Been doing a bento thing for dinner about every other day for a couple of weeks, for various reasons, including recent receipt of a set of 4-compartment bento boxes.
Hungry for innovative-yet-Japanese-in-spirit ideas, especially for little salady dishes, veg dishes, and things not involving maki-making or exotic seafood--impossible for me to get uni, good crab, sushi-grade fish, or anything properly fresh.
Typically I do gohan or sushi rice balls, a cooked fish or meat (tonkatsu, teriyaki, tempura), a salad (ohitashi, cuke in dressing, miso mushrooms, etc.), and another dish, like chawan mushi, shumai, noodles, crab fritters, etc.
I want to get beyond the standards and would love to hear ideas. We loved a dressed, steamed watercress dish, interested in new pickles, any ideas for daikon or potato, been using jicama here and there, somen and parsnip. Anything, really . . . I do have the basic Japanese seasonings and sauces on hand.