Images: Anett Velsberg-Tiedemann

Within the West, many of us have heard the time period bento with out in reality figuring out what it’s – one thing to do with sushi, perhaps? If truth be told, bento merely refers to a packed meal: many employees take a single-portion, home-made meal packed in a bento field to the place of work each day, and bento may be a well-liked take-out meals in Japan, offered all over from comfort retail outlets and teach stations to high-end delis. Many conventional eating places serve bento most effective all over lunchtime, ceaselessly in a wooden or lacquered bento field.

Bento tradition has an extended and numerous historical past in Japan. Information display that individuals have been consuming transportable, dried rice as early because the 5th century. When the tea rite tradition evolved across the 12th century, elaborate lacquer wares to carry meals – very similar to lately’s bento packing containers – began to appear. Through the 1600s, the higher magnificence have been consuming meals introduced in lacquer packing containers whilst taking part in cherry blossom viewing events.

Ever since then, bento has been part of Jap tradition. Folks ate makunouchi bento, an upscale blended bento, on the intermissions of performs within the Edo length (1603–1867). Decrease-ranked samurai, who made much less cash, introduced their very own bento lunches to paintings to economize, identical to Jap “salarymen” lately.

Under you’ll discover a number of recipes for our new e-book, Merely Bento, that can assist 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 united states however has grow to be a wildly fashionable grain around the globe on account of its well being advantages. Quinoa’s delicate flavour method it is going smartly with maximum different meals, and right here it’s blended with a pink wine French dressing in addition to inexperienced beans, pistachios, and dried cranberries, making for a delightful lunchtime salad.

Components (serves two)

  • 85g dried quinoa
  • 180ml rooster broth
  • 10 inexperienced beans
  • 1tbsp pink wine vinegar
  • 1tbsp further 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 3 times.
  2. Upload the quinoa and broth to a medium saucepan, and warmth till boiling. Duvet and prepare 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 lower 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 some other protein supply of your selection.

Sautéed Asparagus With Lemon And Butter

Prep time 7 mins Prepare dinner time three mins

Components (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 phase from the ground of every spear, then lower every spear in part.
  2. Soften the butter in a big skillet over medium warmth. Upload the asparagus and prepare 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 has similarities to Worcestershire sauce. It’s normally crowned with aonori (dried inexperienced seaweed flakes) and benishoga (pickled pink ginger). Yakisoba noodles are offered at Jap or Asian markets within the refrigerated phase, on occasion with packets of powdered “sauce”. You’ll use that or bottled yakisoba sauce, additionally to be had at Jap markets.

Components (serves 4)

  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 120g red meat mince
  • 60g shredded carrot
  • 50g bean sprouts
  • three spring onions, lower 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 prepare 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, quilt and steam for one minute.
  3. Loosen the noodles, season them with somewhat salt and pepper, and stir within the yakisoba sauce. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, or till any ultimate liquid is long past. 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, excluding the rice is changed with crumbled cauliflower florets. This can be a nice dish when you’re restricting your carbohydrate consumption.

Components (serves two)

  • Round 200g cauliflower florets, crumbled
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 150g red meat mince
  • 75g frozen blended greens
  • 2 huge eggs, overwhelmed
  • 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 prepare dinner till browned.
  3. Upload the cauliflower and stir-fry for a pair mins, till delicate. Upload the blended greens and prepare dinner for one minute, then upload the overwhelmed eggs. Stay stir-frying till the eggs are cooked. Season with the salt, pepper, and soy sauce. In any case 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 Cross by way of Yuko and Noriko (Race Level Publishing)

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