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Here's the deal: I need to pack enough food for myself to last from 2 a.m. Sunday morning until I return home around midnight Sunday. I'll be travelling a total of 12 hours in a car, and will need breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for Sunday. I'll be doing pretty intense physical labor all day, so lots of protein would be nice.

I'm tired of sandwiches and onigiri (riceballs.) Last time I brought chicken fajita fixin's, and that was pretty nice. I'll have no way to refrigerate stuff, so it needs to be food that won't spoil quickly.

Also, I live in Japan, so access to things like cheese, good bread, and some other things are limited.

If it were you, what would you pack? Bonus points if you are familiar with stuff I can get easily in Japan. The only thing I really don't like is eggs. Otherwise, go wild! :D

Please and thank you!!!

(X-posted to a few other comms.)

Bento 2

Well, this is my bento for today! It's another sandwich one, only this time it has cheddar instead of Colby Jack. I managed to get the entire sandwich in it this time, don't know what was wrong with last time's. It looks tasty to me. :P

New to bento

Hi! Today I made my first bento! ^_^ I've been interested in making them for a while now, and finally got enough nerve to make one. I didn't make a traditional Japanese one, and I don't have a traditional box, but that's ok. My dad said there might be some cheap bento boxes at our market, so I guess we'll look there next time, and I might get one! I used a plastic tupperware, that was a long shallow rectangle shape. There's a website I think it's justbento.com, where they explain that you can use tupperware or any container for that matter if you can't afford a traditional one, so that's nice.

Today I made a sandwich bento. Sandwich had: sliced cajun turkey breast, colby jack cheese, and a sauce I make with horseradish and mayo, and whole wheat bread. (So, good!) I sliced the sandwich lengthwise and filled half my bento with it. I saved the rest of the sandwich for next time.

On the top quarter of it, I made a salad. Salad: mix of greens (like spinach, lettuce, etc.) and some honey mustard vinaigrette. That was tasty too.

The last quarter was apple slices and chunks. I separated each section by lettuce, I don't need that plastic expensive stuff. That way I could also eat the dividers. Plus, it kept the dressing from going into the sandwich and apples. It was really nice. I forgot to take a picture of it, but maybe next time. ;) It's a fun way to have lunch.

Newbie Post + Recipe

Hey all! I'm rather new to bento, but I'm very excited about it. I didn't have any pictures to share with y'all for a first post, but I figured a recipe would go almost as well. This is my all time favorite pasta salad recipe and it's perfect for bento!

Feel free to add more or less veggies. I like lots of them so I usually use more than what the recipe calls for. You could also use other veggies like cauliflower or okra, really just anything that strikes your fancy. This is a very versatile recipe.

Be aware this makes a HUGE amount of pasta. Let me know how you like it!

Ranch Pasta Salad

1 box rotini pasta
1 packet Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch salad dressing mix
low fat buttermilk
Light mayonnaise (NOT MIRACLE WHIP!)
1/2 to 1 cup of broccoli
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Yellow Bell Pepper
1 to 2 cucumbers
diced tomatoes (canned works fine or you can do cherry)
Regular Hidden Valley Ranch dressing in the bottle

Cook the pasta until soft/just a tad al dente.

While pasta is cooking, Mix the ranch packet with the buttermilk and mayo as directed on the back of the packet in small bowl and set aside.

Cut all veggies into bite size pieces. Be sure to remove all the seeds from the peppers, though!

Drain the pasta and run cold water over it to stop the pasta from cooking, drain off excess water.

In large bowl, mix ranch mix and veggies with pasta and then add about 1/2 cup or more of regular ranch until it is creamy looking.

Refrigerate several hours until cold (overnight is best) then add more regular ranch dressing if it looks like it has soaked up a lot and is no longer creamy.


x-posted to my_bento, bento_recipes, and eat_my_bento

Greetings! This is a re-post of my recipe for Chinese Restaurant Pork Fried Rice, originally posted at http://cgpbento.livejournal.com/6165.html, and also featured on my profile page. Recently I was making a couple batches, and on the second I measured everything I put in as I went, so this recipe is no longer base estimation, and in theory could be followed by anyone to achieve the same great results! I figured I'd put it out there for sharing, in communities as well as my blog, since it was all new and improved. >^_^< Enjoy!

I made "Chinese restaurant style" pork fried rice! I had to mostly make up the recipe myself, since I couldn't find anything anywhere that mentioned what I wanted to do. I incorporated some of the vegetable ingredients and mixing ideas from a couple other recipes, but I'm really happy that I got pretty much the exact results I wanted with my own idea and attempt. (I couldn't find anything that said how to do the pork like I wanted to.) Yay!

