salmon yuzu rice bento

10 06 2012

a bento inspired by two dear friends i wish i saw more of — mira, with whom i had dinner at our fave edo sushi on friday night (providing salmon leftovers for the main dish here), and rupal, currently in shanghai but who left me this pretty bottled lemon drink which i knew i would use as a bento prop.

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happy snail bento

5 04 2011

tomorrow’s lunch was inspired by a snail bento by the talented lucky sundae – how cute, right?!  i love her work.  my snail is a little bit different, but with the same “shell” — i used white cheese, yellow soy paper, steamed carrot and fish sausage.  i gave my snail little fish sausage cheeks, too!  and my snail is crawling on a sesame leaf.

the base for the snail scene is omurice — a thin egg crepe wrapped around fried rice (i fried mine with kimchi and tofu).  in the back section of the box, i put the last of the leftover broiled salmon, some steamed brussels sprouts, purple cauliflower, romesco, pea pods, takuwan, a plump vine tomato, and a carrot butterfly.

bento4japan european raffle winners have been chosen, but you can still donate, and there are still charity auctions to bid on!





spring sailboat bento

3 04 2011

i hope everybody had a nice weekend! we finally got some nice, spring-like weather, with temperatures in the mid-50s and two days of fairly consistent sunshine.

tomorrow’s bento has a nautical theme, with a sailboat (nori and colored soy paper on cheese) and an anchor (cut from steamed carrot). i have a small piece of broiled salmon, with more flaked underneath the rice (which is mixed with seaweed and sesame seed furikake). a few steamed broccoli florets, a mini yellow pepper, and the cutest mini-strawberries round out this meal.

happy start of the week!





blossom onigiri bento

23 03 2011

a quick post since i’m a little bit tipsy after a few drinks with my best girlfriend…

tomorrow’s bento in a magewappa box has two onigiri filled with flaked salmon.  i mixed the salmon with chimichurri sauce (a new favorite in my household for serving with salmon — it’s so flavorful!) and mayo and then stuffed the rice, which was a blend of short-grain white and long-grain brown (texmati).  the onigiri are topped with blossoms made from cheese and steamed purple potato — they look familiar to me but i can’t place them.  cherry blossom?  plum blossom?  let me know if you have a guess!

the rest of the box has a steamed broccoli floret, a mini red pepper, a star-cut carrot, a roasted shitake mushroom, some slices of takuwan, a few pea pods, and a pretty sakura pick.

i’m trying to stick to a posting schedule of tuesdays-through-thursdays, with no bento on fridays because of a whole bagel-breakfast-which-turns-into-leftovers-for-lunch extravaganza that we have in my department on a weekly basis.  so, have a great weekend and i’ll see some of you on twitter in the meantime!





5 minute bento

8 03 2011

hi bento pals!  i know, it’s been forever since i last posted.  i won’t bore you with my excuses and the changes to my schedule that have resulted in mornings where i often throw some pitiful leftovers in a tomato-stained plastic container (the kind you get free with takeaway food) and call it “lunch” — suffice it to say i am still adjusting to the new job/commute/office situation and am looking for ways to get bento back in my life.

one way i may be able to do that is with speed-packed bentos.  i’ve gone back to the basics here, relying on some of the original tips i learned from biggie’s lunch in a box site way back when i first started bentoing.

the main portion of today’s lunch is just brown rice, a small piece of leftover salmon (i actually cut this lunch-sized portion off of the filet before i cooked the fish to prevent the jagged edge and flakiness that often happens when you cut a cooked filet — i cooked it all at the same time, and immediately refrigerated the lunch portion), and an umeboshi.  the other section has a baby pepper stuffed with egg salad, an israeli vine tomato, and a container of chimichurri sauce (what i originally served over the salmon), all sitting on a bed of arugula.

nothing cutesy here (save for the quick addition of a pick and a baran — but i mean no punching or decorating with tweezers, no faces, etc.), but i am looking forward to a yummy and semi-traditional lunch.  this is also the first time i’m using this beautiful magewappa box that a friend recently brought back for me from a business trip to japan.  it’s fairly similar to this model from bento & co., and it’s divine — thanks, yasu!





salmon cakes bento

21 09 2010

another super simple bento for tomorrow’s lunch:  mini salmon cakes (from the frozen section at my organic market), brown rice with lentils and a black-and-white sesame seed stripe, “health salad” (cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, carrots and dill wilted in a light vinegar dressing, almost like a mayonnaise-less coleslaw), a few takuwan flowers, and a cherry tomato.  banana ooyoo and a lady apple for dessert.

tomorrow after work, i’m meeting up with joe mcpherson of zenkimchi, one of my favorite food blogs.  he’s in NYC after giving a presentation on buddhist temple cuisine, and hosting a meet-up for other foodies — we’re gonna grub down in K-town (which means bento-able leftovers, yay!).  if you’re interested in joining us, check out the facebook page and RSVP!

