Friday, April 16, 2010

Bento For Lunch

Short note: I was walking to the post office in a drizzling morning today, when out of nowhere, I was greeted by an elderly Japanese lady, whom I don't know at all. "Ohayou gozaimasu" was how she greeted me, and that totally took me by a surprise. I quickly replied her the same thing. It's amazing that a simple but meaningful gesture of such could made my day after what had happened overnight, and gave me a good start to a Friday. Maybe it's a Good Friday to me today? Haha!

Back in my kosen years, I used to go back to the dormitory and take my lunch in the kitchen, which is for the international students to use. The walk from school back to the dormitory takes less than ten minutes. But now, there wouldn't be enough time for me if I wanna return to my house to take my lunch because the commuting time alone between the university and my house would take at least twenty minutes, one way, which includes the walk from university to the train station, and also the waiting time. So, I came out with a solution - by bringing bento to school for my lunch.

I am not an expert (yet, haha!) in preparing bento sets, but I gave it a try recently. Of course, you need to have the time in order to be able to prepare a bento set. Time alone is not enough because if you are the lazy type, then it would be the end of story already haha! So far, the school workload isn't that much yet, and that is why I can find the time to prepare bento for my lunch. Usually, I will prepare them in two sets; another one is for Cung for him to bring to school or to work.

So, here is my first ever bento set, that I prepared for myself.


This bento set is divided into two compartments, one for rice and another one for the dish - croquette, fried gyoza
and cabbage with ham, plus some cucumbers; April 14, 2010.


Instant paste for miso soup and plum-flavoured shiso as furikake,  a dry Japanese condiment meant to be sprinkled on top of rice.

That was the first day.

On the second day, there was some improvements, in terms of colour scheme. I know, it looked so colourful that it can be used to teach kindergarten kids about the colours of rainbow haha! This time, I used a different type of furikake, a mirin-and-salmon-flavoured furikake. As you might notice, the bento set is lack of meat. That's because our fridge has run out of chicken, fish, or pork haha! So, I just use whatever stuff I managed to dig out from the fridge lol!


Fish cake, crab stick, siew mai, cucumbers, boiled potatoes and carrots topped with mayonnaise, plus fresh tomatoes; April 15, 2010.

It might be something rare to see local university students to bring home-packed meal to school, but in Japan, it is a common practice. Some of them have somebody else, usually their Mom to prepare the bento for them; while the others prepare it themselves. One advantage to bring bento from home, rather than eating outside; at the university's cafeteria, for example, is that it is more economical. Besides, home-prepared food is always cleaner and healthier, although I hardly doubt the cleanliness of the outside food in Japan.

As for today, I am lazy to make bento set already haha! Lunch will either be at the Korean or Indian restaurant near my university.


Cieri said...

the main principles of bentoing is that it looks nice (and yummy), tastes good, easy to prepare. you should finish packing for your bento in less than 30 minutes...

sakura said...

wow, nice n colourful!
i mean, it does taste nice, rite?
jz joking..:p

CLF said...


Robinn T said...

haha you actually had the time to pack for ur own bento?

I barely had time to get myself ca cup of milo in upper 6, let alone make a whole set of BENTO~

must be damn cun la u

Zzzyun said...

haha i also started bringing food to hospital for lunch since i came to australia. reason it being very expensive to eat out here.

i used to bring full meal last year (cook 1 set for dinner, 1 set for lunch) but this year have been busy, so make sandwiches until abit geli d!

Kae Vin said...

Preparing bento for Cung! omg I thought in Japanese culture you only prepare a bento set for someone that you care and love. ;P

Fishy fishy XD

Anonymous said...

that korokke's been sitting in the freezer since ... joumon jidai !!

calvin said...

@ cieri:
thanks! i'm still in the process of learning, but 30 minutes?!
that is too short time for me as i currently need about an hour to prepare it. but i guess i should be able to cut down on the time slowly =)

calvin said...

@ sakura:
haha, well, healthy food usually doesn't taste that nice, right? xD

calvin said...

@ clf:
thanks. well, it's not as nice as malaysian food, that's for sure! =P

calvin said...

@ tempus:
haha, just admit that you're lazy =P
it much depends on my mood and if i have the time to prepare it =D

calvin said...

@ zzzyun:
yea, i heard that the food over in aussie are expensive as well. mich always complains to me about it and she sometimes brings sandwiches to hospital as well. but eating at the cafeteria once in a while to fill your cravings won't hurt much, i suppose? :D

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
that's what i heard, but it's nothing wrong to prepare an extra set for my housemate, isn't it? xD

i know you want me to prepare you bento sets too, right? haha!

calvin said...

@ scikhong:
yup, it has been sleeping in the freezer for almost half a year and i decided it's time to wake the croquette up haha!