"Tsukemono: Japanese Pickling Recipes" by Ikuko Hisamatsu has been mentioned on Maki's blog, Just Hungry, so I was delighted to spot it on the shelves. While many of the recipes may not really appeal to Western palates, I think that there are a few recipes that I might transcribe, such as Garlic in Miso and some of the quick pickles. I don't know that I have the patience to make kim chee or other ones that take weeks! I will definitely need to scale down the recipes in the book - most of the "instant" pickling recipes only keep for a couple of days.
The other book I found was Kurihara Harumi's book, "Harumi's Japanese Home Cooking". This book has beautiful photography and a casual style, appropriate for homestyle cooking. Harumi is apparently Japan's answer to Martha Stewart, and has written many books, has a TV show, and her own lines of tableware, kitchenware and clothing.
Not being an experienced connoisseur of Japanese cuisine, I do wonder how authentic these recipes are, as the author does try to limit the number of exotic or hard-to-find ingredients. She does, however, mention the traditional ingredients (such as shiso leaves) and suggests an alternative, should you not be able to find them (a mixture of basil & mint, if you're interested!)
I had briefly leafed through the contents at the library, so imagine my surprise when I got home to find that many of the recipes were suggested as good inclusions to a bento, and then later in the book, a whole chapter devoted to packing a bento.
I will have to try some of these recipes out, although like the last couple of weeks, I think this will be a slow week for bento. I have a new role at work which involves me doing training all next week, and will be supplied with lunch. We'll see if the cafe at work cuts it, or whether I will still bring a bento!