Chinese Pork
Step 1: Chinese pork

- pork, cut into small cubes
- a jar of Ah-So sauce

Put the pork in a baking pan. Pour in enough Ah-So sauce to cover pork, stir. Put in a 350 - 400 degree oven [depending on how well your oven works] for about an hour. (May take longer, even up to 2 hours, depending on the batch- mainly going for thoroughly cooked pork with a dark sauce color.) Check and stir periodically, about every 10 - 15 minutes or so.

Ah-So sauce is interesting stuff. It's bright red, somewhat sweet, very salty, and very sticky. It tends to stick to the cooked pork thickly, making it not really resemble [American] Chinese restaurant pork at all. It's still tasty though. Of course, after I had added it to the fried rice, the way the excess sauce rubbed off while stirring apparently left the pork resembling the Chinese restaurant pork perfectly.

And if MSG is a concern for you, then no problem, because there is no MSG in the Ah-So Sauce. I have never seen more than one brand of Ah-So Sauce in this area, but a quick check of the ingredients label will let you know if your Ah-So Sauce is also MSG Free.

Pork Fried Rice

Step 2: Pork Fried Rice

- 6 tbsp cooking oil
- 6 cups cooked rice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (LaChoy brand or similar taste for best results)
- 1 cup chopped carrot bits
- 1 cup chopped green onions (scallions), or regular onion
- 1/2 a 12-16oz package of bean sprouts
- cooking spray (or more oil)
- 2 large eggs (3 if small)
- 1 cup Chinese pork, as prepared above

Add 6 tbsp cooking oil to a wok or wok-like pan at med-high heat. Put in 6 cups of cooked rice. Fresh, moist rice is best to work with, so either use freshly finished rice or microwave your leftover rice- covered- to re-heat and restore moisture. (If your rice has become very dry, drip some water over it and then cover and microwave to restore moisture).

Cover rice with 1/4 cup soy sauce (LaChoy brand soy sauce gave the best results). Stir until evenly coated. Press the rice flat into the pan and let it sit. Go ahead and press it down as far up against the sides of the pan as it will go, to get it all as flat as possible. About every 2 or 3 minutes, "flip" the rice- pretty much, just stir it around and then flatten it again. Cook until starting to look fried.

Turn down the heat to 1 setting under medium. Add 1 cup of chopped up carrot bits and stir. Add 1 cup of chopped green onions (or regular onion) and stir. Add two big handfuls of fresh bean sprouts (about half of a 12-16oz package), stir. Cover with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring once at the halfway point.

Now the veggies are starting to look cooked, while the beansprouts are still looking somewhat fresh (don't worry, they'll be done by the time you're finished). Push everything to one side of the pan to leave yourself some open space. Add a small amount of cooking oil or some cooking spray. Put in the 2 eggs (3 if small) and scramble them up, breaking them apart into small bits. Try pressing the tip of the spatula into them and moving it back and forth as you go. (Don't worry if some of the rice or veggies fall into them.) Then stir the egg bits into the rice and veggies.

Now you can turn off the heat, you're almost done.

Add about 1 cup of Chinese pork (as prepared above) into the rice, and stir thoroughly (excess Ah-So sauce will rub off on the rice while stirring). Then let sit for a short while to cool down a bit.
You have tasty Chinese pork fried rice! >^_^<

Try it out, tweak your ingredient amounts as needed, and you should be able to get perfect Chinese restaurant pork fried rice from this. >^_^< .
Hello everyone,

Somewhere recently I ran across the word tsukemono, and read a little about how Japanese pickles are made by pressing veggies in just a little salt so that they pickle in their own juice pulled out by the salt. These Japanese pickled vegetables as a complete side dish all their own seems like a neat idea. Fascinated, I picked up a cute little [3 litre] Japanese pickle press on ebay.

All of it's instructions are in Japanese, but that's ok, it's easy to see how to use it. However, whatever nifty recipe suggestions it has in the booklet are lost for me. :(

Does anyone know of any recipes for putting veggies into a pickle press? Recipes are harder to find online than I thought they'd be. I found one for cabbage, carrots, and herb leaves together, but I'd like to find some simple suggestions for just carrots, just daikon, just cucumber, etc, and how much salt to use per X amount of these. (Carrots are what I have in the fridge now, and I'm dying to pickle them.. Daikon and other things I could pick up some time later.)

I saw a Tsukemono cookbook on Amazon.com while I was browsing for pickle press prices. Is anyone familiar with any cookbooks for this that they would recommend?

Gimpy Tamago

Photo Examples found onine for reference, will be replaced with my own images soon

This is my own altered Tamago recipe that I threw together when I was short on some more traditional ingredients, but honestly, it came out ridiculously delicious and now I make it this way 90% of the time.