Monthly Archives: April 2017

Kindergarten bento – At home (27/Apr/17)

After the emergency call from our daughter’s teacher due to some allergic reaction from whatever she had eaten for breakfast (as I wrote on my post yesterday), I rushed into her school to pick her up in the morning, not too long after my husband brought her there on his way to work. As a result, the bento I had made for her in early morning was still in her backpack, untouched. 

We went to the doctor, got her medicine, and came home in time for lunch. Our daughter was hungry despite her rashes, so I suggested her to eat the bento. As soon as she heard me say so, she took her bento box out of her backpack along with other items, almost in an auto-pilot mode, and placed them nicely on the dining table. Doesn’t it look cute? Apparently this is what they’ve been trained to do at school on their own. It’s really nice and endearing to see her do it at home, too.

Menu: Niku-jaga (stewed potato with pork), Grilled kanpachi fish (amberjack), Green beans & spinach goma-ae, Rice with black sesame sprinkle

Grapes & kiwi for dessert, which I ate due to our daughter’s potential kiwi allergy 

Bon appétit!

Kindergarten bento – Kiwi allergy? (26/Apr/17)

Menu: Simmered sword fish, Plain omelet, Boiled green beans, Rice with goma-konbu, Steamed carrot

Kiwi for dessert

This was our daughter’s bento on Wednesday. She has eaten all the ingredients in the bento box numerous times in the past, including kiwi. The bento box was empty when she came home.

The following day on Thursday, she developed some allergic reaction at school, an hour after she ate her breakfast. I had to rush there to pick her up after the emergency call from her teacher. When I arrived, she was sitting on the large sofa in the teachers’ room alone looking a little sheepish, but I could tell she was secretly enjoying this special attention from everyone. As I approached her more closely, I could see these pink spots all around her cheeks. She had rashes on her legs, too. I took her to the doctor afterwards, who said it was most likely the food she ate for breakfast in the morning. She ate normal breakfast, nothing special, but including kiwi.

My daughter was tested for allergies when she was about two years old, and the result came out completely clean. I do understand that this can change after a few years for young children, but I just cannot believe that something she had eaten the day before without any allergic reaction could cause such severe reaction the next day. But the doctor mentioned it still could be it (or at least one of the possibilities). And funny enough, my daughter also insists that it was kiwi. She says whenever she eats kiwi, it tastes “sour & spicy.”

Hmmmmm I guess I’ll need to have her tested once again.

Kindergarten bento – Chunk of fish (21/Apr/17)

Menu: Grilled cod in saikyo miso marinade, Boiled egg, Sautéed komatsuna & bacon, Cherry tomato, Rice with black sesame sprinkle

Apple mousse & banana for dessert


Around this time a year ago, my bento making started as my daughter entered her kindergarten, and I remember each time I packed grilled fish I carefully flaked their flesh so that she could easily eat them with her small fork. It may sound like I was spoiling her, but I thought it’d be better to see the bento box empty rather than with the whole chunk of fish left. Now after one year, she clumsily uses her chopsticks and flake them herself. Not so precisely just yet, but I think that’s only a matter of time. It’s a great improvement for me, too – I now just cut a filet into a few pieces and put the chunky bits into the bento box. What a time saver!

Kindergarten bento – Flowers in full bloom (20/Apr/17)

Spring is a great season in Japan. Despite the limited access to nature in Tokyo, we still see many plants and flowers growing at every corner on our way to kindergarten. Everyday we find the signs of small life around us, as if they strive to occupy every single tiny space with soil among the paved streets. I love this season, and today made a bento with a flower field in mind.

Menu: Grilled salmon flakes & scrambled egg on rice, Mashed pumpkin & sweet potato with chicken soboro, Steamed broccoli, Cherry tomato

Apple bunnies for dessert

Kindergarten bentos – Deadline (17-19/Apr/17)

I have been working on a subtitle translation for a documentary film since Sunday (I work freelance from home) and can’t seem to find the time to write! The work is due later this evening, but I thought I’d take a few minutes to at least upload the bento photos for the past three days.

Monday, 17/Apr/17 (Grilled snapper)

Tuesday, 18/Apr/17 (Tori-don)

Wednesday, 19/Apr/17 (Sword fish farfalle)

Now back to working on subtitling. Wish me luck!

Kindergarten bento – Okra & katsuo-bushi (Friday, 14/Apr/17)

I found out recently that our daughter likes okra. Great, another vegetable in the list. Following yesterday, I packed okra again for her bento today. Just to give some variation, today I tossed the sliced okra with katsuo-bushi (dried bonito flakes), some shirasu (baby sardines) and a dash of dashi-shoyu (soy sauce mixed with broth). This goes great with white rice.

Menu: Okra tossed with katsuo-bushi, shirasu & dashi-shoyu, Rice, Mashed pumpkin & egg salad, Grilled salmon in saikyo-miso marinade, Cucumber sticks 

Strawberry & banana for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Accident (Thursday, 13/Apr/17)

Menu: Steamed pumpkin & chicken soboro, Omelet, Tomato, Boiled okra, Wakana rice with shirasu (baby sardine) on too
Grapes & strawberry for dessert

My daily bento making resumed this morning for the new Japanese school year. I got up early, set the rice cooker, made omelet, took out other ingredients from the fridge I had prepared the night before, packed them nicely, got dressed while the rice was being cooked, packed rice, all nice and neat in the bento box, right on time, and everything was going perfectly.

I was about to sit down at the breakfast table when I heard this “pshhhh” sound. My husband opened the new can of Illy coffee with which he makes his espresso every morning. By the way, this Italian brand does great coffee with excellent flavour, and we both love it. It comes in this vacuumed packed, beautiful aluminum cannister. Anyway, looking over the kitchen counter to see if there’s anything I should take with me to the dining table, I noticed there was a spray of black pepper-like powder all over the place, including our daughter’s bento. Looking at each other’s faces in horror, we realised my husband’s coffee spilled out of the can with the air pressure and landed all over on the food. Oh…

My husband told me this had never ever happened before. Yeah sure, but how about the bento? I wanted to scream but held back… (got whiny instead). He then innocently told me to just wash it off and wipe a little. Yeah right. How can you wash omelet or rice or soboro pumpkin with water… How convenient if you can do that! To my dismay, I had to repack everything. As for the omelet I chopped off the top part (hence shorter than the original), for the shirasu rice I scraped off the top and added the leftover (thank goodness I still had some left next to the rice cooker not on the kitchen counter), and for the soboro pumpkin I had to put them in a separate bowl, carefully remove the ones with most coffee on them and put the rest back (I’m pretty sure some coffee was still hiding inside but at that point I couldn’t care less).

Voila, here is my daughter’s repacked bento for the first day of this school year’s bento making. I’d say it’s a great start!

* We love Illy coffee and recommend it to anyone who likes espresso. Just do not open the new can next to your food 😉