Vegetarian Bento

I've been making bento for myself almost everyday for the last couple of months,
My new company is Japanese and a lot of co-workers bring Japanese style bento for lunch.

I have a lot of bento boxes. One of my favorites is this wooden one. My husband bought this for me when we visited Japan. It's a little hard to take care, but it keeps rice fresh and yummy I think.

I love making character bento, but I also like Japanese traditional bento.

Today's menu

Brown Rice with Yukari Furikake
Vegan Okara (soy pulp) Hamburger Steak
Tofu egg omelet
Pickled Radish


Deco Shiratama dango mochi balls

 I think a lot of Japanese women like to make everything cute.....
Cute bento, cute cread..... and cute mochi!!
Have you seen little white mochi balls in Japanese sweets? It's called Shiratama Dango and often eaten with sweet red bean paste and fruits.

Making cute shiratama dango is very popular in Japan now.
It's super easy to make and fun!
Valentine is coming soon, so I made it look like my husband and me<3

Shiratama dango is usually made with shiratama powder.
However it's a little expensive here in the U.S., so I made with mochi powder.
Not as smooth as the ones made with shiratama powder, but it's still good.

The key ingredients for making deco shiratama dango is silken tofu,
Mixing tofu and mochi powder makes it easy to shape !
It's fun to make with kids;)

Shiratama Dango

50g mochi powder
45~55g Silken Tofu
1/2tbs  Sugar

Black- sesame paste
Blown- Cocoa powder
Beige- Kinako (Japanese soy bean powder)
Pink- Dried strawberries, ground

1. Mix mochi powder, sugar  and 45g tofu. Add more tofu until you can form a ball.
2. Dived the ball into the number of colors you want to make.
3. Color each balls. Just add the coloring (see above) little by little until you get the color you like.
4. Shape the dango. (I draw mouth after cooked with a toothpick and black sesame paste)

5. Boil water in a pot and put the shiratama dango. Cook until they start to float. ( about a couple of mins)
5. Transfer to ice water and cool.


Inari Sushi Bento ~Year of Monkey~

Almost new year already.....
Happy year of Monkey!

I cut inari sushi pouch and stuff rice inside.
Here is my bento page on Japan Up! magazine Feb issue;)
Please pick it up at your local restaurants or Japanese grocery stores!! (in LA and OC )


Tofu Dumplings Panda Bento

I made this bento for Japan Up! magazine Jan issue!
This month's theme is tofu, so I made healthy tofu shumai, (kinda dumplings)
Instead of wrapping fillings with wan ton square wraps, I cut them and coat the fillings with them,
Please see below for more details.

Tofu Dumplings
200g Tofu
100g Ground Chicken
1/4  Onion, minced
2tbs Soy Sauce
1tbs Sugar
1/2tbs Sesame Oil
2tbs Potato Starch
1/4tsp  Ginger, grated
20 Won Ton Square Wraps

1. Drain tofu well. (see my blog post "how to press and drain tofu) Mix all the ingredients besides wraps.

2. Cut square wraps into short strips as shown.

3. Shape the tofu mixture into desired size and place on the strips. Coat the tofu balls with the strips. Press firmly to secure strips stick to tofu balls.

4. Steam for about 15 mins.


1. Cut a couple strips of spaghetti into 1-2 inch segments and pan-fry. 
2. Put a black bean on top of the pasta. Repeat 8 times. Carefully insert the pasta into the tofu dumpling where you want to add ears and eyes.

3. Poke a slice of cheese with a boba straw to create nose outlines for panda. Or carve with a toothpick.

4. Carefully move the nose to the face.
5. Cut a piece of nori seaweed to create noses and place on the cheese.


Halloween lunch bento box

Quail egg Jack o lantern bento:)
skeletons are made with quail eggs too.


How To Make Halloween Bento

It's officially fall now! The most wonderful time of the year! I love fall so much.
I'm relocating from SoCal to NorCal. Although I love this socal beach weather, I'm looking forward to having the seasons again.
Therefore no more class at Tokyo Central for a while:(
I'd like to say thank you for all the people who came to join my classes!!!!!
I think I will teach irregularly, so If you'd like to receive the updates from me, please sign up the newsletter through the "Email Signup" app on my Facebook page.

If you have friends or family in the Bay Area, please share my facebook page so that they can get information on my classes:)!

Looking forward to meeting new people in the Bay Area!

This October's issue of Japan Up, I posted how to make Halloween Bento!
Please pick up the magazine if you live in LA or OC!


Disney Silhouette Rice Balls Bento

Went to a concert at a nearby park with this bento tonight!
This silhouette rice balls are easier since you don't need to make face parts.
I had some leftover imitation crabs from the bento class last weekend and wanted to use them up!
Just unwrap a imitation crab to separate red and white parts.
Wrap the red part around rice ball and you'll get this silhouette Disney characters!
In case you don't know what those are.....
Mickey, Minnie, Pooh and Piglet!

For the side dishes, I made chicken karaage and veg spring rolls.
I like wrap a lot of veges with rice paper for picnic bento. It's nice and portable.
Easy to eat with your hands!


Cake Decorating

Made vegan cakes<3
I've been eating cake almost every day lately....;P