Tag Archives: nimono

Kindergarten bento – Fresh start (Monday, 15/May/17)

Menu: Kajiki sword fish nimono, Boiled green beans, Sliced cucumber salad, Cherry tomato, Rice with scrambled egg on top


After having a super busy weekend participating in a “kimono” presentation show with my daughter this past Sunday, I was looking forward to going back to our normal routine and having a good, fresh kickstart of a week. But the life usually doesn’t turn around the way you plan – our daughter woke up super grumpy, presumably because of fatigue and hunger, and it so happens that it’s very gloomy outside with thick layers of grey crowds this morning. 

We’ll never mind, I’ll treat myself another cup of coffee before starting  to work today. 

Have a good week!

Kindergarten bento – Meaty kajiki (28/Feb/17)

Menu: Simmered Kajiki (sword fish) on rice, Broccoli omelet, Stewed hakusai cabbage & daikon, Cucumber sticks

Strawberries & kiwi for dessert


The meat look alike kajiki is one of my daughter’s favorite dishes for her bento. Its texture is like chicken filet, and it tastes a bit like tuna but with less iron in its aftertaste. It goes very well with rice even when it cools down. 

Here is my mum’s recipe for the simmered kajiki.

Kindergarten bento – Bunny apple (23/Jan/17)

Menu: Kajiki nimono (simmered sword fish), Cucumber sticks, Sautéed spinach & bacon, Cherry tomato, Boiled egg

Bunny shaped apple for dessert 

After the bento today, my clever daughter asked me not to cut out the apple in bunny shape anymore, because the apple skin contains a lot of vitamin c and very healthy. 

Where did she get such information? It wasn’t from me and certainly not from my nutrition-oblivious husband. She is developing her own world view it seems!

Kindergarten bento – Nothing wrong with leftovers (8/Dec/16)

Menu: Simmered “kajikisword fish, Hijiki, Boiled broccoli and egg, Rice with sesame sprinkle

Apple for dessert


I cooked the simmered sword fish and hijiki last evening for dinner along with a couple of other dishes. When my daughter sat down at the dining table and had one look at what I prepared she said crossly, “Why do you always give me the same food as bento? Why do you always use leftovers for dinner?” 😳

Of course I intended to reuse the fish and hijiki for her bento the next day, but didn’t realise that my clever 4 year old was quite aware of what I put in her bento and feed her for dinner. She got the order wrong, but still she’s right, usually there is at least one dish duplicated between lunch and dinner within the same day.

Being a little miffed I asked, “Is there something wrong with the leftovers? Do you not like what I cook for you? Do you want me to stop making you bento????? (yes, I was getting more childish at this point against my 4 year old daughter) ” – and her response blew my mind away and stunned me.

“I love it! You are the best chef in the world, Mama!”

This, made my day 🙂

Kindergarten bento – Simmered pumpkin & chicken (4/Nov/16)

Menu: Simmered pumpkin & chicken, Fried rice with Japanese hakusai cabbage and shirasu baby sardines, Boiled egg, Boiled broccoli, Cherry tomato

Mandarin mikan for dessert

3rd of November was a national holiday in Japan (Cultural Day), and we had our daughter’s kindergarten friends over at our place for a playdate followed by an early dinner. I cooked this dish, Simmered Pumpkin & Chicken, hoping to fulfill the appetite of the kids who are all growing so fast day by day.

I love the combination of pumpkin and chicken in general – somehow the sweetness and soft texture of the pumpkin go so well with the juicy tasty chicken with meaty texture.  I used chicken thigh this time so that the kids can eat them more easily, but chicken drumsticks are also very compatible. I’d definitely recommend this, too.

Here is the recipe:

Simmered Pumpkin & Chicken

Ingredients (for 4 – 6 people):

– 1 pumpkin; seeded, cut into chunky blocks, ideally peel off all the sharp edges to make them smooth (apparently this will avoid pumpkin to be mushy)

– 400g chicken thigh (or drumsticks); cut into bite size blocks, a bit smaller than the pumpkins I would say

– about 300ml of dashi broth (or just enough to cover the top of the ingredients)

– 2 to 3 table spoons of sake (white wine if no sake)

– 1 to 2 table spoons of cooking oil

For seasoning (adjust depending on how much dashi broth you use):

– 3 to 4 table spoons of soy sauce

– 2 to 3 table spoons of sugar (I use beetroot sugar)

– 1 to 2 table spoons of mirin (depending on your liking)

Directions:

1. Heat a large cooking pot (such as Le Cruset), pour in oil, and throw in the chicken. Fry until golden in medium heat.

2. Pour in sake and fry until sake evaporates

3. Add pumpkin and pour in the broth, just enough to cover the ingredients. The top of the ingredients doesn’t need to be covered in the broth, can be peeking out. Do not soak them – if they are entirely covered in broth, it gets too watery.

4. Cover the ingredients with aluminum foil (make a circle shape to fit the surface of the pan). This will circulate the heat evenly and quickly.

5. Bring it to boil in medium heat and cook for 5 minutes or so

6. Turn down the heat (to low), cook further until the pumpkin is soft, for another 12 minutes or so (use a toothpick and see if it penetrates)

6. Add the soy sauce, then sugar. Cook for a few minutes.

7. Add mirin at the end to taste