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Posted on Mar 15, 2007 | 13 comments

Speed Bento Tip: Store pre-cut nori in freezer bag

Speed Bento Tip: Store pre-cut nori in freezer bag

If you pack a lot of onigiri (rice balls) or decorated rice in the morning, speed up your morning prep by pre-cutting nori into shapes and sizes you use often, and store them at room temperature in a sealed freezer bag with a dessicant pack to keep moisture away from the nori. You can often find spare dessicant packs (silica gel) in packages of nori, dry snack food, even clothing. If you have a lot of smaller cut shapes, try putting them into a smaller container inside the freezer bag. I got the disposable Solo plastic cup below from a pizza delivery (had cheese in it), or you could use tiny Tupperware, plastic wrap, etc.

You can also store the pre-cut nori in the freezer, but you’ll want to wrap the little stacks of nori tightly in plastic wrap and then put them into the freezer bag (squeezing out all excess air from the bag before sealing). If it gets moist upon coming back to room temperature, warm it briefly in your oven or toaster oven until crisp. Recommended storage time in the freezer is two weeks max. for best flavor (source: 主婦の友), but it should keep indefinitely.

Storing nori for speed bentos

Note: Shapes above were cut with a scrapbooking punch (“flowers” in the nori strip) and very sharp craft scissors (faces).

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  1. great idea to save those silicone drying pouches…and precutting nori. What you do with the leftover scrap when you make food garnishes or cut things into shapes? I was always curious — because when I make things into fun shapes–I end up with a big pile of good food, like carrots and kamaboko scraps, or sandwhich crusts! Sometimes I eat it, and sometimes I toss it. I look at sites like e-obento.com, and think, they must have a lot of scraps of food. are they making soup? just curious. : ) — julie

  2. A few ideas: 1) put them in a layer under the nicely cut food, 2) put them in a salad (or soup, or inside a sandwich), 3) freeze the vegetable scraps for use in making stock, 4) turn the sandwich crusts into bread crumbs & freeze, 5) we freeze the bread crusts then use them to feed the birds with Bug when we go to the park with a pond, 6) chop up the veggie scraps and throw them into Tupperware in the fridge where they’re waiting to speed up the next morning’s lunch (i.e. saute and add to something), 7) snack on them!

  3. Hi! I love your blog, and I just came to say thank you for friending my own personal bento blog. I hope it’s not a problem that I linked to two of your entries; if it is they can always be removed. I’ve also friend you back. Thank you! :)

  4. My pleasure, and thanks for the links!

    I’m looking to find and friend blogs about packed lunches (all kinds: bento, Laptop Lunch, Mr. Bento, Tupperware, kids’ brown bags, etc.) so my Friends Page is 100% packed lunch. If anyone else has one you’d like linked, please let me know!

  5. My mother used to draw a face on my obento with nori, goma (sesami seeds), ham, umeboshi etc etc when I was little. Such a happy memory. Your Bug-kun is so lucky to have a mother like you! I am sure that he will always remember how much fun he had when he opened the bento box : )

  6. Yumi, you are seriously too nice!

  7. Great ‘punching’… I saw on Newtype USA that a popular item in Japan is called the “Niko Niko Punch” but I can’t find a single store or WebSite that sells them…?? Basically they punch out all types of faces & designs… Do you recall where you purchased yours & link me please?

  8. @7 from TyR: I’d love to get my hands on one of those Niko Niko Punches for cheap — maybe one of these days. I got my punches at Target in the dollar spot (regular scrapbooking punches) and at Ichiban Kan for US$1.

  9. @9 from Amanda: Thanks for the heads up on the Niko Niko seaweed punches on JList/Jbox, Amanda! Very cute, but I have trouble with the price tag as well…

  10. Hi! This is nice! Where in Japan did you used to live? How cool you make kyaraben in San Francisco!

  11. @11 from ochikeron: I used to live in Osaka (3.5 years) and Tokyo (5.5 years) in the 1990′s. Result is that I’ve got some pretty strong Osaka-ben, but that’s okay. ;-) People definitely remember me!

  12. What brand of nori do you use? I’m curious because I read that you were allergic to fish/shellfish, and my boyfriend is as well. I’ve been afraid to try things like onigiri in his lunches because I couldn’t really be sure what was totally safe for him to eat. Thanks for all of your wonderful posts!

  13. @13 from Ashie: Oh, we’re not allergic to fish/shellfish; maybe you were thinking of Amorette, a guest poster here?