the BentoTv video...

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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  • 1 month later...

Hey everybody?

I ordered those hard boiled egg molds from the site on eBay and were told they were sent out on November 1st by SAL. What is SAL and Kristin? When you send stuff to your family in Ohio, how long does it take?

Ive emailed her 2 times and no response, which is surprising since they have excellent feedback...

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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