Bento boxes of the week: Onigiri bento boxes

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This week’s bento box is an example of a type of bento box which is designed to hold onigiri or omusubi (rice balls) securely.

While onigiri are very portable, they can get smashed around if you just carry them loose, and fitting them in a regular flat bento box can be a bit awkward sometimes. This is where the onigiri bento box comes in.

An onigiri bento box usually comes in two parts: the bottom part with its own lid, which can hold your okazu or side dishes, and the triangular shaped lid which accommodates the onigiri. They come in many sizes, from small ones that hold a single onigiri to large ones that can hold 4 or more. This one holds 2 onigiri (each with about 3/4 cups of rice) comfortably.

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The trick is to form your onigiri so that they will fit fairly securely inside that lid. This does mean that your onigiri must be triangular.

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Here it is, filled and secured with a bento box band.

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These onigiri bento boxes do do the job. The two onigiri in the photo survived being carried around in a backpack. I made the onigiri using the plastic wrap method, and used the wrap to protect each onigiri. (The cut nori sheets are packed separately so they don’t get too soggy.)

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Onigiri bento boxes are very cute, and do protect your onigiri well. There are a few drawbacks however. First, they are not easy to store, since you can’t stack other boxes on top of them. Also, the onigiri compartment is big compared to the side dish compartment, so you may end up eating more onigiri (= more rice) than is ideal. Finally, it’s not that versatile. I’ve trying cutting small sandwiches and fitting them in the onigiri section, but it doesn’t quite work.

I would recommend buying an onigiri bento box only if you bring onigiri for lunch fairly regularly. It probably shouldn’t be the very first bento box you should get for everyday use, especially if you’re trying to watch your rice intake.

However, if you suffer from low blood sugar and/or need small snacks or meals throughout the day to supplement your lunch, bringing along one or more small single-onigiri boxes with a small onigiri and some cut up vegetables, fruit, nuts, etc. in the bottom compartment might be a good idea.

(See the onigiri bento box in action in bentos no. 36 and no. 37. )

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Looks cute

I haven’t seen that particular style of onigiri box, but I have the Animal Click one that I guess is single onigiri. I find it fits 2 on top actually http://feistybento.blogspot.com/2008/03/feisty-bento-131-onigiri-bento.h... but substantially smaller than your onigiri (which look GINORMOUS!!). Maybe I won’t buy then, since it is rather large.

BTW, Lunch in a Box one time posted and had put something else on top, I think inari sushi but obviously that wastes a lot of space and doesn’t necessitate a domed lid.

It’s a distorted

It’s a distorted perspective or something..the onigiri were only about 1/2 cup of rice each actually ^_^ I think putting inarizushi in the top compartment may turn a bit awkward if they leak or something…though I haven’t tried it.

Onigiri bento

Funny - a friend of mine just sent me 2 onigiri Urara boxes, and I just got to use them yesterday. They’re neat, but the shape is made for combini onigiri (large and flattish), so I had to make the onigiri much larger than normal to get them to fit. All in all, I think they’ll make good snackboxes, but I think that the lack of space for other food items (I think the lower portion is only 150ml or so) is really limiting. I prefer boxes with more room for more veggies and the like. Thanks for the review! ^_^

I just got one!

I received one of these too cute onigiri boxes for my birthday and I love it. It is very limiting and I don’t use it as often as my other bento boxes. Plus, I usually have to carry around another small box with veg and fruit snacks.

Thank you for featuring this style. (I also received a stainles steel tiffin container for when I pack curries. Yay!)

I actually don’t own one

I actually don’t own one of these guys ‘cause I just wrap my onigiri up in foil, then wrap that up, along with a bento box containing the rest of my lunch, with a furoshiki to keep it all together. Works well for me, but might not be so good for people who cart their lunch around in their backpack all day.

Hey :) I just got a couple

Hey :) I just got a couple of these actually (they were so super cheap and cute I couldn’t help myself!!)

But anyways, what do you usually fill the bottom with? I want to use mine but I’m not sure. I was thinking filled onigiri in the top portion and maybe fruit/veggies in the bottom? Is that what you usually do?

