Easy Japanese Recipes

Chicken Katsu Bento チキンカツ弁当

Chicken Katsu Bento | JustOneCookbook.com

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 Cookbook.com

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 | JustOneCookbook.com

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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.


Posted in: Bento

Leave a Comment

eight + = 12

  • sheri January 9, 2013, 7:05 pm

    Nami, it looks absolutely delicious! So impressed with you!

  • Blackswan January 9, 2013, 7:28 pm

    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…….

  • Kitchen Belleicious January 9, 2013, 7:59 pm

    Fantastic! Absolutely fantastic! I love the breading. Hope you had an amazing Christmas and New Years! Cant wait to see what you have in store for us this year!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) January 9, 2013, 7:59 pm

    Love this bento, Nami! A nice balanced lunch for back to school :).

  • kat January 9, 2013, 8:04 pm

    great bento!

  • Hotly Spiced January 9, 2013, 9:20 pm

    I love the look of this chicken, Nami, and I could eat this for my dinner – it looks too good for a school lunch. Just love the fruit selection too – so pretty xx

  • Jeannie January 9, 2013, 9:39 pm

    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!

  • CCU January 9, 2013, 11:02 pm

    That is absolutely awesome my friend, your talent is never ending :D


  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef January 9, 2013, 11:12 pm

    I really admire the effort you put in to your son’s lunchbox. It shows how much you put them ahead of everything else in your life and that’s as it should be. If I come to visit, I’ll look for my bento lunchbox. :)

  • albertocook January 9, 2013, 11:22 pm

    I like this

  • The Ninja Baker January 9, 2013, 11:27 pm



    Happy New Year!

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

  • Fern January 9, 2013, 11:54 pm

    Yum….I should pack this for my own lunch too!

  • Chef and Sommelier January 10, 2013, 12:30 am

    Hi Nami! Your kids are very lucky to have you as their Mummy!

  • Asian cuisine January 10, 2013, 12:31 am

    Sweet blog!

  • Muna Kenny January 10, 2013, 2:05 am

    Nami, this is delicious! And you make it so easy and enjoyable to make :)

  • Ramona January 10, 2013, 3:08 am

    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. :)

  • Belinda @zomppa January 10, 2013, 3:31 am

    Your son is soooooopp lucky!!!!!

  • Asmita January 10, 2013, 5:08 am

    Happy New Year!
    This is such a complete and fun meal. The chicken looks fab and the presentation is beautiful!

  • Minnie@thelady8home January 10, 2013, 5:49 am

    As I say, one lucky little kid you have there, with a Mom so very talented at creating spectacular lunch boxes.

  • Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings January 10, 2013, 6:20 am

    What a great lunch– you have some lucky kids!

  • mjskit January 10, 2013, 7:59 am

    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!

    • Nami January 10, 2013, 8:40 am

      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… :D

  • john@kitchenriffs January 10, 2013, 8:59 am

    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.

  • Valerie Brunmeier January 10, 2013, 9:27 am

    Yay, back to the bento! I love these posts Nami. I’m sure that all your kids friends are so jealous of their beautifully packed bentos :)

  • Linda | The Urban Mrs January 10, 2013, 9:30 am

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

  • Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) January 10, 2013, 9:35 am

    I wish I had a bento for lunch! These are so adorable and look so tasty!

  • Rosa January 10, 2013, 10:28 am

    Mmmhhh, it looks ever so crispy and scrumptious!



  • Rhonda (@diningalone) January 10, 2013, 10:38 am

    I think it is great your son prefers your Japanese cooking, my niece and nephews are the same with their Mom’s cooking as well. I would definitely love to have that for lunch!

  • Lawyer Loves Lunch January 10, 2013, 10:51 am

    Love the idea of bento boxes for lunch! It’s like a fabulous treat in the middle of the day :)

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking January 10, 2013, 11:57 am

    I want that box today for my lunch… I wouldn’t complain at all hehe
    My youngest one is so picky but I know he would love your chicken katsu.

