And while we're at it...what are your favorite bento staples?

instant tsukemono mixI mentioned a few bento-oriented staples to keep around in my previous post about maintaining variety in your bentos. I've just done a quick look around my kitchen, and here are the things I have stocked as staples that I bought or made with future bentos in mind, besides the things I've mentioned already.


  • Various little cans of Japanese fishy things - clams (asari), mackerel (sanma), etc.
  • Inari zushi skin cans
  • A couple of furikake packs
  • A little bit of instant pickling mix, pictured above (need to make some more soon)


Freezer - here I have quite a lot!

  • Frozen vegetables - peas, edamame, mixed veg
  • Some frozen salted salmon
  • A little zip bag of about 10 mini-burgers that I made the last time we had meatloaf
  • A 500g bag of sesame seeds (they keep fresh longer in the freezer)
  • Frozen thin fried tofu (aburaage)
  • Some packs of boiled soybeans in liquid
  • Some packs of hummus
  • Thinly sliced beef that's been wrapped in individual-use portions
  • Half a pack of frozen shrimp shumai

What are your favorite bento staples?

[Update:] Some great ideas in the comments - be sure to check them out. One new to me that I'll have to try out - Zoe's idea of using dressing mix as furikake! It's also great to see how popular edamame has become. Just a few years ago I could only get it at Japanese groceries, and not even at all of them!

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