My lovely wooden bento box just showed up yesterday so I was super excited about packing lunch today. I had a nice wooden one when I used to pack bento lunches back when I lived in Seattle, but it disappeared when we moved recently. I found this wooden bento box by KOSOX on Amazon. It’s made in China and has a finish on it. My original box was unfinished. I prefer the finish because it makes it less susceptible to staining. In any case, I use a sheet of parchment paper in my wooden bento boxes. I prefer wood because the bento stays moist but it can still breathe and the steam tends to absorb into the wood. I also think there’s something aesthetic and romantic about it.
My husband is a pickier eater than me, so I am working on things for him that are simple. The base formula for his bento are a meat, a vegetable, a starch, and a fruit. In contrast, the base formula for mine are a protein, 2 vegetables, 1 salad or pickle, and a starch.
I recently went on a trip to Tokyo for work (and also did some sight seeing). I ate so much amazing Japanese food! When I got back, I was inspired to start packing bento again. I currently telecommute, although I’ve been thinking about joining a coworking space just to get out of the house.
The big reason I want to pack bento again is portion control, but also so when it’s time for my lunch break I don’t have to worry about cooking anything for lunch. In the process of moving a few times I’ve lost my bento box collection 😦 But the good news is I get to start from scratch! I think one really doesn’t need that many. I have a nice wood one to replace the one I can’t seem to find and a small plastic one with little compartments.
Today I packed a lunch in the small plastic one and discovered that while amazing, it’s pretty small. I got this onigiri kit that came with a little onigiri case and in the future I’ll just make an onigiri to go with whatever I’m packing in this bento if I’m having rice. Otherwise it will be good for mixed noodle or rice dishes where the protein and some veggies are mixed in and can sit easily in the large compartment.
rice with furikake; sweet simmered shiitake; steamed baby bok choy; steamed green beans and simmered carrots rolled in thin sliced beef
simmered konbu and umeboshi soup base (just add hot water!)
edit: added a pic of my bento
hard boiled egg, beef rolls, simmered kabocha, cherry tomato, vegetable fried rice w/ nori flakes, doriyaki for dessert
i got some frozen kabocha and i don’t like it as much as i like the fresh stuff. the texture is too mushy 😦 maybe it got defrosted and refrozen. last time i made kabocha i made so much i couldn’t finish it all, so i thought this would be a good work around but i was MISTAKEN.
broccoli beef stir fry with chinese cabbage, green onion, and ginger, tamagoyaki with cheese
hard boiled egg, beef and broccoli stir fry with ginger, green onion, and chinese cabbage
left, from top: cucumber salad with dressing, meatballs, apple slices, broccoli, steamed carrots; right: rice with bonito flakes
back: rice with bonito flakes; front, from left: hard boiled egg, steamed carrot, steamed broccoli with mayo, meatballs, cucumber salad with dressing
he doesn’t like hard boiled egg, which is a shame since it’s such an easy way to add bulk to the bento. that’s ok, more for me!!
from left: beef fried rice, steamed carrots and broccoli with mayo, chikuwa fritters, lotus root salad; not pictured: apple slices for dessert
right, from top: lotus root salad, steamed carrot and broccoli with mayo, chikuwa fritter, tamagoyaki, persimmon slices; left: steamed rice with furikake, salted salmon
ok so tomorrow is saturday and i don’t *really* have to pack a bento………… but i am anyways 😛 i think i’ve got an addiction.. a serious serious addiction..
sukiyaki, mandarin orange slices, chrysanthemum turnip with red ginger accent
i got him a new furoshiki today! it has the little sanrio monkey guy on it. the monkey is my favorite cuz he always has weird random stuff on his head.
sukiyaki, persimmon slices, chrysanthemum turnip with red ginger accent
i think the inspiration for these bentos comes from the idea of eating leftover sukiyaki in a more visually appealing way. i prefer to eat leftovers in a bento for some reason..