4 Bento Okazu recipes


Thursday January 18, 2018


Really we have lots of snow this year, I am very much looking forward to spring.  When it is so cold outside people in Norway really get good at creating a nice and cozy and warm home.  Really life style and weather has such a strong relationship!

Last night I was spending some quality time in my kitchen, it is the nicest, coziest and warmest place in my home for me and I really enjoyed cooking our dinner and I made some vegetable dishes for my bento.

– Cucumber sweet and sour salad, soy sauce-base dressing
– Sweet and Savory Celery
– Carrot Salad

1 big cucumber is sliced thinly, I use a slicer. Put a little bit of salt and mix, leave it in fridge for 20 min.  Squeeze out water and put it in a salad bowl. Mix with this dressing :
vinegar  1 table spoon
soy sauce 1/2 table spoon
sugar 1/2 table spoon

3 stalks of celery are sliced thinly. Heat a frypan, add sesame oil and sautee celery.
when they are getting soft, put the heat higher and add this sauce and mix well.
soy sauce  1 table spoon
sugar  1/2 table spoon
mirin   1 table spoon


3 small carrots are peeled and cut into small julienne. Put some salt and mix. Leave in the fridge for 20 min.  Squeeze out water and mix with this dressing :
sesame oil   1/2 table spoon
garlic powder  1 tea spoon
white pepper and white sesame seeds
soy sauce   1 1/2 tea spoons

These keep well in your fridge for 3-4 days and make great Okazu for your bento!


The main dish in my bento today was Japanese Pork Ginger.

I used a pork loin filet, about 500g. Cut them about 1 cm thick, put salt and pepper and leave for 10 min.  Coat with flour (thinly). Heat a fry pan, add some vegetable oil. Fry them on both sides. Then add this sauce :

sugar   2 tea spoons
soy sauce   2 table spoons
mirin   1 1/2 table spoons
Sake  1 table spoons
fresh ginger   about 3/4 table spoons   if you like ginger, you can put more

Pork Ginger can be a very good dinner dish, you can make a little extra and put it in your bento next day.  These dishes with this sweet and savory sauce and dressing get better overnight, it is so helpful to have these Okazu ready at hand, you can pack your bento much faster.

Hope you can try!!

xxx Rie




Home made Spring Carrot Salad Dressing


So, I am back from Japan and as usual fighting with inevitable jetlag again.
Japan is now 7 hours ahead of the Norwegian time and I still feel hungry at odd hours… Ummm…   My husband and I spent 3 weeks in Japan and we really had a good time!  I have many photos to show you, so will write about my trip in another blog post.  We bought JR pass this time and made quite good use of it. If you are planning a trip to Japan soon, with or without JR pass, I hope my blog post will be helpful in your travel planning.




Today I am writing a recipe of my home made salad dressing using spring carrots.  I am now hooked on salad, a healthy addiction I must say.

While we were in Japan my husband and I really enjoyed many delicious dishes in different cities.  As far as food is concerned, I think Japan and France are my favorite. Particularly I enjoyed salads during my spring trip in Japan.  When you are traveling for three weeks and eating at restaurants almost everyday, it can get too much.  I feel so tired of restaurant food when it continues with no break.  Traveling is fun but you are busy with sightseeing and shopping in strange places and your body is sometimes much more tired than you think and I think it is important and wise that you eat light. Usually Japanese dishes are light but there are so many tempting dishes and you want to try it all when you are there.  In between such big and memorable meals, salad was a good dish for me to eat,  and in Japan there are so many kinds to try as well.

Here is one, I had this in Sapporo in Hokkaido, a fantastic salad with very locally produced ingredients!

It was called “White Caesar Salad” and it was so delicious that I can not forget.

Locally produced vegetables and local brand chicken called “Nakasatsunai Chicken”, a brand chicken in Hokkaido produced in Nakasatsunai Village, are mixed and totally covered by finely shredded Mozzarella cheese also locally produced by Hanabatake Farm, a famous farm in Tokachi city in Hokkado. It was really an excellent salad.

After I came home, I have been experimenting to create a good home made salad dressing and here is one using Spring Carrot.


Small Spring Carrot        1   finely grated
New Yellow Onion          20 g  finely grated
Rice vinegar                    30 cc
Olive oil (cold pressed)    50 cc
Lemon juice                       2 tea spoons
Soy Sauce                           2 tea spoons
Coarse mustard                2 tea spoons
Salt, pepper, honey, sugar          to your taste

I mixed all these with a bar mixer.


