Today I want to talk about two bento items that I think are really helpful when I make bento for my son. I usually pack my son’s lunch in the morning and it typically takes 15-20 minutes from start to finish. In today’s post I’ll show you why and how these two items are my favorite when it comes to bento making.
The first one is rice seasonings that you sprinkle on top of rice and it’s called furikake (ふりかけ). It usually contains a mixture of sesame seeds, nori/seaweed flakes, salt, sugar, and sometimes bonito or salmon flakes. Furikake comes in a bottle or in a package and can be found at Japanese or Asian grocery stores. If you are concerned about additives, there are many MSG-free furikake available. If the package is imported from Japan (meaning you can’t find any English on the packaing), look for the word “mutenka” (無添加), which means additive free.
The other helpful item is frozen Mixed Vegetables. I don’t normally use frozen or canned vegetables for my cooking, but I find keeping a bag of frozen mixed vegetables in freezer extremely convenient when you need just ONE more item to fill your bento box. All you need to do is to place the veggies in microwave-safe silicone cup and defrost in microwave! I sometimes saute vegetable with a little bit of butter and season with salt and pepper to give it a bit more flavor.
Let me show you how these two items can add colors and flavors to a bento box with before and after adding them.
As you see, the white steamed rice received a nice furikake makeover and the big empty void is now filled with colorful vegetables! It’s really a simple technique to bring color to your bento box.
Now let’s go over today’s bento recipe.
Previous Dinner was:
Gyudon! My son loves Tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled egg omelette) in his bento box. So when I was making Gyudon, I removed his lunch portion out of the pan for his bento first before I pour the egg at the last step of making Gyudon.
Lunch Next Day:
- Gyudon Bento
- Small box of fruits
- Water bottle
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- Fill up half of bento box with Japanese rice. Let it cool so that hot/warm rice will not warm up other cool food.
- Reheat leftover gyudon in a frying pan until it's warm thoroughly.
- Wash lettuce and pat dry. Place nicely in the bento box.
- Pack cooled gyudon on in a silicone cup and put in bento box.
- Put Tamagoyaki in the bento box.
- Put mixed vegetable in a silicone cup and microwave to defrost. Put it in bento box after cooled.
- Sprinkle furikake on top of rice.
- Cool down completely before closing the bento box.
* This lunch is for my 6-year-old son.
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.