Tag Archives: bento

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Tokyo and Shinjuku Japan: Food Adventure Recap Part 2

Hello everyone :)

Let’s head to our last stop on my Asia food adventure in Japan! The food scene in Japan was just so amazing. You can tell that the Japanese people take a lot of pride in their food and definitely see it as an art. Every piece of food that they make, they present it with great care. I felt almost guilty every time I bought something, because they always wrapped it so neatly, like a present, even if it’s just one dango or bread.
This beautiful presentation definitely contrasts the food culture that was seen in Thailand, in which food and even drinks were packaged in plastic bags.

One of the things that our tour leaders mentioned to us on our first day in Japan was that there’s a large food scene underground in Japan. I never would have expected to see markets in subway stations and just stores of food lined up for miles. It’s better than any food court I’ve visited here in the states, and definitely cleaner than any fast food place you would find in a public transportation area. My mom and I wanted to visit Shibuya station before our afternoon flight, so we headed there in the early morning. Shibuya station is famous for something. Do you know what?
Hachiko! If you don’t know the story of Hachiko, I will just sum it up. It is a story about the love between a dog and his master. Hachiko would always wait at the subway station at the end of each day to greet his master. However, one day the master suffered from a heart attack and died. Hachiko waited at the subway station every day for his master to return until he, himself died. There is a statue that has been erected at Shibuya station and you can take a picture with it. It was so much fun finding Hachiko at Shibuya Station :)

Underground shopping, markets, and food vendors, beneath Shibuya Station.
Beautifully made bento boxes

You can definitely tell that the Japanese food scene caters to the commuter populations. One of the most distinctive differences between each country I visited on my Asia trip was the difference between the major means of transportation each country relies on. Hands down, Indonesia has the worst traffic ever. Don’t expect to get anywhere unless you’re driving at 4am or in the wee hours of the night. Thailand also had terrible traffic, but not as bad as Indonesia. Singapore has a wonderful subway system and bus system. It was quite easy to get around. In Japan, their subway system is their main form of transportation aside from walking. Every morning, I would go out to the local Family Mart or McDonalds to pick up some breakfast before our tours, and would see hoards of people walking and crossing the streets and running to their platforms at the subway stations.

Shibuya station crossing: one of the largest crossings in all of Japan. At peak hours, there is an average of about 3000 people crossing this single crossing at one time.

These underground subway station food vendors are definitely a means to make food more accessible for people on the go.

Delicious desserts :)

Bento, bento, bento!

So, as many of my friends know, I am a huge fan of Hello Kitty. Seeing Hello Kitty everywhere was the highlight of my trip. Before I left Japan, I was able to come across the most amazing treat! It definitely was the cherry on top of my trip. It was the most amazing find at Shibuya station.

Why hello Hello Kitty! We meet again :)

I came across Hello Kitty pastries! That’s right, you heard me… Hello Kitty chocolate and custard filled pastries! It was the most amazing find! We bought only 10, because it was quite pricey. I had intended on bringing it back with me to the states, but we ended up eating it all by the time we reached the airport :(

Hello Kitties before getting filled with yumminess.

 

HK Pastries :)

Let me tell you something…. these Hello Kitty pastries were absolutely delicious! We purchased two flavors: chocolate and custard. It’s very similar to the red bean and custard filled wheel cakes. However, the batter is lighter and crunchier. I loved the chocolate filled Hello Kitty, because there are little pieces of crunchy chocolate inside. The custard had a nice light, sweet flavor, with a smooth consistency.

Here’s your close up Miss Hello Kitty

 

Cute packaging

 

First bite !

My Japan adventure was a short one! It was a really expensive one as well! If you plan on going to Japan only, I feel as though you should be prepared to spend a hefty amount of money on food, transportation, and tours. I felt the tours was a great investment, since we hit a lot of the hot spots over the course of the day and was able to see so much. I would love to come back to Japan one day, but definitely I’ll have to be prepared to spend a lot of money once again.

I hope you guys enjoyed my recaps on my Asia food adventure!
If you have any suggestions of places I should visit next and food I should try, please comment below or shoot me an email :)
Enjoy!

<3 josie

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Tokyo and Shinjuku Japan: Food Aventure Recap Part 1

Hello everyone!

We continue on with our Asia food adventure with Japan! My mom and I arrived in Japan at night on the 4th of July. We were flying back to the U.S on the 7th, so realistically, we had 2 days to travel around Japan. I had anticipated that Japan was going to be costly, but I did not realize how costly. I think within the first 24 hours of being in Japan, we spent $500 on transportation, tours, meals, very small souvenirs, and a few snacks. Insane!

