General Bento Discussion

New bento-boxer here! What do i need to get for my stock cupboard to get me started?

Hi all,

Ive ordered myself a bento box and am determined to start making bento-lunches in the new year. I love this site and all of the recipes and ideas, so i need a 'shopping list' to get myself started. What would you suggest? I have sushi rice, nori and rice wine vinegar, but thats pretty much it so far!!

An interesting conundrum for a study abroad student.

First off, let me mention that I'm new, both to bento-making and this site. Forgive me if I've put this in the wrong place.

I'm an American student studying abroad in Tokyo right now. I'm living with a host family.

Due to a bit of miscommunication, in which I put in a bit too much food into the fridge, my host mom has revoked my fridge privileges. D: This, however, hasn't really stopped my bento-making, since I have looked around here and took down some ideas, like buying microwaveable rice. continue reading...

I need your help!

Hi! If you have a digital metric/ounces scale, measuring cups, rice cooker and Japanese rice…I need your help! continue reading...

Freezing Tofu

I know that freezing tofu changes its texture, but I'm not sure how! What is previously frozen tofu good for and what kind of tofu freezes well? I usually have extra firm, but also have firm silken. Would it still be good to fry or does it work best 'scrambled'?

As a tofu consumer for more years than I can remember, I really should know these answers!

I am so proud of myself

6 weeks have gone by and I have not bought lunch or dinner on campus once..that is 36 days of packed bentos (sometimes 2 bentos a day plus a side car of fruit)

New member at

Decided to finally register and say hello...I've been lurking in the background for the last few months and trying out the bento recipes from Maki and from the members of the justbento community here.
Awesome site! *bows to Maki* I've always liked sushi but got really really interested in japanese food and cooking after my trip to Japan this summer. I was very happy to find this site! Lots of helpful information and tips. (One day I will tackle far all my attempts have ended up in burned or half-raw crumbling heaps of egg mixture...!)
Happy bentoing everyone,

Longevity of kiriboshi daikon nimono

I'm planning to try your recipe for kiriboshi daikon nimono and use some in my kids' bento lunches. Once I make it, do you know how long I can keep it in the fridge? I'd like to make it on the weekend and then use it in lunches that week. Also, does it freeze well?

NY Times blog post on bento box aesthetics in Japan

There’s an interesting post on the New York Times Room For Debate blog today (link).

The main question they asked of some designer and artist types:

What does the care devoted to the visual details in a packed lunch suggest about the culture? Why is such value placed on aesthetics in everyday life in Japan?

I have some thoughts about this, but I thought I’d open it up to debate first. What do you think about that question, and what about the responses? continue reading...