Monthly Archives: March 2016

bento for the little one (omelet rice 16/mar/16)

menu: “omuraisu” omelet & rice, coleslaw salad with chicken, cherry tomato and green beans

apple mousse with yogurt for dessert

omuraisu” omelet rice – it’s a Japanese adoption of western omelet. it comes with fried rice usually seasoned with tomato sauce. today however, i used just salt & pepper for seasoning. the fried rice is then wrapped with a plain omelet, and tomato sauce on top of it.

  fried rice with chopped onion, spinach and bacon 

Kimono – truth unfolded (1)

For the past four years I have been learning how to wear Kimono “properly” at a class provided by a licensed teacher in my neighbourhood. Yes, four years…

In class I have been learning how to put Kimono on by myself, including how to tie Obi belt on my own. That’s right, even if you are born and raised in Japan, at present you just don’t know how to wear it if you were never been taught, just like any other non-Japanese person, because we simply don’t wear Kimono anymore on a daily basis. It’s sad but true.

Over the years Kimono has become a cultural heritage, and made its way as one’s luxurious hobby. It may sound a little ridiculous that anyone needs to study for it if it is just some clothes you put on. I must admit I used to think so, too. My initial intention of taking the class was simply to learn how to wear it, as it requires certain skills, and I wanted to overcome my secret shame of not being able to do it on my own (I had to ask someone else to put it on me, which usually costs money).

But the more I learn about Kimono, the more depth comes to surface. In parallel I learn, or rather feel, the history of Japan through the eyes of a woman, who once existed and slipped her arms into this beautiful silky garment. This makes me feel as if I was time traveling to witness our past, and that really awakened me to the core. After giving birth to the little one three years ago, the frequency to visit my teacher decreased, and that is why I have been doing it for so long. But I’m proud to say I finally completed the first course at the end of last year, and now I am planning on stepping up to the next level, to learn how to put Kimono onto other people.

(to be continued)



bento for the little one (oh no! hardly any ingredients in the fridge! 15/mar/16)

menu: wakana (young green leaves) rice, egg & cucumber salad, chicken mince with mashed sweet potato, cherry tomato

diced fruits salad for dessert


we had a miserable day yesterday, accompanied by wet & cold weather and a few tantrums by the little one. as a result i totally forgot to buy groceries for bento for the next day. in the morning i thought i might have to buy a lunch box at a convenience store in our neighborhood, but managed to whip something up with only few ingredients i had left in our fridge/freezer.

i used dry onigiri mix (that comes in a packet) for the rice, and put a sheet of boris bear shaped nori seaweed (also comes in a packet) on top of it to cheer up otherwise a rather depressing bento box…😅

bento for the little one (penne con melanzane, pollo e pomodirini 2/mar/16)

menu: penne con melanzane, pollo e pomodirini (penne with aubergine, chicken and cherry tomatoes), mashed potato and spinach salad, tofu and cucumber salad

kiwi fruits and yogurt for dessert

the dinner leftover from the evening before for LO’s bento today. when she came home from daycare she said to me, “mama, i didn’t like the zucchini in the pasta. please don’t put it in anymore” but she did eat it all under the peer pressure i believe. she has a tendency for not liking this squishy texture of aubergines and zucchini. i love these vegetables and want to come up with a recipe that would help our LO get over her dislike.

bento for the little one (“tori-don” chicken donburi 4/mar/16)

menu: “tori-don” chicken donburi, pumpkin & egg salad, tomato, cucumber, green bean salad

tori-don is one of the variations for donburi recipes. basically donburi is “okazu”, main (or side) dish, on top of rice. the most popular recipe here is my mum’s niku-don, which comes with stir-fried pork.

it’s easy to prepare – marinade diced chicken (thigh or breast) with sake (1) : soy sauce (1) : and mirin (3) for 5-10 min, stir-fry the marinated chicken in medium heat. place the cooked chicken on top of rice. sprinkle nori seaweed and/or thinly sliced spring onion as your own liking.

today there was no dessert in the bento, as my friend and i took the little one to our lunch after she had her lunch at daycare. we gave her a cup of icecream which she ate dearly until she splashed it onto the floor to our embarrassment. meanwhile she grabbed 2 slices of bread from our bread basket and ate them all, which made me wonder if the amount of bento i prepare for her may not be sufficient… time to increase the portion of her bento box perhaps 🙂

bento for the little one (grilled sawara, japanese spanish mackerel 23/feb/16)

menu: grilled sawara, japanese spanish mackerel marinated with saikyo miso paste, ham & tomato omelet, steamed broccoli, boiled potato

fresh apple for dessert

Today’s main dish is grilled sawara, so called Japanese Spanish Mackerel (no idea where the combination of Japanese and Spanish came from…), marinated with special miso paste from Kyoto called “saikyo (sai = west, kyo = capital” miso. It is quite sweet compared to regular miso, and is used primarily in the Kyoto region as its name suggests.

I bought a couple of slices of sawara at the supermarket and marinated them with saikyo miso at home overnight. I heard it’s better to leave them for 2 days in the marinade, but overnight was good enough especially for the little one (otherwise it may get too salty for kids’ taste buds I think). The next morning I grilled them in our fish grill, 4-5 minutes on each side in low heat. The tip is to remove the marinade from the fish fillets and grill them in low heat, because the saikyo miso is sweetened and prone to get burnt easily. This marinade can be used for other types of fish also, such as cod, salmon, etc.

It’s one of our little one’s favorite dish, and so is mine!