Spicy miso ramen

Our hotel wasn’t located within Tokyo. It was too much to stay in Tokyo, so we stayed in Shinjuku. The Narita airport is actually quite far from the city. It took about 2 hours to get to Shinjuku via bus, with only one 5 minute stop. We arrived pretty late at night, but were extremely hungry. We decided to venture from our hotel to see what was in the area. We stumbled upon a ramen shop next to our hotel.

Soy Sauce Ramen

Let me just say, this was the most amazing find! It was so convenient to have this near our hotel. We actually came back to eat here twice! The ramen was the cheapest thing we had throughout our Japan trip. The ramen was around $10 each person, which was a lot cheaper than the other meals we came across.

Also, I’d like to mention, that no other ramen I’ve ever had compares to the ramen I had in Japan. It was so amazing! Gah, I miss it so much! The noodles are cooked aldente, but has a wonderful texture and flavor to this. The spicy miso broth had a nice thickness too it, but not too thick. The soy sauce ramen was light and full of flavor, topped with bean sprouts and chau siu.

I was in heaven!

My cousin once asked me if I’ve ever eaten food that touched my soul– the kind of food that makes the world go silent, and there is nothing else but you and that moment of happiness. In that moment, no one is talking. They just eat with joy. As my cousin said, “life is simple, you eat and then you’re happy.” I love that he said that and I totally agree with that statement! And I must say, that this ramen… definitely touched my soul.

A traditional Japanese meal provided to us on our tour through Tokyo.

I don’t think I was disappointed at all with Japan’s food. Everything tasted amazing..even the McDonald’s.. haha. During one of the days, we took a full tour of Tokyo. We visited the Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Palace, the Meiji Shrine, and so much more. It was definitely worth taking the tour as opposed to traveling around by ourselves, especially considering that we got to see so many different locations over a limited amount of time. We wouldn’t have been able to do it ourselves.

Japanese rice crackers
Chicken and pork katsu
Curry Pan
Green tea ice cream

Although we were in Japan for a limited amount of time, my mom and I were quite excited by the food scene in Japan and took a lot of pictures of different types of food. So I’m going to continue on with my Japan trip recap on another post.

Look forward to it!

Next up: hello kitty pastries!!!

Enjoy

<3 josie

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Bento Box

One of my three bentos =)

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Bento for Lunch

Bento: Salmon, Spinach, and Curry

My lunch for today :)

Cheers
Josie

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Bento: Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

Bento: Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 1/2 lb of sliced beef
  • Soy sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

Directions: Cut the broccoli and zucchini and slice the beef. Marinate the beef in 1/2 tbs of soy sauce, 1/2 tbs of rice wine, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour. Heat a pan with some oil, and stir fry the garlic. Toss in the meat and cook half way. Add the zucchini and the broccoli. Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and another 1/2 tbs of soy sauce. Stir fry until meat is well done and the vegetables are a nice vibrant green color.

I made this a while ago but forgot to post it. It was for lunch a few weeks back.

Enjoy

Josie

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Bento: Stir Fry Beef with Corn

Bento: Stir Fry Beef with Corn

  • 1/4 lb. beef (cut into cubes)
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbs sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbs tapioca starch

Directions: Add the salt, garlic powder, pepper, sesame oil, and soy sauce together. Add the starch and make sure it coats all of the meat. Heat up a small pan and put 2 tablespoon of oil. Stir fry the meat until well done.

So lately I’ve been trying to bring my own lunch more and more often this quarter. It was all working well until last week, when I had a tough exam schedule that made me a little lazy in terms of cooking and getting things ready. So I’ve been buying food on campus (not the best idea).

Now that I have a break from exams for this week, with the exception of my Spanish oral exam, I decided to make a better effort to pack my own lunch. I wanted to make something simple and something quick (in terms of cooking and eating).

Nicole and I were taken to the market today by our friend, which allowed me to buy more meat and other necessities. I’ve been missing milk for a long while now, but finally we have some. Yay! I bought a decently priced tri-tip. I try my best to buy large quantities of meat and storing them in the freezer. When I got back I trimmed the fat off the meat and separated the meat into three ziploc bags. I used the remaining meat for my lunch.

It’s really important for me to cook a lunch that is easy and quick, not only to cook, but to eat as well. The reason? Mainly because I end work at 12:30pm and start class at 1:00pm. My class and work location are on opposites sides of the campus. I don’t even think you could consider my work place as being part of the campus at all. So it takes me about 10-15 minutes to walk to class, therefore giving me 10 minutes or so to eat lunch before class. I know, poor scheduling on my part, but it’s the way things are twice a week for me.

The corn is just some can corn that I seasoned with pepper. The rice has some furikaki on it, and not pictured here, is some carrots to go with it.

Can’t wait to eat this tomorrow, yum!

Josie