- mix together 1 cup of rice, 1/2 cup of water, two eggs, and half a cabbage head.
- fry pancake sized clumps until cooked through
- you can add other ingredients like onions, meat, and other vegetables (just make sure the meat is cooked through!)
- we added soy sauce, kewpie mayonnaise, and okonomiyaki sauce but experiment and see what you like!
There are so many different varieties of bento since it is essentially just a lunch box. Here’s what we put in our bento:
octopus mini-hotdogs (taco uinaa):
- we cut mini-hotdogs at their base to make “legs” then cooked according to directions
rabbit apples (ringo usagi):
- we sliced apples cutting away the skin in a pattern to make it look like rabbit ears
- we mixed eggs and Oigatsuo Tsu Soup Base (though you can use soy sauce instead); about one teaspoon per egg
- we poured a thin layer on a well greased pan on low heat, letting it cook enough to roll
- after rolling, we poured another thin layer and rolled it next to the first
- once the egg is cooked through we took it off the pan and sliced it
We also cooked up some rice, and broccoli, sliced up lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes, and bought some kistune tofu. Enjoy!
- we cut up carrots, asparagus, zucchini, and yams into thick slices (~1cm thick)
- we defrosted jumbo shrimp in warm water and de-shelled them
- we mixed flour, baking soda, and corn starch (though potato starch is better) [for every 1/2 cup of flour, we added 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 3 tablespoons of corn starch]
- we added water until the mix was about the consistence of pancake mix [you can use carbonated water or sprite to make the mix fluffier]
- we coated the food in an even layer of batter and then submerged in a pot of gently bubbling vegetable oil
- we let it cook until the batter was crispy
- we cut onions, carrots, and yams into thin strips
- we used the same batter with less water (so thicker)
- we dropped it into the oil in clumps, making an interconnected mass of vegetables and cooked batter
- we removed when the batter became crispy
You can make tempura and kakiage out of almost any food, just make sure the slices are thin enough to cook through when you dip them in the oil. Enjoy!
Here’s an easy recipe for a delicious snack!
- cook up some rice
- wet your hands and coat them with salt
- take a handful of rice and shape into a ball
- wrap in sea weed
You can stuff the rice balls with traditional fillings like tuna or other fish, or a pickled plum, or you could experiment with other flavors like cheese or cinnamon. Experiment and see what you like!
- peel potatoes, onions, and carrots
- slice the carrots and the onions and cut the potatoes into chunks (we cut large brown potatoes into eighths)
- cut up some pork into bite-sized pieces
- put everything in large pot
- add some soy sauce and brown sugar to taste
- cook on the stove for a little bit while stirring
- poke some holes in a sheet of foil and shape it into a lid; place it over the food
- turn down the heat to low or simmer and let it cook slowly (this allows the flavours to soak into the meat)
You can replace pork with tofu and add more or less vegetables to taste. Play with the spices too! We kept it simple with soysauce and sugar but add what you like. Enjoy!
- we cooked some white rice
- we cut carrots into slices, peeled potatoes into chunks, and onions into thin strips [for tofu curry, cut the block of tofu into small cubes]
- for chicken curry only: we cooked bite-sized chicken breast in a pot until done
- we also cooked all the vegetables (carrots, potatoes, and onions) until lightly brown using a little bit of vegetable oil to avoid sticking [if you’re making tofu curry, add the tofu too]
- for chicken curry only: we combined the chicken and vegetables
- we added water bringing the entire thing to a fairly high temperature
- we then slowly added “Kokumaro Curry Sauce Mix” one block at a time, by submerging the blocks on a spoon and batting at them until completely dissolved
- we repeated this until the curry tasted good
- to thicken, we cooled the curry down and reheated
- we served the curry over the rice
Curry also tastes good over pasta, bread, or even by itself. It tastes even better the day after it’s made because it thickens as time goes by. Other vegetables also work. Pumpkins, green peas, and tomatoes are excellent vegetables to try but you can put in pretty much anything. Other meats also work. Mix and match to see what you like (just make sure that all eggs and meats are cooked through before eating!). We used a package called “Kokumaro Curry Sauce Mix” but any instant curry mix will work. Enjoy!
Kastudon! (or Chicken Katsu)
- We bought pre-cut chicken breast and covered each piece with a layer of flour
- We then mixed some eggs into an even liquid
- We submerged the floured chicken into the eggs
- From there, we covered the chicken in an even layer of Panko Bread Crumbs
- We brought some vegetable oil to a boil then added the breaded chicken (turn down the heat when adding the chicken so that the outside doesn’t cook too much faster than the inside)
- When the chicken was golden brown, we removed it from the oil and cut it open to make sure it was cooked all the way through (if it wasn’t cooked enough we put it back in the oil to cook some more)
- We sliced the chicken and added rice and raw cabbage
- For the sauce, we mixed together ketchup, apple sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire, and sugar
We used chicken breast but pretty much any part of the chicken works. Other meats can be substituted as well. If you can’t find Panko Bread Crumbs you can make your own bread crumbs by crumbling pieces of toast (toast is better than just bread because the crumbs are dry; stale bread also works well for the same reason). For the sauce you could buy a pre-made sauce from the store however any sauce can work. The sauce can be made from oyster sauce, teriyaki sause, soy sause, and whatever else tastes good. Try a few different mixes and see what you like! Enjoy!
- We cut some vegetables: we added mushrooms and green onions
- We cut up tofu too
- For the Broth, we heated some water and added Memmi and brown sugar to taste
- We hard boiled some eggs and added them too
- We put some udon noodles in boiling water until they were ready to eat
- Then we mixed and matched the ingredient to individual taste
Udon is an easy dish that you can cook up in various ways. Some other common vegetables included are seaweed, more varieties of mushrooms, thinly cut carrots, cabbage, spinach, and bamboo shoots. Put what you like in! If you can’t find Memmi you can use a fish broth and add soy sauce and brown sugar. Fishcakes are another common ingredient as are various meats. Just make sure that the meat is cooked through before eating it!