Poll: What kind of bento recipes do you want to see more of on Just Bento?

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More Tips for cute bento

I would like to know a bit more tips, and hints to prepare cute bentos. I would like to know how with poor material to realise faces, flowers, etc and in what type of food these are done. I’m sorry, I do not read japonese…So, I’m counting on your web site!

cute food

i agree with emily (the poster preceding me)

I actually need more to do

I actually need more to do with chicken and pork. We use both of these frequently in our bentos (actually, we eat these a lot in general) and it’s hard to find recipes for just 2 or 3 people. I don’t have the money/space to do a lot of bulk cooking/freezing, so recipes for 2 or 3 people would be great.

I like learning flavor

I like learning flavor mixing types of posts; furiyake, sauces, and many different ways to make soups after making a basic soup base. I also enjoy anything rolled, miniature, meatballs or stuffed. I eat meat, but also enjoy veggie dishes, so either way on that.

I love your quick recipes

I love your quick recipes and tips for speeding up the morning preparation - I’d love to see more of practical things like that.


I love reading the Japanese recipes, but I’d also love to see a few more Westernized bento ideas. I eat a healthy, whole-foods diet, but it’s very definitely a Western healthy, whole-foods diet. (I’m also in an area where my access to ethnic foods/ingredients is limited.) I love, for example, recipes where what you do with the white rice can easily be used on brown rice.

I wouldn’t want to suggest you do away with the Japanese recipes and character of the site (I’ve learned to make a few things I really like, but can’t get locally, so that’s awesome!), but I would love more inspiration for my Midwestern bentos. :)

(I also particularly liked the instructions for dehydrating your own soup, that was great!)

I’d like to see more

I’d like to see more recipes that don’t have seafood ingredients because I’m allergic to them. Seaweed is fine, but shell and scale fish don’t work for me. Any other kind of meat - or vegetarian - would be great :)


I love fish, but I’m hopeless in preparing it. If you happen to have ways of dealing with frozen fish, that’d be great, because I live in the desert and can’t get fresh fish. We loved the shiozake recipe!


I like when you show how to make cute bento’s and also when you have different tips on how to do things smoothly.

To contrast what other people are suggesting...

I’d like to see more Tofu recipes! I’m a 20-something actor, and good meat (i. e. meat that had a happy, healthy life) is expensive. Tofu is $00.89 at the store!

Also, I’d love to see more explanations and uses for Japanese products. I live and work quite close to the largest Asian grocery in the midwest (lucky me! http://www.unitednoodles.com/), and I’m always trying to find new things to spice up my daily routine.

bento poll

I am happy with everything that has appeared so far. I am not a vegetarian but try to eat vegetarian or vegan as much as possible. I love fish and try to avoid all other meat. The only change I would make is more whole grains. I love white rice and rice flour products but try to avoid them. There is a multi-grain mix from Japan that I buy locally. It has brown rice and several other grains/seeds in it. I find that it goes very well with asian foods. It is rather expensive but I’m only feeding myself so it is one of my indulgences, along with free-range eggs and high-quality dark chocolate (expensive but also humane/healthy). Also, as an American Southerner, I love cooked greens of every type (spinach, collards, mustard, turnips, kale, etc.).

I voted for more vegan

I voted for more vegan recipes, but that’s really only because I’m wary of dairy or eggs being left in my bento unrefrigerated (the refrigerator at work NEVER has any room), and I don’t eat meat. And I agree with Ariel, more tofu, please! I always have tofu in the fridge and can only eat so much pan-fried, deep-fried or scrambled tofu…

Of course, I’d like more “easy to make” recipes or recipes that can be frozen— most of my bento stash comes from freezer items (rice, onion and pepper confit, soboro, etc.) since I don’t have a ton of time to cook in the morning. In the same vein, time-saving tips are always great, too.

I love your site, and I

I love your site, and I really like the mix of recipes you post. I eat basically everything except pork & beef (well, I don’t eat a lot of grains either, but some). Your recipes for vegetable dishes are my favorites - I don’t mean vegetarian/vegan, I mean veggie side dishes.


I voted for more vegetarian. What I’d really like to see though is some Shojin recipes, you just don’t find those anywhere and it would be interesting to learn about.

I second emily when she said

I second emily when she said that she likes all the veggie side dishes you post. It’s so much easier comparatively to find main dish recipes online so the veggie recipes are greatly appreciated. I am super lucky in that Asian ingredients are really easy for me to acquire where I live, so I also like when you post about Japanese ingredients, because otherwise I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to try them!

As for what I’d like to see, I’d love to see more non-rice based lunches, as well as more quick and practical lunches. And of course, keep the healthy lunches coming.

I’d love to see some ideas

I’d love to see some ideas for kid-friendly items! :D

Gluten-free vegan recipes!

