Udon & Bento No. 4   Leave a comment

The past few days have been pretty hot and humid, not surprising as Summer is officially kicking off. Oddly enough though, I’ve been having an extreme hankering for udon. Hot bowls of udon at that! Trying to get the right blend of broth, water, noodles, and toppings hasn’t been easy, but I’m okay with eating my experimental bowls. Yesterday however yielded perfect results.

It was nothing short of blissful. Reassurance yet again, that I do need to have noodles at least once a week to keep me happy.

On the bento side of things, instead of plain rice with furikake seasoning, I opted for a simple fried rice this time. It was a nice change and quite filling.

I added more veggies and less chicken teriyaki this time around to balance out the fact that I’m having a larger portion of fried rice…

… because y’know… you gotta eat your vegetables.

Speaking of what’s “gotta” be done, I need to stop taking pics of my bentos and not posting them. It seems that I’m accumulating somewhat of a backlog of photos. Hopefully I can remedy this soon.

Only 2 more days until my best friend and I head out on a bento box adventure. There’s a store quite a trek away that we’re planning to go to Saturday that carries various bento boxes and accessories. Just maybe I can score another box and pair of chopsticks? Don’t get me wrong, I love my Totoro box, but it is quite small for an adult. I’m hoping to get lucky and score one that will be more fitting for adult portions. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll be back in the kitchen at some point, assembling another bento…


Posted June 23, 2010 by Auryon in Uncategorized

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Tanuki Crazy   Leave a comment

Ever since I watched Runny’s video on making tanuki onigiri, I’ve been absolutely hooked on making it and including it in my bentos.

I have to say tanuki onigiri is my absolute favorite! As of this posting, I’ve eaten it twice this weekend and am even thinking about making more! The fried bits mixed with green onions and mentsuyu is amazing! Runny, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Of course, I have to include a close-up…

On another note, yesterday I got to see Toy Story 3. What a GREAT film! I heard that Totoro was going to be in it, but I had no idea he was actually going to be walking around and dancing as well. I had to stop myself from screaming in happiness because he was just SO CUTE!!!

I was kind of sad he didn’t say anything or make any noise. Regardless, I wish I had a stuffed Totoro that was just as cute and animated, lol!

After the movie, I got to stop off at the grocery store nearby and got a TON of fruit (strawberries must really be in season because they were on sale) as well as some udon noodles. When I got back home, all I kept thinking about was making more tanuki onigiri. That is, until I discovered that those fried bits of goodness can be in soup. So instead of onigiri, I had tanuki udon. (I also had some ebi katsu and kara-age on the side.)

It was the perfect end to a fun evening. If you want to try making some, check out Runny’s YouTube channel (link above) for his recipe on onigiri.

Today, I got to pop back into my favorite Asian market nearby and scored a few odds and ends that were much needed. (Instant dashi, soy sauce, mushrooms, tofu, etc.) Before leaving, I couldn’t resist grabbing one of my favorite sweets…

… this has got to be one of my top 3 Pocky flavors ever. More bento making ensues this week! Until then, happy eating!

Posted June 20, 2010 by Auryon in Uncategorized

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Not the Best Start to the Weekend   Leave a comment

Today’s been a mish mash of good and bad. Good because I got some quality kitchen time in, experimenting with random items in the fridge. Bad because I didn’t sleep well (again) last night and the weather just turned into one stormy mess amongst other things. My mood hasn’t been that great as of late because I’ve just been trying not to be down about what seems to be the never-ending search for a job. *sigh* I’m really hoping I can get out of this rut soon. In any case, when I’m not scouring sites for work, I’ve been keeping busy – reading, watching my favorite shows, movies, and some anime, as well as making bentos.

Speaking of which, I must apologize as I know my pics might not be as great as others (who have more elaborate sites), but this box is the only one I have, aside from other random tupperware that could barely pass for a real bento box. Hopefully with time, I’ll get a few more boxes and accessories to jazz my pictures up. If anyone’s interested in donating to my cause, I do have a wishlist for viewing. Even if I got a pair of chopsticks or sauce bottles, anything off of it would be fine and I would be extremely grateful!

So here’s my latest creation, which I ate as I happily watched tv. There’s nothing like good food, even more so, a great bento, to lighten the mood.

