bento #93: mini buns

bento 93

This week’s bento isn’t terrifically exciting. I’m dealing with pet bereavement and my upcoming trip to the homestead, so I just dipped into my freezer stash.

  • Mini pork & leek buns. They’re not pretty; I steamed too many of them at once and they kind of smashed up against each other as they cooked. But they taste fine.
  • Fried rice with shitake mushrooms.
  • Edamame.
  • Giant red grapes.
  • Mung bean paste cake.
  • White peach gelatin.
  • Also a tangelo that didn’t make it into the photo.

bento #76

bento 76

  • Fried rice with mushrooms.
  • Pork & green onion dumplings.
  • Edamame (frozen, but will thaw by lunchtime).
  • Tomatoes-on-the-vine.
  • Clementine.
  • Lychee pudding.

bento #75: “chicken-less” stuffed cutlet

bento 75

I went to Trader Joe’s on Saturday and went a little cray-zay.

  • The sidecar has a “chicken-less” cutlet stuffed with black beans and corn, with a smoky tomato sauce. I’ve no idea what it’s made of, but it quite tastes (and has a texture) like chicken.
  • Tomatoes and carrots.
  • White bean hummus with pita bread.
  • Dark chocolate-covered pretzel flats.

bento #74: baby spring rolls


I hate deep-frying. I always manage to give myself at least one hot oil burn; I’m always plagued by fears of the oil bursting into flame, even though I use a thermometer and make sure it never goes above 350 degrees. But how could I resist the baby spring rolls I found while lurking in the freezer cases at 99 Ranch? Talk about made for bento.

  • Baby shrimp & veggie spring rolls with sweet chili sauce.
  • Onigiri (flavored with mirin).
  • Edamame.
  • Baby carrots.
  • Apple half.
  • Chocolate mushroom cookies.
  • Strawberry chocolates.

I have been having wacky chocolate cravings lately. And no, it’s not that. I just had it last week; anyway I usually crave salt when I’m on my period. I think maybe it’s just knowing it’s around, because it’s almost Easter.

The onigiri and edamame were both freezer stash and still frozen when I packed the lunch, but defrosted by lunchtime.

bento #73


More freezer and pantry stash since, as previously stated, I’ve not gotten a paycheck yet. (And it had BETTER be in my mailbox when I get home today.) I’m giving the school ONE more pay period to work the kinks out, then I WILL be having a chat with the appropriate federal agency. It’s technically illegal to make employees wait for their paychecks, mailed or no.

  • Fried rice with garlic & green onion teriyaki Spam flowers.
  • Tamagoyaki.
  • Mushroom gyoza with ponzu shoya sauce.
  • Edamame skewers.
  • Checkerboard apple half.
  • Mini green apple puddings.

bento #72: olive-walnut cream cheese spread


Nothin’ fancy this week. But it’s colorful!

  • The titular spread with Triscuits. I fucking love Triscuits. Yes, enough to merit an F-bomb.
  • Hardboiled egg.
  • Cherry tomatoes.
  • Baby carrots.
  • Honey tangerine.
  • Apple mini puddings.

bento #71: rolled boneless short ribs


A lot of this is “freezer stash” — most bento hobbyists have staples than can be made ahead of time and frozen, for whenever you need a quick lunch, haven’t had time to go to the store, or just don’t have any inspiration that week. My freezer staples are bags of frozen dumplings, meatballs, and rice in both pre-molded onigiris and loose. Whenever I make rice, I put at least half a cup in a ziploc and stash it in the freezer. Defrost it, and it makes great fried rice.

  • Fried rice with a little broccoli I had left from last week’s bento.
  • Mushroom gyoza with ponzu shoyu
  • Boneless short ribs, rolled up and picked to save space. I found these at 99 Ranch for only $3.50 a pound!
  • Grape tomatoes and cucumber flowers with ranch dressing.
  • Honey tangerine.

Does anyone else think this has been an excellent year for citrus? Tangerines, oranges, tangelos, mandarins, grapefruit — they’ve all been exceptionally juicy and sweet since around Christmas.

bento #70: gyoza sammies


  • It’s gyoza sammie time again! This time I have cranberry-cinnamon goat cheese.
  • I wasn’t planning on including an egg, but when I got it packed there was a space left. So I have a hardboiled egg, but I didn’t do anything fancy with it, since it was a last-minute addition.
  • Broccoli florets with ranch dressing.
  • Blueberries.
  • Dark chocolate-covered walnuts.

bento #68: chawanmushi


  • Chawanmushi, a Japanese savory custard with mushrooms and kamaboko.
  • Onigiri.
  • Some chicken-apple cocktail sausages that I have to use before they go bad.
  • Sweet corn croquettes.
  • White peach gelatins.
  • Cherry tomatoes.
  • Some leftover kamaboko slices.
  • A fishie of soy sauce for the onigiri.
  • Tangelo (not pictured).

bento #64: happy new year!


First bento of the year! I didn’t do one last week because the previous weekend was the weekend I got home, and there just wasn’t any time to plan a menu and shop for it.

Nothing new or particularly exciting in this one, but rather a few old favorites:

  • Omurice and octodogs with catsup. The egg has a little soy sauce in it, hence the slightly dingy color. And I boiled the octodogs for once, instead of just nuking them, so the “tentacles” actually are a little curly.
  • Veggies with ranch (it’s under there somewhere).
  • Homemade hot & sour soup with shitake mushrooms and water chestnuts, and LOTS of white wine vinegar and Mongolian fire oil.
  • Tangerine, and chocolate-orange Pocky.

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