A big junior high school sports festival for all the students in Akita city was held last weekend and into Monday. Making “Bento (a type of Japanese picnic lunch or lunchbox) was one of my tasks for the event. Since we had to leave the house very early in the morning for each of the three days, I prepared enough food to in advance to be ready to go.

Simmered chicken liver, boiled broccoli, microwaved strawberry jam.


Grilled chicken thighs with plum soy sauce.


Grilled chicken with plum soy sauce and shiitake mushroom. Mushrooms add unique flavor and increase the volume.


Sauteed asparagus with fried tofu. All you have to do is to stir-fry the asparagus and fried tofu, season with soy sauce, mirin, and Japanese sake.


Grilled asparagus with potatoes, cheese, and heavy cream. You should eat this as hot as possible so it’s not really for bento. I happened to get 2 kg of asparagus, so I tried to create new recipes in order not to get bored of eating all of it. Asparagus with sweet sesame sauce was another great one.


These are shiratama dumplings in black bean syrup. It should be chilled. It’s not really for bento, either. My mom simmered the black beans, froze them, and gave them to me. With the white chewy dumplings they became a nutritious dessert for young athletes.