All TopicsNewsCultureJapanese Snacks & CandyFood & DrinkTravelEntertainmentMember Spotlight
TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogBento Essentials: How To Make the Perfect Japanese Lunch Box

Bento Essentials: How To Make the Perfect Japanese Lunch Box

By Paulomi Barman
June 28, 2021

The beloved bento! A nutritious and delicious short-cut when you are really running short on time to prepare a fully balanced meal to take on the go. Bento boxes are very easily available in Japanese grocery stores and Japanese convenience stores, but not so much elsewhere in the world.

Bentos are normally planned and made well in advance to save time and are preferably eaten within 5 hours from their preparation. This also means that bentos need to be more or less devoid of moisture, and therefore fresh fruits and some vegetables should typically be avoided as they may contain excess moisture that could create a soggy mess or spoil easily.

image via

Perhaps the most interesting part about bento meals is that although they are fast and easy, they support a totally balanced diet. Japanese cuisine generally includes everything required to maintain that balance, including carbohydrates like rice, lean proteins, and even vegetarian, and vegan options. 

Since bentos are for everyone, from Kindergarteners to salarymen, a shop will need to offer variety, since different people have different tastes & preferences. These bentos are packed in transparent boxes so that the person buying it can see from outside what is in it. The number of colors that you see in a bentos box will definitely allure you to taste one immediately! They typically offer a lot of variation. Also, the rice base can be combined with various proteins and vegetables to create a wonderful color assortment. 

Preparing a bento depends on the ingredients, but there are some essential things which are available with almost every bento meal. These include:


Rice is the most important part of any bento, since it makes upto 50% of the meal. Rice balls, known as onigiri, are ideal for a bento lunch box. Rice can be made in variety of ways, like:

  • White Rice ,or hakumai
  • Brown rice, or genmai
  • Rice with red beans, or sekihan
  • Rice with seaweed, or Noriben

Vegetables for Bentos

There are lots of vegetable options which can be added to the bento. Some of the more common vegetables that go well with almost every bento are: carrots, peas, edamame, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, pumpkin, and capsicum. 

Craving something sweet to finish off your Japanese bento? TokyoTreat is sending you the latest Japanese candy and snacks straight from Tokyo to your door!

Non Vegetarian Options for Bentos

  • Eggs: Eggs are pretty common in Bento meals! Eggs can be added in different forms to change things up. There are  a variety of egg dishes that you see inside a bento, from soft boiled, to tamagoyaki and many more. 
  • Meat: Just like eggs, meat can also be used in creating a variety of bentos. All types of meat from pork, beef, ham and chicken can be easily used for bentos.
  • Seafood: With Japan being a country surrounded by water, you get to eat a wide range of seafood in the country. Tuna, salmon, squid, anchovies and shrimp or common examples – but really, you can name any type of seafood and it will pair well with the Bento. 

image via

Vegan Bento Options

Bentos in Japan offer a wide variety of food for vegans too. From tofu, kidney beans, chickpeas, along with assorted options of nuts, avocado, corn etc can be found in the stores or made at home.


Soy Sauce, one of the most used sauces in the bento meal. Though other sauces like teriyaki, barbeque sauce can also be used to bring in variation and offer different flavors.


Several types of oil depending on the availability and preferences can be used here. Olive oil is very useful and a healthy option too. Though other oils like Sunflower and Canola oil can also be used in different dishes. Sesame oil is one of the more frequently used oils for bentos.


Nori is an edible seaweed, green in color. It is often added to different types of onigiri. Nori is not limited to onigiri though, Nori is added to bentos as well. It is often used as a Sushi wrap too.

Enjoy Delicious Japanese Candy And Snacks Every Month!

Starting from $32.50 USD
Get TokyoTreat
Author avatar
Paulomi Barman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoy Delicious Japanese Candy And Snacks Every Month!

Starting from $32.50 USD
Get TokyoTreat

Related Articles

The Ultimate Guide to Summer Festivals in Japan!

September 26, 2022

Summer festivals in Japan offer many ways to enjoy the warm weather holding a variety of events and amusing activitiel! If you have never experienced a Japanese summer matsuri, here is a quick look to guide you through what to expect and how to make the most out of it! What is Natsu Matsuri? Natsu...

The Mario Dining Experience: Mario Cafe and Toad Cafe

September 01, 2022

If you’re a fan of Super Mario – the king of video games – going to Universal Studios Japan to visit Super Nintendo World is definitely a cool idea for your next trip to Japan. Even better, try taking some time to enjoy the meals and drinks at some of Super Nintendo World’s restaurants for a memorable experience. Let’s take a brief look into the dining experience at Super Nintendo World’s Mario Cafe and Toad Cafe.

Fun Tsukimi Foods That’ll Make You Love The Season

September 01, 2022

Just bear with the summer heat for a little while longer because Otsukimi, or the Mid-Autumn Festival, is right around the corner. Along with it, some special limited-time foods are also released around many Japanese restaurants and fast food franchises to celebrate the season. Although it might be a bit early, let’s look back on popular Tsukimi foods Japanese people love to enjoy on this occasion in previous years!

Noodle Slides?! A Quick Guide to Nagashi Somen

August 31, 2022

Japanese noodles are known around the world. I mean, who doesn’t love digging into a big bowl of ramen? You’ve probably also tried– or at least heard of– udon and soba noodles, too. But the Japanese noodle universe is vast and uncharted, so today we’re focusing on a lesser-known Japanese noodle: somen

Japan’s Family Restaurants: Eat Your Way Through Them!

August 31, 2022

Through the sudden hunger haze your eyes settle onto a towering sign. You’ve just stumbled upon one of Japan’s many beloved family restaurants!

TokyoTreat’s Guide to Japanese Street Food

August 23, 2022

Japan is a country that is internationally renowned for its incredible food scene. Tokyo boasts some of the greatest Michelin-Starred restaurants that offer unique, one-of-a-kind experiences well worth the plane ticket.

Be a TokyoTreat Insider!

Join our newsletter and receive tasty news and deals!

Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available

Be a TokyoTreat Insider!

Join our newsletter and receive tasty news and deals!

Copyright © 2022 TokyoTreat™. All Rights Reserved.
Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available