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Post your favorite Bento box recipes

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
As I have to pack my son's lunches and expect he'll get tired of sandwiches and salads soon, I thought I'd explore the bento box alley. If you have recipes that can stand being kept at room temperature, I'll take them. I'm also thinking of the rice balls wrapped in seaweed, not sure that qualifies as bento box material.

Thank you,

Fabienne
post #2 of 23
My sons go to a Japanese elementary school here in San Francisco. The lunches the Japanese moms pack for their kids never fail to put me to shame--a little rice, a little chicken, some fish, some egg, a bit of nori, etc. I admire these lunches greatly, but they're just not what my kids generally want to eat. My oldest (just turned nine yesterday) has been eating basically the same luch for years now: tuna sandwich (with low mercury yellowfin tuna packed in olive oil), cold green beans with olive oil and balsamic vinagrette, a few breadsticks or maybe a couple of cornichon, chocolate chip Clif bar, lemonade. He really doesn't tire of it or yearn for greater variety.
post #3 of 23
I am having the same thoughts as my son begins preschool tomorrow. He is however, a sushi addict. He loves raw salmon and can eat boatloads of it. I don't think it will stay fresh enough in a lunch box so we are thinking of substituting it for smoked salmon, cucumber, egg, other veggies... in sushi rolls.

Other ideas we have for hot lunches include rice with veggies and tofu (or hot dogs), pasta, mac and cheese... Nuke it in the morning and they'll stay warm in a good thermos and insulated lunch pack until noon with no problem.
post #4 of 23
I used to date a Japanese gal (from Japan, spoke almost no engrish) and she lived with me for 2 years....she'd get up early and make me a bento lunchbox which consisted of items like beef wrapped asparagus, various cut sushi rolls, beef and potato croquettes, various veggie assortments and pickled radishes, a slice of that spiral roll cake that's so common at Japanese markets, etc. The beef wrapped (use koma-giri or thinly sliced sukiyaki/shabu beef) asparagus is a winner. You can also wrap asparagus with bacon for "pork wrapped" variety. And pack it with dipping sauce (I like Ponzu).
post #5 of 23
This blog has some great pics:

http://mito.typepad.com/photos/bento/
post #6 of 23
had a nice bento box meal the other day that looks easy to do yet very tasty and filling: rice, grilled mackerel (or salmon), ebi fry, nori, pickled ginger and cucumbers, some sashimi cuts, and fruits.
post #7 of 23
This has insipired me to look for a deluxe bento box-sort of like a lunchbox.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
This has insipired me to look for a deluxe bento box-sort of like a lunchbox.

Lacquered wood with MOP inlay would be my choice.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
No fancy bento box, but I made a simple sushi roll, cut it in children's bite size pieces and packed all this with a tiny bit of soy sauce in an easy to open plastic box. We'll see if this is more appetizing to him than sandwiches.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
No fancy bento box, but I made a simple sushi roll, cut it in children's bite size pieces and packed all this with a tiny bit of soy sauce in an easy to open plastic box. We'll see if this is more appetizing to him than sandwiches.

You need some of these:

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter
You need some of these:


Those look great. All we have are the small packets (like for ketchup) and a four year old cannot open those - at least not without making a big mess.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL72
Those look great. All we have are the small packets (like for ketchup) and a four year old cannot open those - at least not without making a big mess.

You should check at your local Japanese goods store. They are extremely common in Japan.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
No fancy bento box, but I made a simple sushi roll, cut it in children's bite size pieces and packed all this with a tiny bit of soy sauce in an easy to open plastic box. We'll see if this is more appetizing to him than sandwiches.

That sounds great. Noam would love that. What kind of roll was it? He got leftover pasta (warm in a thermos) and he seems to have eaten it well. He's getting chicken with rice tomorrow. We should have a kids' lunch thread.

BTW, first day today went better than expected. His teacher is great. She took his hand as I left and he gave me a kiss with a quivering lip but held back the tears as there were lots of other kids around. He apparently only asked for Papa a few times during the day and was generally happy but exhausted at the end. Whew! I am quite relieved. Schoolbus pickup starts next week.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL72
Those look great. All we have are the small packets (like for ketchup) and a four year old cannot open those - at least not without making a big mess.
Your child may be entertained by this video.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
Your child may be entertained by this video.

I think everyone will be entertained by it! Brilliant!
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