Images: Anett Velsberg-Tiedemann

Within the West, many of us have heard the time period bento with out in point of fact understanding what it’s – one thing to do with sushi, possibly? Actually, bento merely refers to a packed meal: many staff take a single-portion, home-made meal packed in a bento field to the place of job on a daily basis, and bento could also be a well-liked take-out meals in Japan, bought in every single place from comfort retail outlets and educate stations to high-end delis. Many conventional eating places serve bento handiest all over lunchtime, incessantly in a picket or lacquered bento field.

Bento tradition has a protracted and numerous historical past in Japan. Information display that individuals had been consuming transportable, dried rice as early because the 5th century. When the tea rite tradition advanced across the 12th century, elaborate lacquer wares to carry meals – very similar to nowadays’s bento containers – began to appear. Via the 1600s, the higher elegance had been consuming meals introduced in lacquer containers whilst taking part in cherry blossom viewing events.

Ever since then, bento has been part of Jap tradition. Other people ate makunouchi bento, an upscale combined bento, on the intermissions of performs within the Edo duration (1603–1867). Decrease-ranked samurai, who made much less cash, introduced their very own bento lunches to paintings to save cash, similar to Jap “salarymen” nowadays.

Beneath you’ll discover a choice of recipes for our new ebook, Merely Bento, to help you to make fast, tasty and wholesome bento foods at domestic.

Quinoa Salad

Prep time five mins Prepare dinner time 18 mins

Quinoa originated in South The usa however has grow to be a wildly standard grain around the globe on account of its well being advantages. Quinoa’s delicate flavour method it is going neatly with maximum different meals, and right here it’s combined with a pink wine French dressing in addition to inexperienced beans, pistachios, and dried cranberries, making for a pleasing lunchtime salad.

Substances (serves two)

  • 85g dried quinoa
  • 180ml rooster broth
  • 10 inexperienced beans
  • 1tbsp pink wine vinegar
  • 1tbsp additional virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to style
  • 3tbsp pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 3tbsp dried cranberries


  1. Wash the quinoa in a big bowl, converting the water thrice.
  2. Upload the quinoa and broth to a medium saucepan, and warmth till boiling. Quilt and cook dinner over medium warmth for ten to 12 mins, till the liquid is absorbed.
  3. In the meantime, in a separate pot, blanch the fairway beans for 2 mins and minimize into 1.5cm items.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk in combination the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper to make the French dressing.
  5. Mix the cooked quinoa, inexperienced beans, pistachios and cranberries, at the side of the French dressing.
  6. Serve with rooster breast or every other protein supply of your selection.

Sautéed Asparagus With Lemon And Butter

Prep time 7 mins Prepare dinner time three mins

Substances (serves 4)

  • 24 spears asparagus
  • 1tbsp butter
  • Salt and black pepper, to style
  • 2tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Lemon zest, for garnish


  1. Blanch the asparagus for one minute and drain. Trim the woody section from the ground of every spear, then minimize every spear in part.
  2. Soften the butter in a big skillet over medium warmth. Upload the asparagus and cook dinner, stirring, for one minute. Season with salt and pepper to style. Take away from the warmth and upload the lemon juice. Garnish with the lemon zest.


Prep time 7 mins Prepare dinner time three mins

Yakisoba is stir-fried noodles with meat and greens seasoned with yakisoba sauce, which is analogous to Worcestershire sauce. It’s in most cases crowned with aonori (dried inexperienced seaweed flakes) and benishoga (pickled pink ginger). Yakisoba noodles are bought at Jap or Asian markets within the refrigerated segment, every so often with packets of powdered “sauce”. You’ll use that or bottled yakisoba sauce, additionally to be had at Jap markets.

Substances (serves 4)

  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 120g red meat mince
  • 60g shredded carrot
  • 50g bean sprouts
  • three spring onions, minimize into 5cm items
  • 2 150g packets yakisoba noodles
  • 60ml water
  • 60ml yakisoba sauce
  • Salt and black pepper, to style
  • Aonori and benishoga, for topping


  1. Warmth the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium warmth. Upload the bottom red meat and cook dinner for one minute, stirring a few occasions.
  2. Upload the carrot, bean sprouts and inexperienced onions, and stir for a couple of seconds. Upload the noodles and water, duvet and steam for one minute.
  3. Loosen the noodles, season them with a bit of salt and pepper, and stir within the yakisoba sauce. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, or till any closing liquid is long gone. Take away from the warmth.
  4. Most sensible with the aonori and benishoga.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Prep time 7 mins Prepare dinner time eight mins

Cauliflower fried rice is rather like fried rice, except for the rice is changed with crumbled cauliflower florets. It is a nice dish if you happen to’re restricting your carbohydrate consumption.

Substances (serves two)

  • Round 200g cauliflower florets, crumbled
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 150g red meat mince
  • 75g frozen combined greens
  • 2 huge eggs, crushed
  • ¼tsp salt
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 2tsp soy sauce
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • Benishoga (pickled pink ginger), for garnish


  1. Chop the cauliflower into very small items.
  2. Warmth the oil and garlic in a big skillet over medium warmth. Upload the red meat and cook dinner till browned.
  3. Upload the cauliflower and stir-fry for a pair mins, till mushy. Upload the combined greens and cook dinner for one minute, then upload the crushed eggs. Stay stir-frying till the eggs are cooked. Season with the salt, pepper, and soy sauce. In the end upload the fairway onions and stir for a couple of seconds.
  4. Most sensible with the benishoga.

Extracted from Merely Bento: Scrumptious Field Lunch Concepts For Wholesome Parts To Move by means of Yuko and Noriko (Race Level Publishing)

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