If you do not have a bar mixer, I really recommend to get one as it is a very useful cooking tool. Not only salad dressing you can make good soups or smoothies with it.


A good salad for your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Home made salad dressing is easier to make than you think.



Bon appetite!
xxx Rie

Do you like Norwegian Salmon?


You may never have traveled to Norway yet but maybe you have eaten fresh, delicious and world-famous good quality Norwegian salmon? It has really become a very attractive fish in many countries of the world and many of my readers in France, yes I know your country likes Norwegian salmon very much! To me it is not only a fish I buy at a supermarket to make a dinner for my family but also it is a nostalgic food which brings me many good memories. From 1986 to 1990 I worked in the Trade Department of the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo and one of the big projects I was engaged in was called “Project Japan” which was a pioneering project aiming at expanding export of Norwegian seafood from Norway to Japan. Now you can buy fresh Norwegian salmon in Japan very easily but back in 1986 it was not so commonly available. Many trade delegations from Norway visited us in Japan and those trips to the world’s largest fish market in Tokyo together with Norwegian fish exporters are my fond memories.

We who live in this clean and beautiful country in Scandinavia eat it very often, too. A very traditional Norwegian salmon dish is actually a very simple dish, we slowly porch salmon with a slice of lemon and dill and serve with boiled potato, melted butter and refreshing cucumber salad. Mmmm.. it is very good! But nowadays more and more Norwegian people eat salmon raw as Sashimi and Sushi just like Japanese people do. I often serve it to my guests at my dinner party and it seems people like the dish very much.

Norwegian Salmon Sashimi for Party
Norwegian Salmon Sashimi for Party

We almost always serve Sashimi together with these fine shredded white radish on the side. Very locally grown chives from my garden and ripe avocado go very well with the Salmon’s beautiful rose pink color and this bright and colorful presentation is really entertaining when you are serving it to your party guests.

Norwegian Salmon Sashimi – garnish tips
– shredded white radish called Daikon (available at Asian food stores)
– avocado, cut into small cubes and put some drops of lemon juice on
– salmon eggs
– lemon or lime slice
– fresh chives (gressløk in Norwegian)
– wasabi, if you like it hot

Easy Roll Sushi with Norwegian Salmon
Easy Hand Roll Sushi with Norwegian Salmon

Easy Hand Roll Sushi (4 people)
Sushi rice 2 cups, water 2 cups
Sushi vinegar   4 table spoons
Norwegian salmon  400g
Cucumber  1/2 – 1
Chives (gressløk)
Soy sauce, wasabi, white sesame seeds

– Wash sushi rice and cook it with water. Mix with Sushi vinegar while it is hot.
Cool it completely.
– Cut Norwegian salmon and cucumber into thin strips.
– Place a nori sheet (about 9cm x 9cm), put 3 table spoons of sushi rice on, add salmon and cucumber, sprinkle white sesame seeds and chives and wrap it! If you like it hot, dissolve some wasabi in soy sauce and dip.

Norwegian salmons are not only an excellent sashimi fish but also good to cook. Fresh salmons come in different sizes and a small package like this is very handy for my bento cooking and I almost always have one in my fridge.

Salma is the popular brand. It is super fresh, good for Sashimi
Salma is the popular brand. It is super fresh, good for Sashimi

Salmon Teriyaki on white rice is my favorite. The texture is so wonderfully tender and I think that is why both young children and elderly people like this fish. Today I made a festive bento with Salmon Teriyaki for my new boss who just arrived in Norway and we had a welcome party at the office and I served this bento for everyone.


Salmon Teriyaki (4 people) 
300g Norwegian salmon
Teriyaki Sauce (Japanese sake 2 table spoons. Mirin 1 and 1/3 table spoon, Soy sauce 1 and 1/3 table spoon, Sugar 1 tea spoon. Mirin is available at Asian food stores)

– Slice salmon into 5mm thick slices diagonally with a knife on a bias.


– Heat a frypan. Add 1/2 table spoon of salad oil.
– Fry salmon on both sides. It does not take any more than 3 minutes as they are thin slices.
– Mix the sauce in a cup. Pour into the frypan and cook. Turn the heat up.
– Try to coat the fish with the sauce. When the sauce is almost all evaporated, it is done.
– Serve as it is or on top of warm rice.


Bon Appetite!
xx Rie

This post is participating in the contest in Norway “Matstreif fyller 10år, lag et festmåltid med norsk lokalmat”