Tag Archives: nikudon

Kindergarten bento – Roots (Fri 12/Oct/18)

Nikudon, pork on rice, is one of the most popular recipes in my blog. It is my mum’s recipe and was passed on to me and my sister before we “married out of the family”. I’m planning to pass it on to my little girl too, once she becomes old enough to be able to handle knives and gas stove.

Incidentally on the same day, my parents came all the way to Tokyo from their home in the countryside, in order to buy their youngest granddaughter a so-called “Randoseru”, a chunky backpack used by the most of elementary school children here in Japan. I don’t know when it started, but it is kind of a modern tradition for grandparents to buy a Randoseru for their grandchildren. Our daughter was no exception, and her eventful visit to the Randoseru shop was carried out with her proud grandparents.

Additionally and coincidentally, we found out that the word Randoseru is derived from the Dutch word “ransel” (backpack). My Dutch husband got pleasantly surprised that his roots, hence our daughter’s too, is also part of her exciting milestone happening away home home.

Despite the distances, our daughter is surrounded by the traces of her roots, whether it’s the food we eat, the words we use, or the custom we follow.

Kindergarten bento – How many ingredients comparison (29/May, 30/May, 31/May, 1/Jun,4/Jun, 5/Jun)

29/May – 11 ingredients

Simmered cod, rice, edamame, egg with corns, spinach in sesame sauce, cucumber, carrot, apple, banana

30/May – 11 ingredients

Fried chicken (with corn flower), green beans, broccoli, cherry tomato, goma konbu (sesame & kelp), rice, furikake sprinkle (counted as one), apple, strawberry

31/May – 12 ingredients

Bread (count as one), ham, cucumber, scrambled egg, cheese, Dutch appelstroop, peanut butter, blueberry jam, green beans, apple mousse, mashed potato, cinnamon

1/Jun – 10 ingredients

Chicken soboro, chopped komstsuna, rice, sesame, tomato omelet, broccoli, cucumber with bonito flakes, watermelon

4/Jun – 11 ingredients

Nikudon (pork slices, sliced cabbage, rice), broccoli, cherry tomato, tofu omelet (tofu, egg, ao-nori (seaweed) powder), cherry tomato, apple, banana

5/Jun – 11 ingredients

Tortillas (counted as one), ham, cucumber, cheese, Dutch appelstroop, strawberry jam, banana with Nutella (secret, as it’s not allowed at her school), boiled egg, broccoli, watermelon

Wow, I am quite consistent, with mostly 11 ingredients used every day.

Kindergarten bento – Toshi-No-Se (15, 18, 19, 20, 22/Dec/17)

In Japan, it is said that “toshi-no-se,” the year-end, is bound to be busy, as everyone starts acting somehow anxious to finish off things prior to the fresh start of the new year. As mentioned before, the new year is a big deal in this country, and we do everything to make sure the new year to be quiet and special. 

This year was no exception for me also, and I was running around like a headless chicken without any time to stop and take a big breath… until we left for our Christmas holidays in the Netherlands to visit my husband’s family. Hesitantly we dropped unfinished errands, hurriedly packed our suitcases, left beautiful & sunny Tokyo, and arrived in the equally beautiful, but quite dark Netherlands yesterday. It is Christmas Eve here in the Netherlands, and things already seemed to have slowed down, and people are starting to relax for the festivity to begin. The sense of rush I was feeling in Japan is nowhere to be seen here. It’s an interesting realisation what a huge difference there is depending on which culture you’re in.

Looking back at the bento photos I didn’t have a chance to upload before our departure, I can vaguely remember how I managed all these bento making during my busy schedule. It’ll resume in the new year, but for now I’m relieved that I won’t have to do it for the next two weeks.

Happy Holidays!

15/Dec/17 – Grilled cod in saikyo-miso

18/Dec/17 – Simmered sword fish

19/Dec/17 – Nikudon-don

20/Dec/17 – Macaroni genovese 

22/Dec/17 – Chicken soboro 

Kindergarten bento – Gyu-don / nikudon variation (13/Nov/17)

This is Gyu-don, which is a donburi with beef (gyu-niku in Japanese) slices with some broth and egg. It’s a variation from my mum’s nikudon recipe, the most popular dish in this blog.

Click here for the Gyu-don recipe, and here for Nikudon.

Menu: Gyu-don, Steamed broccoli, Cherry tomato

Japanese Nashi pear for dessert

Kindergarten bento – No egg day (18/Oct/17)

One of the readers of this blog once mentioned that she had noticed a lot of egg used in my daughter’s bento. Thinking about it, I do pack some form of egg almost everyday. My daughter loves egg, and on top of it, it not only gives bright colour but also fills up the space in the bento box.

But ever since then, I started to have a no-egg-day, once a week, for my daughter’s bento.

From last April, my daughter started getting hives. Without anti-histamine, it comes back almost everyday. She had a blood check done, and the result came out completely clean, so it’s not because of egg or any other food.  But I’m hoping this no-egg-day initiative may shed some light…?

Menu: Nikudon (pork on rice), Boiled green beans, Steamed broccoli, Cherry tomatoes

Frozen apple mousse & raisons for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Sukiyaki-esque Gyudon beef donburi (29/Sep/17)

Occasionally, there are days I cannot pick up my daughter from the kindergarten at 2:00PM due to my work or other engagements. When that happens, my kind parents who live an hour away in Saitama, a prefecture north of Tokyo, come for the rescue. Of course they happily come all the way to Tokyo to spend time with their dearest granddaughter, but it’s still a huge favour they do for me. As a sign of gratitude, I cooked Sukiyaki-esque lunch for them in the morning, along with my daughter’s bento.

It’s a quick & easy one-pan dish, but  is tasty and fulfilling thanks to thin slices of Japanese beef that’s a little fattier than lean beef that is common elsewhere.

This is how I make it:

1) In a medium frying pan on a medium heat, stir-fry a half onion, thinly sliced, with a table spoon of cooking oil, until translucent

2) Add 200g of thinly sliced beef and stir fry a bit more

3) When the beef starts to brown, still reddish on the edges, add the Sukiyaki sauce mixture (1 table spoon each of sake & soy sauce, 3+ table spoons of mirin) and bring it to boil

4) Once it starts to boil, pour a beaten egg evenly on the beef
5) Put the lid on, lower the heat, and cook until the egg is cooked (for bento, heat the egg completely, but if you eat right after, a half cooked egg is also quite tasty)
6) Turn off the heat, and sprinkle chopped spring onion on the beef
Place it on top of freshly cooked rice – it makes a nice Sukiyaki-esque Gyudon (beef donburi) dish.
Menu for bento:

Sukiyaki-esque Gyudon (with steamed carrot slices), Spinach goma-ae, Boiled green beans, Cherry tomatoes

Kaki persimmon & Kyoho grapes for dessert

 

For other donburi recipes, here are the popular ones:

Mum’s nikudon

Tori don

Oyakodon