General Bento Discussion

Rice-free bento


Last test shown that I'm most probably allergic to rice. As to confirm it I run a no-rice-for-at-least-a-month diet. Gosh! I love rice!
Back to the point. While bentos I usually prepare for myself are ~250calories (5 meals a day diet), the lack of rice is not a problem. But the day after tomorrow I'm going on a journey and I'll eat my main meal on a train. I've raided a fridge and pantry and found:

-pasta, buckwheat
-veggies like tomato (normal and cherry ones), carrot, cucumber, lettuce, red radish -> fresh veggies are still quite expensive in here continue reading...

Time Saving

It is now the run up to the final exams of my A2s so, not being nearly as clever as my parents think I am, I need to do a lot of revision too get the grades I need to get into university. The issue is, I really want too continue making bentos because I don't like the school food very much and I'm concerned about its nutritional value. continue reading...

Picnic Bento for 2 on Monday 4/13 - Help!!

(from the forum. What are your favorite picnic foods?)

Hey guys

I need some help. I will be going on a picnic with a friend of mine in the Boston Common. I will have adequate refrigeration as I am driving to the Common first, so my prospective picnic foods won't be room temp for long.

This is my friend's VERY first picnic ever (non bento even!) and I would like to have enough food for him (because he is a huge eater) and me to fuel us for a day downtown. continue reading...

Frozen Food


Firstly, thank you Maki for a wonderful blog, it has been my encyclopedia of Japanese food and culture for the past year since moving to Japan!

I saw a Chinese Medicine doctor a few years ago for digestive problems and she recommended that I do not eat frozen foods. She said that my digestion needs "warming foods" (this is not true for everyone) and frozen foods even when thawed/warmed still retain a certain "coldness".

My dilemma is that keeping this in mind, it is virtually impossible to keep a bento stash.

So, my question is, how bad are pre-prepared frozen foods?

Does anyone else eat their bento too soon?

I pack myself a bento on the days when I'm taking the kids into town and staying at university (where I am no longer a student, but I just can't be bothered driving home when I know I'll need to drive back in a few hours). I just hang out in the student lounge at the Catholic chaplaincy, and find if I have a bento lunch I usually have to eat it before eleven because I just can, and it's so delicous, sitting there tempting me with it's smiley Kitty face. Then I'm hungry by 3, because I ate too soon. continue reading...

Girl's day coming up soon..

Is anyone else looking forward to celebrating girl's day? I can't wait to make Hamaguri-zushi (the little egg-wrapped sushi) and the temari zushi (sushi rice balls wrapped in Salmon). I found Maki's write-up about these to be so appealing. I think I'll make two girl's day bentos and find a girl-friend to share with :-)


That's what my first bento looks like. It's smaller than I expected so I'm not sure I can fit the stuff in that I wanted to cook. Any advice on organizing or things that specifically fit in here? I'm not quite sure what to do. It is smaller than I'd expected but it's my first bento purchase so I'm not sure whether I'm underestimating how much I could put into it.

Not sure what to make in my first bento.

I'd just like suggestions.

I was thinking about making Noriben, simple and good, and maybe some stir-fry.

But I'm not sure.

What did you make for your first bento?