The Return of the Son of Bento

Right now my stomach is still delicate, so I really need to make my own breakfast and lunch. Where I work is full of tech geeks, so we are surrounded by a variety of greasy fast food places. Not going to work well for me.

So here are some extra boring bentos. Although peanut and apple butter are used, so it’s not a totally lost cause. (Right now anything with real dairy cream in it makes me sick. I don’t know why butter is fine.)

My giraffe box, with table water crackers, the end. I put a dollop of peanut butter in later, though.

Next I wanted to make rice balls (onigiri if I’m spelling that right). It doesn’t take long to cook a cup of rice in an on/off rice cooker, and then let it cool a bit.

Usually you want something salty and not likely to go rotten in them. ((Although for some reason mayo is a hit with the Japanese. It doesn’t make for a well-preserving meal without insulated cold storage, though, which Japanese bentos did not, until recently, have. So. Um.))

Salmon (cooked, the kind you find in those packets these days) is a favorite filling. But all of mine had expired.

Next favorite is rolling or filling a rice ball in some preserved sprinkes of nori plus stuff like little bits of dried shrimp or egg (tastes better than it sounds). All expired.

Okay, next is pushing a preserved, tart, bitter plum in. Got none.

Desperate times call for desperate measures….

I use molds for my rice balls, because I am lazy. This is my favorite brand because it lets you do two triangular balls at a time. I half-filled each part with rice, and then used peanut butter for the filling! Preserves well, is a protein, yummy, a little salty. Works for me.

The little, ah, tits ((Not an official term.)) in the top of the mold are there is you want a little dent to push the plum in. You can pop them out if you wish.

Fill up with rice.

Push the top of the mold down, which does all the packing and squeezing for you.

There are flexible triangles in the bottom of the mold. Remove the mold top, turn over, push the triangles to push out the nicely formed rice balls.

There they are!

I like triangles because they are flattish and fit into corners. I didn’t have any non-expired nori sheets to wrap the rice balls, so I used plastic cling wrap (the approved alternative in these modern times). Either option keeps them moist.

Plenty of I Love Lemon for my throat. More water crackers. The little sauce container has apple butter for the crackers.

And that’s lunch. And probably tomorrow’s lunch. Although by then I may have new packets of cooked salmon.

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3 thoughts on “The Return of the Son of Bento

  1. OMG I didn’t know those molds existed. I love onigiri and I am very bad at making it – one time in college a very nice Japanese boy spent most of an afternoon trying to help me get the shape/solidity right.

    I just added those to my wish list. Where did you buy them? Or I guess I mean, where could one buy them, since I’m in the middle of nowhere.

  2. I am lucky, I have an Uwajimaya nearby… relatively speaking, since I have to cross the Sound to get to it…. which has all this stuff. There’s now also a Daiso nearby it, which has cheaper bento stuff. I don’t know if they exist in your area (likely not, especially not Uwajimaya).

    Amazon.com has them from third-party sellers:

    Pink Trianglular Mold – just like the one I have!

    3 Rolls Mold – They’re white, not pink, but they’re the exact same mold otherwise.

    A couple of other interesting items:

    Rice molds on sticks – You scoop up the rice into them without patting rice into them. They’re not that great of a time saver, especially not the “XL” ones, but there are tiny ones available, and if you’re trying for cute, that works quite well and quickly.

    Bear Head, Boy Head, Girl Head – Yeah, these are not creepy at all.

    Four Shapes Rice Mold – These are teeny, I’ve seen them in person. Nice for small cute bento.

  3. We do not have a Uwajimaya, though I’ll be in Chicago this summer & can probably get to Mitsuwa.

    Here there’s a mostly-Japanese grocery. I will have to check there for the molds, I kind of scan their Stuff wall as I go through but I haven’t looked closely lately. If not i’ll use the Amazon link on my birthday list. Thank you!

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