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

Paulomi BarmanPaulomi Barman
Published Time
Posted on 
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 shutterstock.com

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

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 shutterstock.com

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.

Sauces

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.

Oils

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

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!

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 *

Related Articles

A shinobi dressed in all black with a large hat on their head and stick in hand, squatting on a rock in a forest.

Shinobi Snacks Galore: The Best Foods to Have!

In feudal Japan, a legendary group known as the shinobi, masters of stealth and espionage, whose skills shaped history in the shadows. These invisible warriors shaped the course of history with every silent step they took!

May 16, 2024
Platters of nigirizushi, an example of Tokyo food.

Tokyo Food You Must Try in the City!

Tokyo is known for being one of the most fantastic food paradises in the world! There’s so much to eat and thousands of restaurants waiting to be discovered!

May 16, 2024
The outside of McDonald's Japan.

McDonald’s Japan Holiday Menus: Popular Ones to Check Out!

McDonald’s Japan is genuinely famous for its unique and innovative holiday menus. Let’s explore the five most popular ones!

April 25, 2024
A hamburg on a plate at a family resturants.

Family Restaurants in Japan: Five Amazing Ones to Enjoy!

If you need help deciding where to dine after sightseeing or having fun in Japan, head to one of the family restaurants! Here, we also want to introduce you to five popular and must-try brands in Japan!

April 25, 2024
A person pouring liquor at a unique bar that might serve kakigori.

Kakigori Café and More: Five Unique Bars in Tokyo!

The Kakigori Cafe is just one of many establishments in Tokyo where you can enjoy unique drinks!

April 25, 2024
A ninja holding a sword, maybe getting ready to enjoy ninja food.

Ninja Food: What Makes It So Special?

Across Japan, you can find many restaurants or cafes with shinobi style, serving ninja food and drinks. Explore some natural shinobi foods and dishes that capture this cultural style!

April 12, 2024
TokyoTreat
Subscription
PricingBeginner’s Guide to TokyoTreatUpcoming BoxPast boxes
Support & Information
FAQContactHelp CenterBlog

Be a TokyoTreat Insider!

Join our newsletter and receive tasty news and deals!



AnIchigo Logobrand.
Copyright © 2024 TokyoTreat™. All Rights Reserved.
Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available