Saturday, October 03, 2009


In Japan, you can find lots of okazu or sozai (prepared foods) at the supermarkets and department stores.

Most times bento (boxed foods) have lots of deep fried items because they supposedly last longer.

You can also find simmered items called nimono. Whenever I look for bento, I try to find one with more nimono items than fried.

Of course, making your bento from scratch is the best way to know what goes in them, but if you don't have a lot of time (or are feeling lazy), then prepared foods are the way to go.

Nowadays, bento can be Japanese, Western or Chinese, as the Japanese say, Wa-Yo-Chu. In the States, I think bento are mainly eaten for lunch, but here, they are also eaten at dinnertime.

In Japan, whenever you are trying to decide what to eat for a meal, usually the first thing the other person says is "Wa-Yo-Chu?" Meaning...Japanese, Western or Chinese foods.

Anyway, this was a pork bento I bought a couple of weeks ago from a department store...871 yen (about US$8.71).

Larger than most bento I normally pick up, this was really filling!

From Daiei (a supermarket)...stir fried goya (bittermelon) 217 yen (about US$2.17), 5 spicy chicken wings 180 yen (about US$1.80) and a musubi 98 yen (about US$.98) 495 yen (about US$4.95). (These actually came in stryofoam trays and I transferred them to a bowl before eating.)

The bittermelon was delicious, it had scrambled egg, kamaboko, kikurage (wood ear) and a thick, clear gravy.

I like these chicken wings, they are spicy with a little sweetness to them.

As you can tell, the price of foods from the supermarket are way cheaper than the department store.

Both were equally delicious.

What did you have for lunch/dinner?


KirkK said...

Hi Kat - That is one good looknig bento! And the price isn't bad at all either.

2kamuela47 said...

neat bentos...for dinner I had ground turkey curry made with some organic curry powder that I got from Down to Earth. I've been using more of organic items and I love it!

K and S said...

Thanks Kirk :)

Thanks Laura, curry sounds good :)

Take care you two.

Anonymous said...

There is such a variety, not so much at night but during the day hours.... I esp love nimono with lotus root... yum

K and S said...

Girl Japan, Have you been to the department store food floors just before closing? I once was, and all their foods were half off!

mmm, nimono with lotus root sounds delicious!

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Such good prices on those bentos and they look better than the ones you see here too.

Jenster said...

That looked like a delicious lunch! Ironically, my husband and I were going to have bento lunch at a nearby sushi restaurant when he was reminded of a meeting. So off he went and I had Top Ramen with peas, corn and an egg. Not quite what I had expected, but as the weather is getting cooler here in the Northwest, it was warm and comforting!

K and S said...

At least you had a back-up plan Jenster :)

J said...

I've never found a supermarket all the times I've visited Japan. I suppose because I always stay in the main touristy/shopping areas. Could you recommend a supermarket in Osaka that's relatively easy to get to via public transport?

K and S said...

When you say recommend a supermarket in Osaka, Jan, that is like saying recommend a market in California (the range is quite wide). Anyway, there is a Daiei at the JR Kyobashi station.

Take care.

Admin said...

Kat, how bitter was the goya?

K and S said...

normal bitterness Mikuru, nothing to make it inedible :)

Take care.