Japanese Bento Box

Learn how to make the perfect bento box lunch >



Japanese Bento Box

Bento boxes direct from Japan! Present your lunch beautifully – at home or on the go – with our range of Japanese bento boxes.

Serve traditional sushi feasts in our traditional Japanese bento boxes, with the classic black and red design. Or bring fun to lunchtime with our unusual bento boxes in the shape of Japanese characters – like our favourite samurai bento box. Use boiled egg moulds to turn eggs into cute animals for kids’ lunchboxes, or the heart maki roll maker for perfect heart-shaped sushi.

What are bento boxes?

If you’ve ever visited Japan and enjoyed their traditional cuisine, then you have most likely seen or even used a bento box. A bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal and holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Historically the original bentos were simple affairs, usually consisting of a few rice balls wrapped in bamboo leaves. Over time, the bento evolved to be more complex, with multiple courses and elaborate designs.

Today, bentos are commonly known as compartmentalised lunch boxes that were originally designed in Japan to be taken to work or school. A good bento should be well-balanced, with a variety of colours, textures, and flavours. It should also be appealing to the eye and easy to eat.

Quick Tips For A Successful Bento Box

  1. Soak your rice in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking to make it nice and fluffy.

  2. Cook your rice in a ratio of 1:1.5 rice to water for perfectly cooked rice every time.

  3. To get that nice shiny glaze on your meat, eggs, or fish, try using a little bit of mirin or sake.

  4. Cut vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces so they'll fit nicely into the compartments of your bento box.

  5. Use a variety of colours and textures in your bento to make it visually appealing as well as delicious.

What food is usually in a bento box?

A typical bento box meal includes rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables. Staples such as soy sauce and wasabi may be included, as well as soup or tea.

The contents of the bento also vary depending on the region of Japan, but some common items include daikon radish, tamagoyaki (a type of omelette), karaage (fried chicken), and pickled vegetables. In addition to these staples, a side dish like chawanmushi or okonomiyaki may be included in the bento. In some regions of Japan, such as Tokyo and Kyoto, a typical lunch would consist mainly of rice with sides such as tempura.

Are bento boxes eaten cold?

Traditional Japanese bento boxes are usually eaten cold, although this is not a rule. The contents of the bento box can be cooked the night before or early in the morning, then placed in the fridge until it's time to eat.

Best Bento Lunch Boxes for Kids

Pack up lunch in a bento box that will make your little one smile, in one of our Japanese Bento boxes in a range of Geisha and Samurai characters in different colours. These neat stacked lunch boxes have three compartments so you can keep school lunch separated – or split out sweet and savoury snacks. Add a pair of travel chopsticks and a sachet of instant miso soup to complete your bento box.

Searching for ideas for lunch? Browse a huge range of Japanese ingredients here to complete your perfect bento meal. Find more Japanese tableware.

Recipes to Try

  • The Best Bento Box Lunch
  • How To Make Sushi: Easy Maki Rolls Step-By-Step

    How To Make Sushi: Easy Maki Rolls Step-By-Step

    • 45 minutes

    • Easy

  • The Buyer's Guide to Bento Boxes

    The Buyer's Guide to Bento Boxes