Tag Archives: Salmon

May Monday and beyond with koi nobori, and yoroi kabuto

9 May

I realized, I did not address the issue of Kodomo no hi, or Children’s Day in my earlier entry.

Traditionally, May 5th of each year celebrates the health and happiness of boys – which was subsequently changed to all children (and became a national holiday).  Carp streamers, or koi nobori are flown throughout Japan, and in households with boys (sons), a traditional warrior helmet, or kabuto are displayed, similar to the hinamatsuri dolls that are displayed for Girl’s Day in March. 

My nephew's set from my parents

My daughter enjoyed folding kabuto with origami at Japanese school with her classmates, and they all got together under a koi nobori streamer up in display in the gymnasium, waving their own hand-made koi nobori.

Monday bento included:

Baked salmon cakes, which happened to be a hit when I made them a few weeks ago.  A can of salmon, two minced celery stalks, 1/2 minced onion, 1 tsp grated ginger, 2 minced scallions, one beaten egg, a palmful of black sesame seeds, 1 tbs mustard mixed well by hand, and subsequently pan-fried in a cast-iron (minimal canola oil) over medium low heat until the surface formed a crispy crust on each side.  They are healthy (I include skin and bones, and mash everything together when mixing by hand), quick, and tasty even at room temperature, or straight out of the refrigerator.

Pickled turnip slices – soy sauce, lemon juice, drop of mirin, grated ginger and rice vinegar for 2 – 4 days.

Grape tomatoes and cucumber slices


Tawara shaped onigiri, no filling, sprinkled with black sesame seeds for crunch and color, with nori wrap


Happy Monday, and a Happy Lunar New Year!

23 Jan

The weekend was a blur – the snowfall resulted in school being cancelled, and we spent a lovely weekend with a few hours of outdoor snow time.  The little one ran around outside, both hands throwing fistfuls of the fluffy, powdery snow into the air, as she looked upwards, her mouth open to catch snowflakes as she shouted, “Snow!! Snow!! Snow!!”

The older one flopped down every couple of feet to make snow angels.

The outdoor activity was capped off with homemade hot cocoa (Trader Joe’s Organic Cocoa) with mini marshmallows

We also managed a few runs at a local park on the inner tube – Papa spun them around as they slid down the hill with the other neighborhood children, their giggling and laughing heard all the way down.

A Happy Lunar New Year to all!

Today’s lunch included:

Grilled shiozake, or salted salmon, flaked

Steamed multi-grain rice with gomashio or sesame salt

Roasted golden beet stars

Baby Carrots




Thursday lunch following yesterday’s home run

19 Jan

My daughter loved her lunch yesterday, and she finished every bit.  She could not wait to show me her empty bento box when I picked her up at daycare, and she beamed when we opened her box in the car.

“It was sooooo good!” she exclaimed.

My hesitation was the lack of carbohydrates – so today, I included steamed multi-grain rice (brown, rice, millet, quinoa, barley) topped with flaked, grilled, salmon.

Also included were the soy-sauce/mirin seasoned chicken drumette/wingette, as well as blanched sugar snap peas and grape tomatoes.

A clementine was also included for dessert.

I hope today’s lunch will be a hit as well!

Salvaging-my-onigiri bento

17 Jan

I try to incorporate as many grains as possible into our steamed rice – which is wonderful from a dietary standpoint, but for aesthetics and for ease of onigiri formation, I usually have to make small sacrifices.

Usually, onirigi are made with snowy white rice, wrapped with a tuxedo cummerbund of nori, a black belt smartly wrapped around the rice belly.  My onigiri are often a slight beige color, and often, a bit crumbly since the various grains aren’t as cohesive as white rice.

For Saturday school, I was going through my onigiri formation with my daughter’s favorite center of grilled salmon when the multi-grain rice decided to take matters into their own hand(s).  Despite my wet hands, the grains crumbled, crumbled, and crumbled across the kitchen counter.  It felt like making a sand-ball out of damp beach sand – the bits scattering across the counter, on to the floor, my greedy cat rushing to see if anything worth snatching had fallen to ground level.

I decided today’s rice was going to have a different arrangement – and I decided to put the rice into the rice “compartment,” and I flaked the salmon across the top. 

The cat was devastated, not a piece of delicious salmon fell to her level – and she wove, disappointed, around my legs, her tail wrapping around my knee.

Baked chicken drumette and wingette with carrot sticks

Blanched watercress with katsuobushi or shaved bonito flakes, soy sauce and a drop of lemon juice

Roasted beets in star shapes

The strip of nori was happily consumed by my daughter as a post-breakfast snack.

This Monday – an altered pizza day due to the shortened week – so no bento to pack!


Mid-May Monday Onigiri Bento

16 May

After the success of my onigiri attempt, my daughters have both been requesting rice-ballies-with-nori for every meal. 

Perhaps it’s the novelty.

My older one will carefully hold her onigiri, and take carefully, calculated bites of both rice and nori

The little one will unwrap the nori from her onigiri, eat it first, and then break off small lumps of rice.

“Mama, I want an onigiri for lunch today, ” my older daughter requested.  I was hesitant – what if someone tells her nori is yucky… but then again, she might not mind the comments, and simply go her merry way at lunchtime.

Today’s lunch included:

Onigiri seasoned with nori (seaweed) flakes, sesame seed and dried greens wrapped with a strip of noriI used Kagayaki brand, sprouted brown rice – I couldn’t find organic at the store, but will continue looking.

Grilled wild salmon (conventional)

Blanched asparagus

Roasted yummy beets – star shapes

Boiled quail eggs (conventional)

Hopefully she enjoyed her lunch!