Gluten-free vegan recipes! Those “scallops” look so good, but I can’t eat them…

More fish!

I’d love to see more fish recipes! I adore fish, but the husband and children only like the battered and deep fried stuff you can find at LJS. But, they all want their bentos too. Pesky!

A lot of varied opinions

A lot of varied opinions here! It rather seems like ‘all of the above’ maybe the best way to keep everyone happy so far :)

Silver I think that most of the vegan options so far are in fact gluten-free, since they use gluten-free proteins like tofu, beans, and so on. I just wanted to show wheat gluten in use since I know a lot of vegan people love seitan.

I’d like to see more

I’d like to see more recipes that are easily flexible —> i.e., I can switch up ingredients, add in meat if I have extra leftover, or use up some leftover veggies in it.

More proteins!

I would love to see more protein recipes (beef, pork, chicken) and less veggies. I would also love to know how to make panko at home from day-old bread and how to make curry powder (I’ve read this entry and got all confused with the percentage http://www.justhungry.com/formula-making-japanese-curry-powder). We love Japanese curry, but I really don’t want to use the store-bought curry roux which is full of MSG, hydrogenated fat and additives.


I voted for vegan recipes. I think these should take precedence over vegetarian recipes since they can be eaten by everyone, yet vegetarian recipes and omnivore recipes cannot. Furthermore I agree with KC in wanting to see shojin ryori recipes. In particular it would be great if you knew how to make sesame tofu. The traditional sesame tofu, which resembles tofu in texture and presentation, but is actually made of a mixture of pulverized white sesame, water and kuzu ko starch.

By the way, I love the site and look forward to more vegan recipes!

I see I totally forgot to

I see I totally forgot to answer this question! Well, shojin ryori tends to be very labor/time intensive, so not really suited to everyday bento. There are a couple of shojin ryori type recipes over on Just Hungry - including a sort of lazy person’s version of goma dofu which uses tahini instead of character-building hand-ground sesame paste!

A latercomer's opinion, but no one seems to have...

mentioned this. How about more recipes that don’t require veeeeeeeeery specific Japanese ingredients? I know that would sort of beat the point of the site, but if not that then in your recipes, could you at least maybe show what could be used as a close substitute? It probably won’t be the same, but where I live, Japanese ingredients are scarce and murderously expensive. At the moment I’m cracking my skull over numerous failed attempts at finding a place that sells katsuobushi.

Do love the site though, keep up the great work! Did I mention you’re amazing? :)


Hi Eleven. Actually there are lots of recipes (and complete bentos) here that don’t require specifically Japanese ingredients. They can be found under the not-Japanese category. I also try not to use dashi stock when it’s not totally needed - I am assuming that soy sauce is available everywhere nowadays, and mirin or sake can be substituted for by sweet sherry and so on. HTH!

Ah, thank you, Maki :)

Yes, I did realise you had a non-Japanese category (although I’ve not yet browsed the entire site yet :P Lots more wonderful things yet to be discovered). I guess I didn’t quite phrase myself correctly. I actually love the sound of your Japanese recipes, and what I was actually asking is, how one can adapt non-Japanese ingredients to make them incorporatable into Japanese dishes? (I hope that made sense). Sorry if this is asking too much ~_^ Btw, what exactly is the difference between mirin and sake? Can they be used interchangeably?

More recipes that freeze well

I leave for work very early and am not always well rested, or running late. I would like to see things that can be made ahead and frozen in serving size. Or boxes that can be assembled and refrigerated overnight without loosing character. I just found your site and look forward to experimenting with what has already been shared. I really appreciate your talent and the time you spend to enrich us.

I hadn’t fully explored

I hadn’t fully explored your site (and still have much to view) so I hadn’t found the building up your stash yet, and many other suggestions. Just what i wanted. I’m going to try to get a bit more organized. I think what has made me decide to do this is that there is an incredible amount of trash generated eating the takeout I pick up for lunch at work. I feel so guilty. This is better for so many reasons, and I have to think my teriyaki and rice will be better that what I buy. Also, the portions from takeout are huge, so I overeat as well.

Hi ravingkiko (great

Hi ravingkiko (great username!) I do try to note whether a recipe can be frozen successfully or not. Whole frozen bentos are something I’m still working out - it’s a bit difficult to have a combination that defrosts evenly.

Beef and Pork

When I make bentos it’s ussually for my 15 year old brother, and adolecent boys take alot of feeding. He’s a bit fussy still about tofu and fish (though I’m getting him used too it), but he still needs protien to fill him up. Your recent chicken spree has been really helpful, and come september I’ll be making alot of that. But I’d personally like to see a little more of the other meats so that he and I don’t get bored of chicken. Though I may be a minority on that.

More cute looking bentos..

That is made up of mostly veggies and easy to prepare for students who are studying in Western countries that are always tempted for junk foods :)

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