Bento no. 37: Onigiri bento box in action - salmon onigiri and vegetables


Bento contents:

  • 2 onigiri with salted salmon filling, each onigiri with about 1/2 cup (1 cup = 220ml) white rice (300 cal)
  • 1/2 cup spicy miso marinated asparagus, 40 cal
  • 3/4 cup stir-fried red pepper, onion and zucchini with fried tofu (atsuage), 100 calories
  • A couple of slices of nori seaweed to wrap the onigiri
  • A couple of cherry tomatoes, mainly for color

Total calories (approx): 450 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 15-20 minutes in the morning

Type: Japanese, omnivore (salmon, miso, fried tofu)

(Oops, I misnumbered the two recent bento! This should be no. 37, if you're counting. I've changed the title but not the URL.)

This bento is a fairly classic example of using an onigiri bento box. Two onigiri, each with 1/2 cup of rice, are filled with rather big chunks of grilled salted salmon. (I made the onigir using the plastic wrap method, with the wrap left to protect the onigiri.) The bottom section is filled with leftover vegetable stir-fry with atsuage tofu (one of my favorite ingredients, as you may have noticed), plus some spicy miso marinated asparagus.

The only task in the morning is to make the onigiri - I really feel that ongiri made fresh in the morning taste so much better. However, you could make them in advance and wrap them up well in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator, or even freeze them (defrost them in the morning in the microwave, unless you have access to a microwave at lunchtime or don't mind very cold onigiri with an icy center!). If the stir-fry has been in the fridge for a day or so, heat it up briefly in the morning before cooling off and packing, to be cautious.

Some points:

  • I prefer white rice for salted salmon onigiri, but using brown rice or sprouted brown rice would make this a bit more nutritious. I did compensate by filling the bottom section mainly with vegetables.
  • The salmon pieces inside the onigiri are quite big, to add protein.
  • Protein comes from the salmon, the miso, and the fried tofu.
  • To make this an all-vegan bento, fill the onigiri with something vegetable based.
  • If the weather is very hot, salt the onigiri surface a little bit extra. Salt helps to preserve the rice.

To make this bento man-sized, increase the onigiri count to 3, and add some more of the two side dishes.

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