PS I’m a lurking visitor but I <3 this site. It helped me find some good Japanese retailers so I can get more bento items. And I like the caraben posts even if they’re nutritional black holes. They’re so adorable!! <3 Thanks for all your super-duper posts.

rosa, I usually try to put a

rosa, I usually try to put a lot of vegetables in the bottom, with a little protein - since it’s top-heavy so to speak with carbs. See the following bentos no. 36 and 37 for examples in action.

How I use my onigiri boxes!

I have all 3 of the Animal Click onigiri boxes (I couldn’t resist the faces! Cute kills!), and I haven’t used them for their intended purpose YET!

I’ve actually been using them for breakfast, oddly enough. Since I have to leave the house early in the morning and I’m not usually hungry for breakfast until I’m at work, I have breakfast at work. Generally, I put a bagel in the top (Lender’s Bagel Shop size fit well!), and an omelet or tamagoyaki in the bottom. I’ve also put a couple of waffles in the top, and sausage and fruit in the bottom. Another time I put a nice sized apple in the top and oatmeal in the bottom.

The time I did actually use it for lunch, I fit 1/4 of a sub sandwich in the top and carrots in the bottom (which was ironic because I was using the bunny box that day. haha!).

They can be pretty versatile if you don’t think of them as JUST onigiri boxes. :)

Putting a bagel sandwich in

Putting a bagel sandwich in the top section is a great idea! The shape does sort of fit (if your bagel is small)

Ahh!

A bagel is a great idea. I think I may have seen that on Lunch in a box too, not sure. Unfortunately the bagels here are ginormous! and wayyy too many calories for me (I eat the whole thing and then feel slovenly the rest of the day). But that is a great idea - I wouldn’t have thought of these things!

I prefer the bigger boxes over the smaller ones...

I have the Animal Click onigiri boxes (we’re stationed in Misawa, Japan). I find they’re very versatile—more so than the smaller size one. If I make the triangle onigiri (sankaku), each side is about 3 inches (about 7 cm) long—it’s the standard size sold at the convenience shops here. If I make sandwiches (usually peanutbutter and margarine), I cut them to size with a 3 inch/7cm diameter cookie-cutter. Then I use a strip of paper towel (about 2.5 cm x 12.5 cm or 1 in x 5 in) to hold the sandwich together, so I can get the bottom of the box on. [I have 2 girls. One likes 2 sankaku onigiri and the other likes having 1 sankaku and 1 sando]. I find that the smaller onigiri are too small for sandwiches, even if cut to size—the smaller sandwiches seem to fall apart easier. In the bottom part of the box, I’ll put fruit such as apple slices or cherries (yeah, the sankaku is a lot of rice, even if with a filler or mixed with furekake, etc). Downside—these boxes aren’t as easy to store but they do bring a smile to my girls’ faces and allows them to show off their lunch.

Didn't see one this cute

I just saw this shape of bento box at Daiso when I went home for Memorial Day weekend. I kept looking at them and really wanted one, but they only had lame colors and design…mostly just solid colors and nothing cute like this pink rabbit one or the Animal Click. I gotta go check out Mitsuwa this weekend, hopefully I will find a cute one. That small Animal Click one seems to be perfect for packing onigiri/snacks for when I fly, now that airlines are charging for everything.

I use my

onigiri boxes to pack my dried fruit/veggie/nut snacks. My small bentos let the dried fruits and veggies mix—ick. With the onigiri box I put the dried veggies in the bottom and the fruit and nuts in the top. I just have to open it upside down so I don’t spill all over myself. ;)

I think it would be

I think it would be interesting to try putting a sandwich in the top part; made with small bread, cut into about four small pieces, then speared or something, or maybe that’s too complicated. Might even be able to fit a bit of fruit beside it. Hmm…may have it get a hold of one of these.

Re: Bento boxes of the week: Onigiri bento boxes

I use an onigiri bento for my toddler. The bottom part is the right size for his lunch, and I put a snack-size bag of animal crackers in the top.

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