I was EXTREMELY pleased with how the shrimp katsu and tamagoyaki turned out. While I watched the shrimp fry, I yelled “YATTA!” because they didn’t curl up badly. Also worth noting, the tamagoyaki has some imitation crab in the center. My only complaint would be that I didn’t add enough sauce to the tamago, so it was a bit bland.

Here’s the breakdown:

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to make tanuki onigiri like the one’s featured on Runny’s YouTube Channel. They look really tasty and I’ve just got a weakness for fried foods as well as ones with various textures. If you’re ever looking for more dishes to prepare for bento, I highly suggest watching his videos. They’re easy to prepare dishes and he’s quite funny and dare I say… kawaii!

And now looking at the clock, this horrendous Friday will be over. Thank God. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

Happy eating!

Posted June 19, 2010 by Auryon in Uncategorized

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Starting Fresh   Leave a comment

I’m completely new to making bento, but no stranger to cooking. Recently, the “bug” just bit me and I can’t exactly explain it. It’s now turning into something just short of an obsession. A year ago when I saw random pictures of bento, I thought to myself, “Wow, that looks REALLY great, but I bet it’s a real pain to make.” I even went on to j-list back then, browsing their bento box collection, but the question came to mind, “What would I even put in my box? I can’t fix anything as fancy as those other ones… and I just don’t have that much time.” My, have things changed. Over the past few weeks and quite a few YouTube videos later, here I am, making wonderful little boxes of culinary goodness. So, I decided to start a blog dedicated to my love of food and my adventures in making bento. Today, I’m starting fresh.

About two months ago, I discovered an Asian grocery store nearby that happened to carry a LOT of Japanese goods. From Pocky to unagi sauce, instant dashi and fresh bunapi mushrooms, they seemed to have it all! Even better, the prices were beyond reasonable! It was official… I had died and gone to food heaven! I was so eager to go back and when I finally did, the first few times were on the weekend. For those of you unaware, Asian markets in general seem to be the busiest on weekends. >.< It was hell just trying to get down an aisle, let alone stay in one spot long enough to read labels on sauces and other seasonings. It was too easy to feel claustrophobic. I grabbed a few necessary items and headed out. The next few visits weren’t as bad, probably because I went much earlier in the day. Still, I hadn’t gotten to browse all the aisles completely due to being pressed for time and I was already carrying groceries from the usual grocery store.

Today, I happened to be very lucky and was able to not only go on an “off” day – Wednesday, it was early – 11 am! I was excited. When I arrived, it was relatively empty. I was beyond ecstatic to browse the aisles, each one this time, and not worry about A) being in someone’s way, B) the heavy groceries I normally carry (which just get heavier over time), and or C) having to get back home soon because hunger is telling me I need to. (Maybe it’s just me, but I get hungry when I go into grocery stores and it’s much worse if I haven’t eaten.) I must have stayed in there for an hour. I’d never seen so much great stuff since I went to Mitsuwa in the suburbs.

So here’s my haul:

I know black bean sauce isn’t necessarily Japanese, but it’s still really good on chicken, which would be great in a future bento. I was really excited about the eel/unagi sauce, because it’s very tasty on shrimp tempura maki as well as other things. The goma shio furikake was another “flavor” I was excited to try, after reading so much about it on other sites. Of course, no haul would be complete without a few sweets as well. :]

When I finally got back home, I was starving – the soup I had earlier did well enough to keep hunger at bay while I was out, but the heat and walk home got to me. (As well as having bags of more food to cook!) I foraged through the fridge and remembered I had more left overs that had to be eaten soon so I began the process of warming them up as well as making a fresh batch of rice. (Today just happened to be the day I didn’t have any premade left.) It was time to test a few of the products I got.

Here’s the breakdown:

The goma shio furikake was amazing! It had a slight toasty, nutty flavor with a touch of salt. It wasn’t as salty as I thought it would be, but I can see how too much can over-season your rice. I also drizzled just a teeny bit of unagi sauce on the chicken teriyaki and it gave it an even deeper flavor. Overall, it was the perfect bento after a fun food adventure.

I’ll be posting again soon, but until then, happy eating!

Posted June 16, 2010 by Auryon in Uncategorized

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