Chicken Katsu Bento チキンカツ弁当

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Chicken Katsu Bento |

The children are finally back to school after the winter break.  One of the first thing that came to my mind was I need to start stocking up my freezer with bento menu items, like these Chicken Katsu.

It would be much easier for me if my son is willing to eat sandwiches everyday, but he’s used to my cooking and prefers Japanese food for his lunch (although I occasionally take a break and make sandwiches).

Sure it takes a little bit more time to make Japanese style bento in the morning, but most of food packed in the lunch box I make were already cooked in advance.  All I need to do in the morning is to reheat and pack other ingredients (Why do I reheat?  Read here.).  It’s pretty simple, so let’s get started!

Previous Dinner was Chicken Katsu:

Chicken Katsu | Just One

For the small bento box my son has, I cut chicken into small pieces so that I can make mini Chicken Katsu.  After I deep fry and let it cool down completely, I pack these mini ones into small individual airtight containers like these (You can purchase at your local Daiso store).

Freeze Chicken Katsu

Or wrap individual portion with plastic wrap and put them in a Ziploc bag.  You can keep these Chicken Katsu in the freezer for 3 weeks at most.  When you want to pack Chicken Katsu for bento during those 3 weeks, you take out the individual portion from the freezer and reheat in the morning.

If you know that you will be using Chicken Katsu for bento the following day, you can keep it in the refrigerator.  The direction to make Chicken Katsu Bento is below.

Lunch Next Day:

Chicken Katsu Bento |

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Chicken Katsu Bento
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 Bento
  1. Fill up half of bento box with Japanese rice. Let it cool so that hot/warm rice will not warm up other cool food.
  2. Take leftover Chicken Katsu out of fridge or freezer and bake at 400F degree for a few minutes in a toaster oven (or oven) until it's warm.
  3. Place Chicken Katsu on top of rice and drizzle Tonkatsu Sauce on top (or put it in a different sauce container).
  4. Wash strawberries, blackberries, and tomatoes, and pat dry. Cut if necessary. Place nicely in the bento box along with broccoli and Tamagoyaki.
  5. Cool down completely before closing the bento box.
[Please read FOOD SAFETY TIPS.]

If you are using a thermal bento box like Thermos, you do not need to cool down before closing lunch box.

This lunch is for my 6-year-old son.

* Cook broccoli florets in microwave: Put 1-2 broccoli florets in a small microwave-safe bowl/container. Fill with water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for a minute or so until it's a little bit soft (or you can blanch it as well). Drain well and let it cool.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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  1. Happy 2013, Nami! Hope you’d a wild X’mas & New Year celebration. Just got back from Tokyo recently & I was there when the earthquake happened. Your Tori Katsu makes me wanna go back to Tokyo soon. Hahaha! Check out some of my Tokyo posts; did a lot of shopping & fine dining…….

  2. Jeannie

    I wish I have a mummy like you to pack bento lunches for me every day too:D My son is not so lucky, I just send him off with a piece of toast and coffee lol!

  3. 新年あけましておめでとうございます。今年もよろしくお願いします。


    Happy New Year!

    Your bento looks better than those sold at specialty shops, Nami-san!
    Your son is one lucky boy =)

  4. My daughter is giving me trouble with her lunches lately… she hates sandwiches, most meats etc…

    I am pulling my hair out getting her to eat something while in school. I bet if I sent her to school with this she would love it. She says she does not like meat, but she loves breaded chicken. This is a perfect bento for her. I am going to try it. :)

  5. What a colorful bento box! I love your chicken katsu but I would never consider freezing it. In fact, I usually don’t freeze anything that’s been fried. I’m a sucker for the crunchy noise making bite of fried foods and once it’s been frozen, that’s just not possible. Even when I put it under the broiler, I get “a little” of the crunch back, but not like straight from the pot. I guess I haven’t tried using the 400F method. I should try that. Another beautiful bento!

    • Hi MJ! Fried food is the best when it’s right after being fried, but using a toaster oven helps to make it crunchier (Even though it’s same 400F, I’m not sure how different it can be from a regular oven). Freezing keeps freshness and I’d say it’s a pretty amazing result considering it wasn’t being just fried. Japanese bento is meant to be eaten at room temperature and there is some fried food that is still enjoyed at room temperature including this chicken katsu. I’ve been here (in the US) for long enough that I also understand it’s strange to eat fried food at room temperature too… 😀

  6. Once again, a fantastic bento. It’s so nice that your son so likes your food, and you’re so willing to make a little extra effort to pack a bento for him. You must be a happy family! Great post – thanks.

