Bento Box Lunch Ideas

These people bento boxes are just the thing to perk you up, whether going back to work or back to school. We've filled the samurai bento box with a teriyaki chicken, simple Japanese salad, rice and miso soup. The middle compartment has a sealable lid to keep the salad and chicken from going anywhere it shouldn't, and the lid - or miso soup bowl - can hold a little sachet of miso soup when closed. Open it out, and just add hot water when ready for lunch! And he is kept together neatly with a smart black elastic band. In the photograph, the samurai bento box gentleman is looking after
  • 125g cooked sushi rice in the base
  • two teriyaki chicken thighs, and a small dressed salad (recipes below) in his tummy
  • approx 1/2 a serving of instant miso soup in the lid

Simple Japanese soy sauce salad dressing recipe Serves: 4


Method

  1. Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil. Keep in the fridge until needed.
  2. Toss with lettuce, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cucumber and finely sliced spring onions to serve.

Teriyaki sauce recipe


Method

  1. Heat the sake, sugar, soy sauce, and mirin in a small pan, and simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Mix together the cornflour and cold water, and pour into the pan. Heat, and stir until thickened.
  3. This teriyaki sauce recipe can be kept refrigerated, and then warmed slightly before use. Brush onto or pour over meat or fish for the last couple of minutes of cooking.

Teriyaki chicken thighs, serves 3-4

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 quantity teriyaki sauce (above)
  • Sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Bone the chicken thighs, removing all the skin and any fat. Cut the meat into bite size pieces.
  2. Pan fry for 5-10 minutes until cooked through. Pour over the teriyaki sauce, and stir for 1 minute, until well coated and reduced slightly.
  3. Serve straight away, or leave to cool if using in a bento box - perhaps even make the night before, and keep in the fridge.

WIN! Fancy winning one of these cute bento boxes? We’re giving away two of our character bento boxes – the samurai and the pink geisha. To enter the competition just tell us what you’d put in your bento box. Post your entries as comments at the bottom of this article. Remember to tell us which bento box (geisha or samurai) you’d like to win when you enter. Competition closes Wednesday 26th November 2014 at 5pm - don't miss out!

29 comments

  • good idea for my next lunch !

    Latifa on

  • my dad just loved this, gorgeous!

    Alison on

  • I would love to win the pink geisha bento box for my vegan daughter Lizzy. I know she would just love to fill it with many of her home-made recipes for example her vegan pad thai, butternut squash curry, vegan gluten free pasta with walnut sauce and when she’s at home her banana iced desserts!

    Vivienne Collier on

  • I’d like the geisha bento box where I’d keep my onigiri or veggie kimbap with ‘quick kimchi’ cucumber or for my Swedish Thursdays, peasoup with pancakes _

    Marit Bjurstrom on

  • I’d love to win the samurai bento box! I would fill him with chicken noodle soup, sticky rice and shredded chilli and garlic beef coated in sesame seeds YUM

    paula Leworthy on

  • I’d put some chilli pickled cucumbers, a bit of tofu with some peanut sesame dressing and a smidge of baby pak choi with a mirin, rice wine vinegar dressing. Or may just really tiny ham and cheese sandwiches! And I’d be the happy owner of either bento box.

    Julia Leonard on

  • LOVE these! I think the geisha one would be a welcome addition to my small be to box collection!

    Laura on

  • - have to be some ebi furai, think that’s fried prawn – but we used to mix things up when we were cooking, so I’d personally love some vine leaves stuffed with rice /mince/tomato, preferably rolled by someone else. And some crispy squid too…with some sushi. There’s a great paste with sesame seeds, think it’s Korean…bit of that, and some miso soup would be fun…..I was going to say pakoras too, but that might be pushing it a bit..! In a samurai box would be nice.

    domi-san on

  • I would love the samourai bento and would fill it with rice, topped with japanese curry (with homemade roux) and half a soft boiled egg. i would also have a miso soup. Thanks!

    Margaux Shops For Yo on

  • I would like to fill this with all things persian!! Some jewelled rice, some lemon and saffron chicken and a slice of carrot pistachio cake with a dollop of rosewater cream. In a geisha box would be lovely

    Zoe Jenner on

  • Being of middle east origin I’d put Turmeric rice in one; a lovely Molokhia chicken stew in another and top it off with a fresh and crispy fattoush salad…..not truly sticking to the theme of the box (which will remind me of my 2nd and 3rd Dan Black Belt sons) but delicious all the same. My lovely wife would probably prefer to fill hers with her delicious brown basmati “herby” rice (made with stock cubes and basil); a flageolet bean and chicken breast stew and a tabouleh salad. Our Bento boxes will make us smile on the outside as our food makes us smile on the inside!!!