  • wok with ray January 10, 2013, 5:36 pm

    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!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella January 10, 2013, 6:04 pm

    Nami, I’m not surprised that your son loves your cooking so much that he will only occasionally eat sandwiches! Your food looks so delicious I’d want it every day too! :D

  • Kimmi January 10, 2013, 6:07 pm

    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~~

    • Nami January 11, 2013, 11:14 am

      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. ;)

  • Yelena January 10, 2013, 6:09 pm

    Another amazing creation for kids. I wish that I had lunches like yours when I was a child-)) Very good post, thank you Nami!

  • Hiroyuki January 10, 2013, 6:16 pm

    Cute bento! Nothing like home-made bento!

  • hui January 10, 2013, 11:30 pm

    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 ^^

  • Purabi Naha January 10, 2013, 11:46 pm

    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?

  • Mich Piece of Cake January 11, 2013, 12:32 am

    That is such a gorgeous bento. Your son will be the envy of his friends.

  • Amy (Savory Moments) January 11, 2013, 3:43 am

    What a fun and tasty lunch!

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce January 11, 2013, 6:30 am

    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.

  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb January 11, 2013, 7:15 am

    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.

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover January 11, 2013, 7:53 am

    Thanks for the tips of how to store this, next time I also want to store this way. Your children are lucky to have you, they always have nice bento ..

  • gloria January 11, 2013, 8:46 am

    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:)

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz January 11, 2013, 10:24 am

    I love your Bento posts and the chicken looks so tempting. And I did not know that about reheating, good to know!

  • yummychunklet January 11, 2013, 1:33 pm

    What a pretty tasty looking bento!

  • Nazneen | Coffee and Crumpets January 11, 2013, 3:50 pm

    Makes me want to go back to school! Fortunately for me, my son prefers sandwiches so I just switch up the fillings. I however, would’ve loved having these bento for my lunch.


  • Kristi Rimkus January 11, 2013, 6:50 pm

    I’m glad your son prefers your bento. It’s much healthier than many of the school meals and sandwiches and treats many children eat for lunch. He’s a lucky young man. :)

  • Patty January 11, 2013, 7:12 pm

    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;-)

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today January 12, 2013, 5:16 am

    You’re a great mum, and you must know that most probably other kids tell their mums how cool your son’s breakfast/lunch box is. I’d not think of this kind of a breakfast. I remember I used to eat rice for breakfast each morning while I was traveling in Asia. I must try your chicken katsu bento!

  • Orchidea January 12, 2013, 5:22 am

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

  • Kelly @ Inspired Edibles January 12, 2013, 1:38 pm

    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.

  • Balvinder January 12, 2013, 4:51 pm

    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.

  • Natalie January 12, 2013, 5:38 pm

    Wow what an amazing dish! Great meal to pack for work :)

  • Marina@Picnic at Marina January 12, 2013, 7:00 pm

    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)

  • Gina January 12, 2013, 10:32 pm

    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.

  • amy @ uTryIt January 12, 2013, 11:57 pm

    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. :P

  • Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen January 13, 2013, 12:09 pm

    Really, Nami, how did we end up with something as dull as a sandwich when there are such wonderful things as Bento out there with a myriad of fillings such as this Chicken Katsu (my favourite Wagamama dish). Yuuuuuum!

  • Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers January 13, 2013, 4:42 pm

    So wonderful that you still are able to make beautiful bentos for your son. Where do you get the energy? I love your Bento series!

  • Kristy January 13, 2013, 6:54 pm

    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!

  • Raymund January 13, 2013, 11:05 pm

    Lucky me I had kastudon yesterday otherwise I will be craving for some after looking at these photos

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade January 14, 2013, 4:00 pm

    Nami you are such a thoughtful mother! I bet your children loved these – I wish I had someone to make something this delicious and pretty for my lunches :)

  • Tataya Kudo January 15, 2013, 3:50 pm

    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.

  • Andrea January 16, 2013, 1:44 am

    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!).

  • Reese@SeasonwithSpice January 16, 2013, 7:39 am

    Has any other kids steal your son’s bento box yet?:)

  • Food Jaunts January 17, 2013, 9:58 am

    So good! I love Chicken katsu. It looks like the perfect lunch.

  • Hannah January 17, 2013, 11:06 am

    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.

  • Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook January 23, 2013, 5:04 am

    Nami – your site is beautiful and photography outstanding! It is a pleasure to have met you and I look forward to seeing you again soon!


  • Stephanie January 29, 2013, 7:41 am

    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.