[posted at what’s for lunch wednesday — check it out and add your link!]





two bunnies bento

7 09 2010

hey bento friends!  it’s been forever — my bad!  after a long summer “off” (and full of great stuff — an old friend’s lovely wedding, a fun surprise camping trip, a milestone birthday, and our adoption of a new puppy), i’m back to work this week at a brand new job, which also means back to bento.

adjusting to my new work schedule has left me completely exhausted, so just a short post tonight to get me back in the swing of things.  for tomorrow’s lunch, i have two wasabi-salmon onigiri topped with cheese bunnies and trimmed in nori.  i thought i was being clever, and modeled the facial features after what i remembered marshmallow peep bunnies as looking like, but it turns out i forgot their noses — oh well, next time!  (this cutter really is perfect for peep bunnies, so i’m sure you’ll see it again come easter.)  also in this box are champagne grapes, a cute tiny lady apple, some bamboo-shaped baran and carrots cut into a similar shape, steamed broccolini and corn, and two colorful tomatoes with carrot picks.  the bunny and flower-shaped cutters, as well as the carrot picks, were gifts from a sweet bento pal — thanks dear!

i haven’t been as active in the comments sections of all my favorite bento blogs, but i have been quietly enjoying all the fabulous “back to school” bentos — as usual, you bento ladies are full of great decoration tips and healthy, delicious meal ideas for your lucky kids.  thanks for inspiring me, as always; i hope i can “get my act together” and make my “back to work” bentos as fun and appetizing!





year of the tiger bento

11 02 2010

i have seen so many wonderful tiger bentos in the past two months — some of my favorites are at mothering corner, hawai`i’s bento box cookbook, just bento, bonito’s cooking wonderland, and happy little bento — but i have been biding my time, brainstorming my own perfect tiger bento for the lunar new year. 

well, best-laid plans aside, this week was pretty busy (what with unpacking from iceland, catching up on work i missed, and various social engagements), and while i did manage to dye my orange rice in advance, the bento didn’t turn out exactly how i sketched it — i think it looks a little disorganized and haphazard (though it is nicely colorful!)  oh well, hopefully i’ll have more time for a better CNY bento in 2011, year of the rabbit!

my tiger cub onigiri is made from rice (2 drops of red food coloring and 2 of yellow – it came out REALLY bright, maybe just one drop of each next time?) with nori stripes and facial features, and kumquat ears.  he’s stuffed with wasabi salmon (tigers eat fish, right?).  the “2010” is made from blue egg sheet layered over cheese and then cut with my x-acto blade.

the rest of the box contains broccoli (underneath the “2010”), purple potato slices (steamed and salted, as the purple potatoes i can get in NYC aren’t sweet-tasting), a veggie croquette fried lightly and cut in half, grape tomatoes, strawberry halves, a clementine in a blue silicone mini-food cup, snow peas, yellow carrot sticks, and a lettuce border.

and i saved my cute japanese tiger candy for this bento, as promised!

wishing all my bento friends a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

[as seen on bentoboxlove]





lovebirds bento

10 02 2010

i know, i know, sheri did a gorgeous lovebirds bento on monday, and i swear that 1) i sketched this similar idea in my notebook over the weekend, and 2) i’m by no means trying to top hers (there’s no way i could!)… that said, maybe we can get a theme going (like when everybody did penguins)?  i just couldn’t pass up using this beautiful, intricate cutter for a holiday themed bento.

my love birds are made from egg sheet (i used mothering corner’s super-helpful instructions, and learned that adding cornstarch produces a pretty durable and smooth sheet; mine has 3 drops of red food coloring) on top of cheese, and the heart they’re sitting on is more egg sheet and cheese, topped by a daikon heart.

in the top portion of the box we have yellow carrots, pea pods, a grape tomato, broccoli, purple potato slices, pomegranate seeds in 2 silicone food cups (i doubled for stiffness and a more recognizable heart shape), a strawberry, and garlic-pepper salmon (leftover from tonight’s dinner).

this is my last valentine bento, as tomorrow i’ll be posting my “year of the tiger” contribution.  i hope you all have a wonderful valentine’s day, either with your sweethearts, your kids, or friends who love you!





tamagoyaki chicks bento

21 01 2010

tomorrow’s lunch has a musubi (yes, another musubi!), this time with brown rice and wasabi-mayo salmon filling.  the box is lined in cabbage, and in the bottom right-hand corner is a piece of the garlic-pepper salmon we had for dinner tonight (pan seared and then finished in the oven).  the “space fillers” in this bento are snow peas, grape tomatoes, a few cherries and raspberries, baby carrots, and a piece of steamed broccoli.

you may have noticed my musubi is decorated with another of my new pre-cut nori shapes — i love these!  i added a few hearts made with a different punch, just to fill up the rest of the musubi’s surface.

for a cute touch, i added two chicks made of tamogayki slices.  these are super easy to do — just use the non-cut side of the tamagoyaki slices (so that the swirl made by the filling doesn’t distract from the chicks’ faces), stick a pick in the top of their head to approximate the cocks’-combs, and add features of your choice (i did nori eyes and carrot beaks made from two different sized triangles each).

i definitely didn’t make this idea up, but i can’t remember where i saw it.  so, hey bentoists out there — if you’re reading this and want to be credited for this idea, please let me know!  i’m happy to update this post to link to your fantastic work!  UPDATE:  i found it!  i have been a fan of lucky sundae’s blog for a while, and i saw this entry months ago.  but then today i noticed it’s also on the cover her upcoming yum yum bento box book with pikko, and seeing the cover triggered my memory.  so thanks for the inspiration, lucky sundae!

here’s a close-up of the chicks’ faces:

the beak on the left one is a little bit jacked up, but maybe he’s just mid-tweet… yeah, that’s the ticket.

anyway, most of the CSS-related funny business i alluded to yesterday has been resolved, thanks to my awesome, life-saving, technology guru friend.  thanks vivi!

you may have already noticed my sweet new foodbuzz and j-list banners, and now i’ve also put together an amazon store filled with bento goodies hand-picked by me (some based on having used and loved, others based on still wanting — hint hint, boyfriend, if you are reading)… anyway, if you’re in the mood to feed your bento addiction, check out some of my selections!