  7. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    As always, looks stunning! We definitely should be neighbors, so I can learn your techniques …and can I get a bento for lunch, too? :)

  8. Your son is very lucky to have mom like you that prep special meals for him. I am sure he is really appreciating that extra time and LOVE you are putting in his meal. You are a good mom, Nami!

  9. Kimmi

    Those mini containers are super cute! I’m been on the look-out for small containers that are good for freezing. (Since in the long-run, I bet resusable containers are better than breaking out the Ziploc every time. Probably more eco-friendly too.)

    Thanks for the bento post!! I guess the New Year’s festivities have finally come to an end~~

    • Hi Kimmi! Yes, until next year or more like until the end of this year… The containers are very useful and I have different sizes to pack bento menus. Very easy to take out only 1 serving of a dish. 😉

  10. there’s a reason why i resisted this post for days when i saw the title.. i knew i’d have it bad for chicken katsu and rice! now that i took a peek.. my diet plans are kaput! your son is so lucky ^^

  11. Yum Yum! I love bento boxes. And if it has Chicken Katsu prepared by Nami, even I am ready going to school again! Wow, this bento is full of tasty and healthy ingredients!! Your kids must be so lucky: they must be getting fancy bento boxes prepared by their mom every day, isn’t it?

  12. My kids on summer vacation and they will go back to school on March. Since that, I have both of them at home looking for something to do. Well, on weekends we go to the beach, which is great for the family.

  13. Happy New Year nami!

    Of all the bentos this one looks like the easiest, am I right? If I ever have kids and they go to school, I ll want to make bentos for them sometime. I hope by the time there will be more Japanese ingredient choice here around.

  14. gloria

    I love bentois Nami and this look so cute and beauty Im sure my kids would enjoy only I have to make a soya burger to Esperanza:)

  15. Hi Nami!
    Your children must have the best lunches in the school;-)
    I love the nutritional aspects of this meal as well as the colorful fruits and veggies along with the tasty chicken and rice, wish this was my lunch;-)

  16. Orchidea

    Another beautiful bento! I definitely want to try chicken Katsura, I am sure me and my husband will like it. Thanks.

  17. Nami, you always manage to make me hungry no matter what time of day it is or the fact that I’ve just finished eating…. look at this bento! It’s absolutely gorgeous and the chicken looks incredibly succulent. Love all the colours and diversity of flavours.

  18. You should be glad that your kids love your cooking. Its nice to see another bento box lunch, My daughter would never have asked me sandwiches if I made her such good lunch.

  19. I don’t blame your son: I would prefer a real food to instead of sandwiches every day for lunch! Each time I come here and see a bento, I know that school year is not over yet… I need a vacation! :) (from driving my son to school)

  20. Your kids have it to good, you know they will never move out if you feed them this good, lol. I was thinking of you today, I saw a bento lunch box in t.j. maxx and wanted to get it just so I could pack myself a lunch. He he. Love Chicken Katsu, guess I’m a big kid. Hope you had a great weekend.

  21. Sigh….I wish my kids would prefer me to pack them bentos instead of asking for sandwiches for lunch all the time! My son used to love my bentos but since the summer (he switched to a new class), he’s been asking for sandwiches since and so does my daughter! I wonder if it was influenced by his new classmates. hm…but your chicken katsu bento certainly looks great. I’ll make it for my hubby instead! hahahaha….I know he would appreciate it more. 😛

  22. Chicken katsu is one of Mr. N’s favorites. I just make sandwiches for lunch, but I have a feeling Mr. N would rather have your lunches every day. 😉 They are just so pretty too Nami. You know how much I love them!

  23. Hi Nami!
    This bento looks really yummy but looks so easy to make. I haven’t made bento for my son since he went to primary school. But I still make picnic bento sometimes. Hope to see your picnic bento picture here very soon. :-) Have a nice day.

  24. Nami, so happy to see that you are continuing your series on bento boxes again. And I am happy to report that I finally procured some bento boxes for the kids – I found a specialty store and bought some wonderful bento boxes for the kids. Now I have to get started on preparing some of their lunches following your recipes and todays recipe seems perfect to get started (as a beginner in Japanese cooking, I think with your wonderful instructions and photos I can manage but I will let you know how it all turned out!).

  25. I would make the same choice as your son! I can understand why he prefers your cooking. What a beautiful lunch! I like that you can make the chicken katsu ahead and freeze. My boys would love to find this in their lunches – I may surprise them with it.

  26. I love that your son enjoys and prefers Japanese cooking over western foods. When I was younger, my mom would also pack my lunches with Chinese foods. I’d much rather home cooking than any boring sandwich.