Bento 101: Constructing a Bento

Bento - Ao Haru Ride 02 - 01Now that you have your bento equipment ready, how should you go about filling your carefully chosen box? How much rice will you pack? What kinds of vegetables and meats should come together to make your meal? What proportions of meat, vegetables, and carbohydrates is suitable? How does colour come into play when constructing a bento? In what order should a bento be packed? And, what about food safety?

In this post, we’ll be exploring the various factors you will face while going about constructing your bento…. and, while the principles are simple, I hope they will serve as a useful guide as you begin your bento journey. Continue reading

Bringing Home a Japanese Staple: The Simple, Quick, and Versatile Shiojake (Salted Salmon)

Salmon shiojake - Hanasaku Iroha 10During the course of watching anime and, in some strange fascination, constantly paying attention to all the delicious food that pops up, one particular salmon dish never fails to catch my eye. Frequently seen accompanying traditional Japanese meals, it’s taken me a long time to really figure out what this sauceless and simple dish is exactly… But, after a bit of searching and a nice dose of luck, I stumbled upon shiojake, or salted salmon. Continue reading

Hazelnuts Meet Dark Chocolate to Create the Enchanting Italian Cookie, Baci di Dama (Lady’s Kisses)

Baci di Dama - Arcana Fagmilia 03 - 01When I first saw these adorable little cookies on an episode of Arcana Famiglia, I knew I just had to make them… Made of two hazelnut cookies with a smear of dark chocolate to hold it all together, these bite sized sandwich cookies offer plenty of crunch, texture, and a subtle sweetness that pairs wonderfully with tea and coffee.

Called baci di dama, or lady’s kisses, because they resemble pursed lips ready for a kiss, these cookies originate from Italy… making them an appropriate little treat to be featured in the Italian-inspired anime of the Arcana Famiglia. Continue reading

Bento 101: Equipment

Bento - Hanasaku Iroha 22 - 01In my previous post, we learned the basics of bento, getting to know a little more about its history and the different types that exist… and now, it’s time to go about making your own. But, where to start?

Even before diving into recipes for items to fill your bento with, or decorating your meal with heart-shaped tamagoyaki and carrots cut like flowers, it’s important to gather the equipment necessary to make your bento a success. A container is a must, and cutlery seems like a natural fit, but what about all the other extras that help organize your meal and take your bento to the next level? Continue reading

Summer 2014 Anime Season: First Impressions

Akame ga Kill 03     Aldnoah Zero 03     Ao Haru Ride 01    Barakamon 02     Free Eternal Summer 02     Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun 03    Glasslip 02     Sailor Moon Crystal 02     Sword Art Online II 01     Tokyo ESP 01     Tokyo Ghoul 03     Zankyou no Terror 03

The summer 2014 anime season has arrived, bringing with it a host of new series in a wide variety of genres, including horror, mecha, sci-fi, sports, romance, comedy, slice of life, and everything in between… There’s plenty to choose from, so here are 12 shows I’ve been checking out in the last few weeks, and my first impressions of them!

Overall, I’m finding this season quite varied and actually quite good, with a few shows that shine a little brighter than others. There were a lot over very strong first episodes that caught my attention quickly, but unfortunately, the majority of them have failed to match up to their brilliant starts.

Continue reading

Switching up an Old Summertime Favourite with Grilled Miso Butter Corn on the Cob

Roasted Corn - K-On 13 - 02Summertime comes with a host of wonderful things, including warmer weather, beachside barbecues, and a wealth of farm-fresh produce that entices the palate. One of my favourite things to eat at this time of year is corn on the cob, which is delectably sweet and juicy. Usually I just boil it up and eat it with a bit of butter, but lately I’ve been wanting something a bit different… Enter grilled miso butter corn! Continue reading

Bento 101: The Basics

Bento - Noragami 04Whether or not you watch anime, I’m sure you’ve seen a bento before… you know, those nicely segmented boxes full of compactly arranged food? Maybe it was in a Japanese restaurant that served a bento box dinner special, or perhaps it was a friend’s simple homemade lunch. Either way, it piqued your interest….

Bento are featured heavily in anime, with an overwhelming number of characters and series showcasing these often adorable and intricately arranged packed meals. Sometimes it seems like everyone from students to office workers make, purchase, and consume bento on a regular basis…  But, what exactly is a bento, where did they come from, and how do you go about making one?

To answer that, let’s start with the most basic of the basics. Continue reading