July 5, 2011

Bento for My Son/息子の弁当

My son once remarked, "Your bento is simple, isn't it?" I replied, "It is. What's wrong with that?" He said, "I simply said your bento is simple, and I'm not saying that's bad."
I'm not a type of person who spends more than twenty minutes to make a fabulous bento, a type of bento that will make you say "Wow" when you open it.

This is one of the brands of weenie that I often buy:
This product has won the Monde Selection Gold Award for three years in a row, in 2008, 2008, and 2010.
I usually cut each weenie diagonally in half,
cook them in the toaster oven.
I sometimes use frozen food to save time. Shown below are frozen harumaki.
And, here is the bento for my son today.


Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, maybe you don't spend much time preparing your bentos, but for me this one looks beautiful and delicious. If I had such lunches prepared when I was a child... All I got was sandwiches and a fruit (of course I didn't live in Japan, so I was not ashamed: everyone got sandwiches and fruits and the unlucky ones had to eat the disgusting school cafeteria lunch...).

CFT said...

I think you mean 'wiener' instead of 'weenie' ;)

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: There are some parents in Japan who will stop at nothing to make very laborious bento for their children. I once watched a TV program in which a mother gets up at four in the morning to make her child a chara ben (short for character bento).

Hiroyuki said...

CFT: Thanks for for your comment.
I'm not really sure which word to use to mean
uinnah ウインナー.

This site
says (quote):
There is no difference, a wiener and a weenie are the same thing. -noun 1. frankfurter. 2. Vienna sausage.

Kiki said...


Mothers can be terrible if there is a chance to show some fancy extra skills (directed to all the other mothers and kids of cause)
Good you don't try to participate in the rat race. Your o-bento provides a nice and filling meal and so your son should be happy enough (or he could cut carrots to flowers the evening before and do some octopus preparation for the sausages himself...)

Wiener and weenies: better use "wieners" I dare not to post the other meenings of weenie.

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: OK, OK, I will use the word wiener from now on (laugh)!

fred said...

I think peoples outside Japan would say your o-bento is extravagant!!
Because almost every kids just eat something from school cafeteria as Sissi said!
Because just small amount of parents could prepare meal for their childrens.
How unlucky I am, not rised in Japan!(笑)

Sissi said...

Thank you! I learn not only Japanese, but also new English words here (I only knew "teenie-weenie" ;-) )
Hiroyuki, the mother who gets up at 4 am is difficult to imagine (I don't have children, so maybe I don't understand).
Fred is right. I was happy to have my simple sandwich and not be forced to go to the cafeteria :-)

Hiroyuki said...

fred and Sissi: We don't have such fancy things as cafeteria in our elementary schools and junior high schools!! All students in a school have the same lunch. One of the biggest differences of the school lunch system in Japan from those of other countries is that kyushoku (school lunch) is regarded as part of school education.

I hope I can talk about the kyushoku system in the near future.
In the meantime, here is a thread on Kyushoku on eGullet, if you are interested:
and another, very long thread:

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I am just having my morning coffee, reading about the school meals in Japan on eGullet. Fascinating! I would love to have a lunch at a school in Japan every day!
I have also noticed the portions are small compared to what the children of the same age are given in Europe (and I don't mention the US, where apparently the portions are huge everywhere). Afterwards it's easier to be slim in the adult life!
I love the way children take part in the lunch, serving it. And the approach of the nutritionist saying the parents should cook the hated dishes to make children like them... It's fantastic!
I get angry with the adults who hate most of the existing dishes and food products and aren't curious to taste new things... I am sure it comes from the childhood food education.

Sissi said...

And thank you once more for the detailed answer about the udon broth on my blog! I am sure Charles has now all the information he needs (and me too ;-) )

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Two bento days ended at my son's junior high school, and today, July 7, they serve for lunch:
Edamame gohan (rice cooked with young soybeans), coleslaw, spicy chicken, Tanabata dessert, and Amanogawa (Milky Way) soup.
824 kcal.
July 7 is Tanabata in Japan!!
The menu says that the Amanogawa soup contains somen (to resemble the Milky Way) and okra (to resemble stars). Sadly, no explanation of Tanabata dessert.

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I have just read about the Tanabata. It is very romantic and I find it wonderful they serve the Milky Way soup on this day. You have such a special attitude towards the food...
I see they write the exact calorie intake! And coleslaw is popular in Japan too.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: The same lunch is served at both my son's junior high and my daughter's elementary school. At her school, the portion size is smaller (695 kcal for yesterday's lunch).

Last year, a new kyushoku center was built, and I have an opportunity to visit it and have a meal there next week. I hope I can post some photos here.

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I am sure it will be a fascinating post.