bento# 59: mamenori/crab rolls

bento 59

I ❤ this bento box. So easy to pack.

So I’ve had these imitation crab sticks in the freezer for a few weeks now, trying to think of an interesting way to use them. The most obvious use is California rolls; but as previously stated, I don’t like sushi enough to go through the headache of making it.

So this is kind of weird, but what I wound up doing was spreading a thin layer of whipped cream cheese on a mamenori sheet, rolling a stick up in it, and cutting it into quarters. I also have tobiko to top it with, but I didn’t want to put it on when I packed it, so I have it on the side. (Since I don’t drive, between the bicycle and the bus my bentos can knocked around pretty hard before I get to work, and I figured the tobiko would slide off.)

I also have:

  • 2 sushi rice onigiri
  • Veggie potstickers
  • Honey tangerine
  • Instant miso soup
  • Cookies. I think they’re like Hello Panda, except they’re koalas.

bento #58: tamagoyaki & tobiko

I got my bento mojo back! And I seem to have an orange-and-blue theme here. Also this is the new box I bought on Saturday.

Left to right:

  • Tamagoyaki, a Japanese “rolled” omelette. This is my first attemt and I’m pleasantly surprised at the result. Also, a non-stick loaf pan will work just fine if you don’t have a rectangular omelette pan — kind of an item that only has one use. I added a teaspoon of soy sauce and a pinch of sugar to the eggs.
  • Sweet corn croquettes.
  • Chive and onion cream cheese.
  • Tobiko, flying fish roe. I’m happy to report that freezing tobiko alters neither the taste nor the delightful little *pop!* texture. Mom and Jamie and I used to lick our fingers and pick up every tiny egg whenever we had sushi that was coated in tobiko, because we loved the way the eggs popped between our teeth. A while back I asked for non-sushi uses for tobiko in my LJ bento community and got some good ones; but in the end decided to just throw them on a cracker with some cream cheese.
  • Satsuma.
  • Roasted peas.
  • Sidecar (also new) has some green onion crackers.
  • Instant miso soup, which I got 2 10-packs for $5 at Marina Foods. That’s like 25 cents a bowl! And the concentrate is a paste, not a powder, so it’s fresher-tasting. Also they must use some kind of astronaut technology to dehydrate the add-ins; I had a bowl of the seaweed miso (they’re variety packs) yesterday, and from the texture you’d never know it had been dried.
  • And finally, we have a variety of Pocky.

rainy bicycle rides, eerily appropriate notebooks, and annoying flyers

My weekend was uneventful, except for getting SOAKING FUCKING WET on Saturday.

See, I wanted to go to Daiso and Marina Foods, which are close enough that if the weather pemits, I’ll just ride my bike all the way. It rained Friday night and Saturday morning, but it had stopped by the time I was ready to leave the house, and I really thought I was going to have a couple hours in which to run errands.

HA HA NO. I got there okay, but it started pouring when I was in Daiso, so I dawdled, thinking it might stop, but it just kept coming down harder and harder. So I thought I’d take the bus back and then I’d only be in the rain for a few blocks, but I had to wait like 97 hours at the stoplight at Decoto and Union Square. So by the time I got to the stop I was about as wet as I was going to get, and the bus wasn’t coming for another half hour. (It only runs once an hour on weekends.) And I thought if I just stood there in wet clothes I’d likely get sick, but if I bicycled I’d at least be keeping my body temperature up, so I bicycled all the way home in a torrential downpour. By the time I got home my clothes were dripping wet and sticking to me, and my pants, which were beige, were nearly see-through.

I don’t know though, in a weird way it was kind of exhilarating. Plus it was lovely to come home and dry off and put on my favorite pajamas, make a mug of matcha milk tea and watch Firefly DVDs. There’s probably some word for it in German, the joy of suffering a discomfort so you can enjoy its alleviation.

I went to Daiso to look for food cutters in leaf shapes, which they did not have. But I don’t count it a wasted trip because I got many other useful things, including this notebook which of course I had to buy, because of the cover. It’s like it was made for me. I also got some bento stuff (a sidecar and a really large adult-size box, which is a rarity because usually they only have small children’s boxes; also some chopsticks and a new case, and a furoshiki and an insulated button-closed wrap), a cheap pair of earbuds for my work computer, and a papercraft chest of drawers, which I never pass up buying when I find them because I’m addicted to assembling them. I have 5 altogether.

Total cost: About $23. Yay Daiso!

Yesterday I had to go to 99 Ranch for some things for my lunch, and as I was leaving some old biddy tried to hand me a “Yes on Prop 8” flyer. I was like “I’m voting against that stupid proposition because I’m not a bigot, THANK YOU.” I don’t know how much of that she understood (she was an old Chinese woman), but she must have gotten the gist, since I refused to take her stupid flyer.

It’s not gonna pass, so maybe I shouldn’t even get worked up, but it just staggers me that such ignorance and bigotry is still around, and in enough numbers to have gotten the damn thing on the ballot in the first place, in the 21st century. STILL. Are we ever going to stop fighting these idiotic battles with ourselves? It’s depressing.

bento #57: scotch egg

I’ve been feeling rather blah about my bentos lately, so I’m trying to rekindle my love with one packed with a variety of tasty treats. Scotch eggs are hideously unhealthy, but I haven’t had one in more than 6 months, so fuck it.


  • Scotch egg
  • Welsh cheddar with ale & mustard seeds
  • Pickled baby onions soaked with balsamic vinegar


  • Strawberry tomatoes
  • Yellow baby carrots

Lid: Snap pea crisps

Small side containers:

  • Ranch for veggies
  • Chocolate-covered toffee bits

bento #56: smoked salmon pinwheels

Large box:

  • Pinwheel sandwiches made with whole wheat flatbread, pepper smoked salmon, and onion and chive cream cheese. Packed in baby spinach leaves to keep them from shifting — this is Junebug’s favorite, so I always have a bag in the fridge!

Small box, bottom:

  • Spicy pork sausage bits skewered with a basil leaf (both leftovers from dinner).
  • Dried pineapple chunks.

Small box, top:

  • Spicy pickled aparagus.

Hmm, I didn’t realize until now how spicy this lunch is.

bento #55: soba & shrimp shu mai

There really ought to be more veggies in this lunch, that’s bad. But it’s a short week for me (I leave Thursday for Palm Springs and my sister’s wedding), and I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into it.


  • Soba noodles, lightly tossed with just enough olive oil to keep them from sticking.
  • Shrimp shu mai dumplings.


  • Pepperoncini — I’ve been eating these a lot lately because I bought a huuuge jar of them and want to use them up.
  • Apple slices.
  • Peanut butter for the apple slices — I’ve been feeling a bit protein-starved lately. Like, I won’t necessarily be hungry, but I’ll find myself craving meat or nuts. (That’s what she said!)

Not shown: A couple of bite-sized white peach jellies.

I’ve been feeling really blah about my bentos lately. I need to peruse some websites and get re-enthused when I get back from the wedding.

bento #54

I wasn’t feeling particulary inspired this weekend, and I didn’t go to the Asian supermarket, so I just threw this together from freezer basics I always have on hand.

  • Vegetarian “chicken” nuggets.
  • Tater tots with catsup.
  • Baby dill pickles.
  • Soft peanut brittle.
  • Apple (not shown).

There was also supposed to be a wedge of soft French onion cheese, but I must have left them in a grocery bag on Friday, then accidentally thrown them out. Poop!

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