Tag Archives: nikudon

Kindergarten bento – Niku-don (14/Sep/17)

Niku-don for bento, prepared according to my mum’s recipe. It’s one of my favorite dishes from my dear mother, and I believe so as my daughter’s. In the morning I packed the bento with care and love, picturing my daughter’s big smile as she opens the lid at school lunch time…

And of course I get pulled back to reality from such dream-like moment, as my daughter drops her backpack with the bento in it on our entrance floor (stone) while she clumsily buttons up her uniform jacket… And again on the way to our bike downstairs as she stumbles on a small stone in the bike shed… Just to top it off, she drops her backpack one more time on the concrete ground while she climbs up onto her bike seat, reaching out to me to put it into the front basket…

Probably her face wasn’t smiling when she opened the bento today at school, but at least it looked like this before the backpack debacle.

Menu: Mum’s nikudon, Steamed pumpkin, Boiled green beans, Cherry tomato

Japanese Nashi pear for dessert

Kindergarten bento – Nikudon (12/Jan/17)

Menu: Nikudon (pork on rice) with sliced cabbage, Simple omelet, Steamed broccoli, Tomato

Mandarin mikan for dessert

The first kindergarten bento of the year starts with this blog’s most popular recipe, nikudon.

My daughter asked me this morning not to peel the mikan skin. She said, “I’m four (years old) now and can do it on my own!”

Well, a great start of the new year, I’d say😉

Kindergarten bento – Niku don (11/Jul/16)

Menu: Niku-don, Hijiki, Tomato omelet, Steamed broccoli & potato, Edamame

Nectarine for dessert

This past Saturday I joined a farewell party of my very good friend, which started off at a posh champagne bar in the centre of Tokyo. It was a ladies’ night out, and we all beautifully dressed up for the night to celebrate the new phase of our dear friend’s life in style. In fact I hadn’t gone out like that for weeks, agh, months, to be out at night in a sexy attire without my husband, to be a little self-conscious, energised and excited (and of course a little sad for my friend’s departure). It was great to spend time with a group of nice, witty, smart, beautiful women, and with the magical power of bubbly drink we carried on to the next trendy bar followed by another. It was way past my bedtime, and by the time I came home there was only four hours left until our active daughter would wake up in the morning to demand her breakfast. The next day I was unavoidably knackered but tried my very best to carry out my Mummy duty with my eyes half open the entire day. What a difference from the glamorous soiree the night before.

This morning I was still quite tired from the night out, but managed to get myself out of bed and fixed up this packed lunch in my auto pilot mode. Niku-don can be marinated in 5 minutes while the omelet is being cooked. Hijiki, broccoli and edamame are all leftovers from the weekend. Another new week has started, with already a distant memory of my adulthood pleasure. I appreciate the contrast; that’s what makes the life interesting and fulfilling, and the sight of our little girl’s bento makes it even more special and real.

Mum’s nikudon 肉丼 (pork on rice)

every now and then, i get a craving for this dish called “nikudon,” which is pan fried marinated pork slices on top of a bowl of white rice. to be precise, it should be called “buta (pork) don” instead of “niku (meat) don,” but it is just the way my mom always calls it for whatever reason.

i am not a big fan of meat dishes to be honest, but i do love this donburi dish. it has many elements of what i like in food. it provides you this tasty juice of the pork, mixed with the saltiness of soy sauce and a little sweetness from the mirin sauce and sugar, and then this meaty texture gets blended into the purity of freshly cooked rice and the crunchy, cold texture of the cabbage slices… oh heavenly.

the recipe below is how my mom prepares it. make sure to get the correct ratio in the marinade mixture!

mom’s nikudon (pork on rice)

ingredients (for 2 people):

200 – 250g pork slices (sliced just like bacon. better with some fatty part too)
2 tbsp of salad oil
1 tbsp of sugar

1 tbsp of japanese sake (if you don’t have it, use white wine)
2 tbsp of soy sauce
3+ tbsp of mirin (if you don’t have it, use honey, but 2 tbsp only)

2 bowls of freshly cooked rice
2 – 3 leaves of fresh cabbage, thinly sliced and washed in cold water (drain the water thoroughly)


1) pour in the marinade mix into a medium sized bowl
2) place the pork slices into the marinade. leave them aside for 30 minutes or so
3) heat a medium to large sized frying pan in medium heat, pour in the oil, and place the pork slices into the pan (be careful not to put the heat too high, otherwise the oil gets splashed due to the marinade). you can put all the marinade in as well
4) cook the pork slices until the colour gets golden brown and the marinade juice thickens
5) sprinkle the sugar over the pork slices and mix one last time
6) put the rice in a bowl each
7) place the sliced cabbage on top
8) on top of 7), nicely place the pork slices

it satisfies your taste buds as well as your appetite! great food for kids too, as it’s very yummy and nutritious.

hope you’ll like it!


– if you like donburi dishes, here is a recipe for “tori-don” chicken donburi

and “oyakodon” chicken & egg donburi

– have a look at my dauaghter’s kindergarten nikudon bento

– here is another popular recipe, oshiruko (sweet red bean soup), from Small Tokyo Kitchen