Instructions for making OBENTO (Japanese Lunch Box)

Mei 31, 2008 pukul 5:17 am | Ditulis dalam Jepang dalam suatu episode | 2 Komentar

What is Obento?

Bentō (弁当 or べんとう?) is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables as a side dish. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are easily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋 bentō-ya?), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend considerable time and energy producing an appealing boxed lunch.

Bento can be very elaborately arranged. Contests are often held where homemakers can compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements. The food is often decorated to look like people, animals, or characters and items such as flowers and plants. This style of elaborate bento is called kyaraben.

Instructions for making OBENTO (Lunch box) in the summer

1. Cool the food well, then put it into a lunch box. A fan can be used to cool the food.

2. Vinegar tends to keep food from spoiling, so it’s a good idea to put in food that’s made using vinegar. Also, when cooking rice, adding a little bit of vinegar is a good idea. It’s also useful to put a layer of cotton that’s been soaked in vinegar in the inner layer of the lunch box.

3. Thoroughly strain the water from the food. It’s best not to put raw vegetables in the lunch box. Instead, vegetables that are marinated or made with sweetened-vinegar should be used. It’s a good idea to refrain from cooking TAKIKOMI GOHAN (a rice dish) during this time of year.

4. Cooking food thoroughly is important. When you cook hamburgers, it must be well done. Processed foods such a meat should also be cooked before consumption.

5. Spices such as pepper, ginger, mustard, WASABI, and herbs help prevent food from spoiling, so they’re well suited for Obento use. UMEBOSHI (pickled plum) is well known for its anti-bacterial effects.

6. When you make rice balls, try to use as little water as possible. Make sure there are no wounds on your hands. Sometimes, the rice cooker is set in the evening for breakfast the next morning, but there are times when the water will go bad during the night, so be very careful.

7. Cooking utensils such as cutting boards and knives must be kept clean, especially during the summer. Pouring boiling water over them is a good idea. Keeping separate cutting boards for seafood, meat, and vegetables is recommended. To keep the lunch box clean, the seal of the lunch box should be removed and washed as well. Always wash your hands well before cooking, and keep your nails short.

8. It’s a good idea to use an ice pack or cooler to keep the Obento cool.

Types of bento

  • Shōkadō bentō (松花堂弁当) is a traditional black-lacquered Japanese bento box. It inspired IBM‘s ThinkPad design.[1]
  • Chūka bentō (中華弁当) are filled with Chinese food. While Chinese do have cold plates, it is more for appetizers or midnight “snack”. The food that is associated with chuka bento was invented in Japan.
  • Kamameshi bentō (釜飯弁当) are sold at train stations in the Nagano prefecture. A bento is packed in a clay pot and cooked. This clay pot is a souvenir item.
  • Makunouchi bentō (幕の内弁当) is a classic style of bento with rice, a pickled ume fruit (umeboshi), a slice of broiled salmon, a rolled egg, etc.
  • Noriben (海苔弁) is the simplest bento, with nori dipped in soy sauce covering cooked rice.
  • Sake bentō (鮭弁当) is a simple bento with a slice of broiled salmon (, sake) as the main dish.
  • Shidashi bentō (仕出し弁当) is made in a restaurant and delivered during lunch. This bento is often eaten at a gathering like a funeral or a party. It is usually packed with traditional Japanese foods like tempura, rice and pickled vegetables. A shidashi bento packed with European-style food is also available.
  • Sushizume (鮨詰め) literally means “packed sushi”, and is a bento filled with sushi.
  • Tori bento (鳥弁当) consists of pieces of chicken cooked in sauce served over rice. It is a popular bento in Gunma prefecture.
  • Hinomaru bento (日の丸弁当) is the name for a bento consisting of plain white rice with an umeboshi in the centre. The name was taken from the Hinomaru, the Japanese flag, which has a white background with a red circle in the centre. Pure Hinomaru bento only consists of rice and umeboshi to flavor rice without any other side dishes. The metal bento boxes, once popular in Japan, were often corroded by the acid of umeboshi, eventually making a hole in the middle of the lid.


  • Hokaben (ホカ弁) is any kind of bento bought at take-out bento shops. Freshly cooked hot (hokka hoka) rice is usually served with freshly prepared side dishes. The name was popularized after a pioneering take-out bento franchise in the field, Hokka Hokka Tei.
  • Hayaben (早弁), literally “early bento”, is eating a bento before lunch, and having another lunch afterward.
  • Dokaben (ドカベン) is a baseball manga of which the title came from the protagonist, Taro Yamada’s large bento box (dokaben).
  • Ekiben is a bento sold at railway stations (eki). There are many kinds of ekiben. Most are inexpensive and filling.
Rolled fried egg (TAMAGO-YAKI) 厚焼き玉子
Egg 2
Sugar t1
Soy Sauce t1
Tasty seaweed By preference
1. Beat the eggs, add sugar and soy sauce.
2. Coat a frying pan with oil, spread a little amount of egg (like a crepe) and roll it. Continue the same process. Add tasty seaweed to the egg as you like.
Rice ball (ONIGIRI) おにぎり
Use disposable gloves or plastic wrap to make rice balls. Put a pickled plum (UMEBOSHI) in or sprinkle rice topping (FURIKAKE) on the rice ball as you like.
Stir-fried beef and asparagus 牛肉とアスパラの炒めもの
Sliced beef 60g
Asparagus 2
BBQ sauce moderate amount
1. Cut beef into bite size and boil asparagus lightly.
2. Stir fry 1 with BBQ sauce.
Miso flavored salmon 鮭の味噌漬け
Cut salmon 1 (70g)
Miso T2

Sugar Added depending on miso flavor

1. Mix seasonings.
2. Put salmon into (1) and leave for 10 to 30 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan. Grill skin side first, then the other side.

Curry flavored chicken breast and fried CHIKUWA with green laver 鶏ささみのカレー風味揚げ と ちくわの磯辺揚げ
Chicken breast 70g
(a) Salt, pepper, curry powder, sugar

(b) Green laver, SANSHO (Powdered Japanese pepper), flour


1. Remove gristle from chicken and cut (slice) into bite size.
2. Mix (a) and sprinkle it over the chicken.
3. Cut the CHIKUWA vertically first and cut it again into bite size. Sprinkle (b) over the CHIKUWA.
4. Deep fry the chicken and CHIKUWA.
Stir-fried green pepper and tasty kelp (sesame flavored) ピーマンと味付け昆布のごま油いため
Tasty kelp a little
Green pepper 2
Sesame oil
Remove seeds and shred green pepper. Stir fry green pepper and kelp with sesame oil.
Lotus root chip レンコンチップ
Lotus root moderate amount
1. Cut lotus root into round slices.
2. Deep fry and sprinkle salt.

Related article: bento box recipes

Please don`t forget :  Some of seasoning and “food materials” such a bacon/pork etc are not HALAL (in that article)



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