    Mohsen Kashani on

  • I would love the Pink Geisha to fill up with my speciality chicken katsu curry! May even throw a few pink pickled onions in there to really jazz up my lunchtime. It would definitely brighten up the office and be the envy of everyone here!

    Polly on

  • I’d love the samurai one. However both are awesome. It would be filled with cute little octopus sausages and bunny rabbit Apple slices just like in anime. One layer would have onigiri and rice balls decorated like pandas. Maybe some European cuisine like sandwiches on one layer. I would definitely have to have pudding. There is always room for pudding!

    Briony Moss on

  • I’d be happy with either of these boxes – very cute!

    I’ve been bought a Vietnamese cooking class so I’ll fill him / her with my newly-learned creations!

    Natalie on

  • I’d love to win a Geisha bento box and would fill it with “Tuna Tatacos” for a little Asian/Mexican fusion. In the base I’d pack some sushi grade tuna, coated in soy, sesame oil and sesame seeds, seared and sliced (ready for the fridge); in the middle I’d pack a radish, avocado and cucumber salad dressed with spring onion, sesame oil & seeds and a finely sliced red chilli, and in the top I’d keep some wasabi mayo (hey, if it can pack soup I figure it can handle mayo). Pack alongside some homemade tortillas (made with Sous Chef’s tortilla press and Masa Harina, naturally), and it will wipe the floor with other desk lunches…

    Lizzy on

  • Love the geisha! I would use it for my to-go favourite breakfast: matcha, goji and sliced banana overnight oatmeal and a cup of japanese tea, of course!

    Manu on

  • I’d love the pink geisha! I would fill it with rice vinegar infused rice topped with spicy sesame chicken and sesame seeds, with a side of steamed broccoli, that’s been dressed with sesame oil, and some pickled cucumber.

    Mimi Osei-Kuffuor on

  • I would love to win the samurai bento box so I could fill it with an Asian/American soul food fusion lunch including BBQ pulled pork Gyoza, a Shichimi and Peanut butter noodle salad, a few sake and soy marinated buffalo wings with sesame seeds and just because I love it so much a rocket salad perhaps with a yuzu dressing. Yum

    J sharp on

  • I’d love the samurai bento box. I would fill it with salmon teriyaki, Agedashi tofu, Horenso no goma-ae, nankotsu, and a bowl of steamed rice.

    Esther on

  • The mighty samurai bento box! I’d fill mine with rice, vegetable tempura, plus some chicken broth soup. How fun – thanks !

    Kat on

  • Samurai Bento box rocks !!! Coconut saffron rice with katsu chicken and some thai fragant soup..

    Christina Bochoti on

  • Samourai box I would layer up with some dolsot bibimbap. Cooked rice with spinach, mung beans, and tofu with lashings of chilli sauce. Second layer I would have some Katsu salmon with a soya and rice vinegar dipping sauce, and third layer would have to be a raw cabbage and carrot salad with a sesame, ginger and turmeric vinegar dressing. Yum!

    Alastair on

  • I would fill the geisha box with seasoned brown sushi rice, miso soup with tofu and spring onions and a wakame salad. On my snacky days I would swap out the miso for some edamame, and the seaweed salad for a vegan katsu curry. omg, I’m hungry now.

    Rea on

  • Either or both would look perfect with nasu dengaku, and takikomi gohan with a spicy miso soup, although having said that….plain boiled rice with the spicy Korean broccoli would be hard to resist……..especially with a Japanese pickled cucumber salad..or Japanese pickled onion salad…or pickled radishes….both daikon and the more usual English varieties.

    Tenere on

  • I would love to win the purple Geisha I would put porridge oat in one, Natural yogurt in another, and dried/fresh fruit in the last one so I could take breakfast with me.

    Rena on

  • Samurai! Because he’d be awesome for panda shaped sushi and miso soup. Mmmm.

    ZZ on

  • Samurai! :)
    Korean Chilli Beef! dreams

    Emily on

  • I would like to fill the Samurai Bento Box with mushroom takikomi rice in his belly (with bunashimeji, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, bamboo shoots and sweet potato), mackerel tatsutayaki with a small portion of ohitashi in his head, and a lotus root and konnyaku stew in his hat. Balanced, healthy and tasty! :)

    Carrolynne on

  • Thanks for all the lovely suggestions – the samurai and pink geisha are licking their lips in delight! Our winners are Lizzy and Briony Moss. Congratulations!
    We’ll be in touch soon.

    Best wishes,
    Jessica

    Jessica Donnithorne on

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