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Miso Hungry Podcast

Episode 28: Bento Buddies!

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Bento boxes!

We love them. You should too.

Bento box from Kyoto Station

You can get bento boxes pretty much anywhere in Japan. Train stations, convenience stores, department stores… and they’re almost always guaranteed to be delicious.

One of our favorite things about bento boxes is the variety of foods you can get in a single bento. Rice, meats, veggies, tsukemono… all sorts of things.

Bento is a great way of using up those little bits and pieces that weren’t finished off the night before. You don’t need to have a lot of any one ingredient, but you do need variety of taste and texture. You also have to choose dishes that are tasty even when cold, ones that will not go off quickly and ones that are not too watery.

It is common to have both meat and fish in one bento box, though one is usually more predominant than the other. Deep-fried seafood or chicken is always very popular, as is teriyaki fish or meat.

Vegetables are crucial for a good bento. Crunchy, lightly cooked green beans, carrots or broccoli are all fantastic additions, providing color and texture.

Bento box from Marukai in Gardena, CA

Kyaraben or “character bento” are typically decorated to look like popular Japanese cartoon (anime) characters, characters from comic books (manga), or video game characters.

Oekakiben or “picture bento” are decorated to look like people, animals, building and monuments, or things like flowers and plants.

Bento box from Ueno Station in Ueno, Tokyo, Japan

There are a bunch of bento blogs out there. Just Bento, Lunch in a Box, Happy Little Bento, Bento Lunch, and Feisty Bento (Yvo hasn’t blogged there for a while, though she still does talk about bentos on her main blog) are some good ones.

Bento box from Marukai in Gardena, CA

We’ve got silicon saibashi winners!

Congratualtions to Iryna and Carla! Check your emails for messages from us so we can get your shipping info and get these saibashi sent your way. ^_^

Bento box from Ueno Station in Ueno, Tokyo, Japan

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  • Iryna Oct 18, 2012 at 11:43pm
    Thank you girls, very much! I am so happy and my DH thinks I am crazy. Maybe I am! I am crazy happy!!!!! :)))
  • Kate @ Eat, Recycle, Repeat Oct 24, 2012 at 5:52pm
    What foods are in the last bento picture?
  • Eileen Jul 29, 2013 at 10:42am
    I enjoyed this episode but you really didn't give many examples of exactly what you would put in a bento?
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