70 delicious and easy authentic bento recipes with photos and video links.
What does bento mean to you?
For anyone looking for a simple, healthy, tasty eating with a homemade flair, Chikako Tada’s “BENTOBOX.page – 70 Recipes, Plus Stories” is ideal. It shows how to build beautiful, nourishing lunch boxes for kids and grownups alike.
Filled with recipes featured on Tada’s “Japanese Cooking by Pen & Spoon” YouTube channel (and including video links), the book is chock full of tips and tricks.
Tada gleaned many from her mom in Okayama, Japan, on how to put together real Japanese bento boxes — like the gorgeous Tricolor Rice Delight Bento.
After traveling the world and living in India for seven years, Tada mastered the art of packing yummy lunches for her young son using locally sourced ingredients. That experience ultimately resulted in this uniquely adapted recipe book that shows step by step how to make traditional Japanese favorites, as well as options for your own menus, wherever you happen to be. No worries if you don’t recognize the unusual ingredients —Tada offers alternatives that work just as well.
The book features 70 recipes to fill your bento box in imaginative ways. Follow the 31 sample bento menus (such as Favorite Bento Classics like Karaage Fried Chicken Bento), or create your own combos. With 380 color pictures and a recipe index, this cookbook outshines all those other bento books with its ease of use.
And bento stories add to the excitement! Kagawa-based contributor Haruko Hosokawa guides us on umami in describing traditional soy sauce masters and fermented nukazuke pickles. Miho Tachikawa, in Hokkaido, offers homestyle recipes from Japan’s northern island where scallops and salmon are local delicacies. And Yasuko Malhotra, who is based in India, brings an international flair with curry and other unusual options in her bentos.
All in all, this is a wonderful resource for both experienced cooks and newbie bento fans. Every recipe is explained step by step, with pictures to make assembly simple.
Table of Contents
A Few Things to Note Before Getting Started
Bento Story I: My Bento and IChapter 1: Favorite Bento Classic
1. Karaage (Fried Chicken) Bento
2. Onigiri (Rice Balls) Bento
3. Fried Prawn Bento
4. Chirashi Sushi (Scattered Sushi) Bento
5. Tricolor Rice Delight Bento
6. Grilled Salted Salmon Bento
7. Hamburger Bento
8. Chicken Teriyaki Bento
9. Ham Cutlet Sandwich Bento
10. Stuffed Green Pepper Bento
11. Scotch Egg Bento
How to Cook Rice
Umami Guide 1: Soy Sauce Island
Bento Story II: Miho Tachikawa, in Hokkaido
Bento Story III: Yasuko Malhotra, in India
Chapter 2: Easy Everyday Bento Lunches
12. Omu-Soba (Fried Noodles with Omelet-Style Eggs) Bento
13. Inari Sushi (Tofu Pouch Sushi) Bento
14. Tokachi Butadon (Pork Bowl) Bento
15. Corn Fried Rice Bento
16. Curry-Flavored Omu-Rice Bento
17. Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Rice Balls) Bento
18. Okonomiyaki (Savory Japanese Pancake) Bento
19. Spaghetti Napolitan (Ketchup Pasta) Bento
20. Soba Inari (Soba Noodle in Tofu Pouch) Bento
21. Fruit Salad with Shiratama Dumplings Bento
Umami Guide 2: Nukazuke Pickles
Bento Story IV: Sakura-Papa, in Iran
Chapter 3: Bento for Special Occasions
22. Chicken Tender Cutlet Bento
23. Mosaic Sushi Bento
24. Gameni (Chicken and Vegetable Stew) Bento
25. Sushi Rolls (Maki Sushi) Bento
26. Chicken Nanban (Fried Chicken with Tartar Sauce) Bento
27. Gunkan Sushi Bento
28. Gomoku Mixed Rice with Scallop Bento
29. Miso-Glazed Fish Bento
30. Japanese Croquette Bento
31. Taiyaki (Fish-Shaped Cake) Bento
Umami Guide 3: Katsuobushi Dashi
Copyright © 2021 Chikako Tada
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Pen and Spoon.
Cover photo by Airi Matsuo
Cover design by Yasuyo Nakano
Edited by Mariko Suwa
Proofread by Cheryl Meyers
Special Thanks to our Contributors
Naomi Ashley Shiosaki Sullivan
Converted into digital format by Y’znet