nutritious and fun bento box ideas and photos, healthy recipes and tips for making your own bento box lunch

hapa bento

Baked Salmon Bento 8

Posted on January 10, 2012 by Debra

Here we go… starting off 2012 with a relatively healthy bento: baked salmon, egg omelette, fried brown rice, and broccoli.  Embellishments include a sprig of kaiware (radish sprouts), black sesame seeds, nori, and beni shoga (pickled red ginger).

I consider this bento healthier than not because  I used sprouted brown rice,  just a dash of olive oil and low salt shoyu for the fried rice.  The two-egg omelette is missing one yolk. :)  And the mayo on the broccoli is made from grape seed oil.   The baked salmon is… um…baked! :)

Most of the ingredients are organic as well!

We try our very best to eat the better options, a practice that we abandoned during the holidays.  So now with the new year we are focused and ready tackle our cravings with smarter choices.

I hope to keep it up to at least through February.  Do you think we’ll make it? Ha ha!


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Japanistic - cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!




Meatless Monday Bento 7

Posted on August 15, 2011 by Debra

I swear Mondays come around more often than any other day of the week!

And here it is again.

The upside is that I get pack a vegetarian bento for Saba Man.  Today’s lunch, or I should say dinner because Saba Man is working an oddball shift today, is a melange of previously fried tofu, asparagus, carrots, sesame, shoyu, mirin, ginger and garlic.

I’ve separated this mix from the hapa-rice with plastic baran; something I don’t normally use but glad to have because I’ve run out of fresh lettuce of shiso leaf.

Champagne grapes, cherry tomato and a pinch of beni-shoga complete this meal-to-go!
For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader

Japanistic – cool, fun, well-designed Japanese bentos and other products!

Hiyashi Chuka Bento Box 8

Posted on August 04, 2011 by Debra

Summer is in session…finally.   Sunny skies and warmer temps have finally arrived in Seattle!

And you know what that means?  Correct.  Cold noodles for lunch!

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Meatless Monday Bento 3

Posted on June 27, 2011 by Debra

Can you believe it’s Monday already?   And that means it’s time for another meatless meal.

So without further adieu…insert drum roll… Seitan Katsu!

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Meatless Monday Bento 3

Posted on June 13, 2011 by Debra

First off, look how cute and tiny those potatoes are!  They’re smaller than even the cherry tomatoes!  Baby (extra baby) red potatoes.

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Salmon and Yakisoba Bento 4

Posted on April 14, 2011 by Debra

Saba Man has been on a veggie diet for a few days now so before he turns into a block of soybean curd, I better  fix up some fish.

These salmon patties fit the bill and I quickly pan seared in mirin and ginger to give it a nice glaze.  That done, I realized that I had no rice left in my bento-stash!

But wait!  There’s always yakisoba to the rescue.

It’s just a little extra effort but so worth it.

I popped the asparagus in the steamer while I tossed and stirred the noodles. By the time the yakisoba was done the spears had  already cooled down.

The satsumaimo was a surprise  when I discovered that Saba Man had roasted a couple of them for an afternoon snack.  Love it when that happens.

Threw in a grilled mushroom and the wakame salad is a leftover.  There was just a tiny bit left from yesterday’s dinner and you know what?  A tiny bit is all you need for bento!

I wonder if he’ll notice that there’s no tofu in his lunch?  LOL


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Shoyu Chicken and Rice Bento 1

Posted on March 12, 2011 by Debra


Short post.

Saba Man’s bento is filled with shoyu chicken, broccolini, sprouted rice, beni shoga (pickled ginger), takuan (pickled radish) and nori (toasted seaweed).

Notice that I ran out of lettuce?  Also, I couldn’t find my camera so I took the photo with my phone which didn’t turn out as well as I like.

I also feel a little awkward posting a bento without mention of the Japan earthquake.   But I can’t find the words.  It’s all so shocking. 

If you are on twitter, I recommend following @makiwi (Maki of Just Bento) as she has been translating Japanese news for us.  Her efforts are incredible; timely and succinct messages that are nothing short of amazing.

I applaud her tireless efforts to pass along factual information along with personal notes.  What an incredible woman.

She recently tweeted ” for bento fans: scenes of tons and tons of onigiri being handed out to survivors…” 

That tweet really touched me.


For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader.

Salmon and Tofu Jun Bento 12

Posted on March 06, 2011 by Debra

The weekend flew by without catching a breath.   So while I have a moment  to catch my own breath,  I thought I’d better post a bento before you think I’ve stopped packing them.   

Today’s bento features herbed baked salmon, sesame long beans, sprouted rice and a giant kakimochi. 

Just kidding.  That’s not a giant kakimochi.  It’s a piece of tofu jun wrapped in a piece of nori!

Garnishes are furikake (rice topping),beni shoga (pickled red ginger), kaiware (radish sprouts), shiso (perilla leaf), and enoki mushrooms.

Have a fantastic week everybody!


For more bento tips, information and recipes subscribe to hapa bento via your email or newsreader.

Christmas Tree Bento 8

Posted on December 22, 2010 by Debra

I did another Christmas tree bento because honestly…it’s the easiest of the holiday icons to recreate using food.

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Yakisoba Bento 8

Posted on December 16, 2010 by Debra

Woot!  Introducing a new bento box.  Two-tiered stainless steel!   I loves this box.

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Oyakodon Bento 5

Posted on October 13, 2010 by Debra

Another quick post… I need to call it a night!   This bento box lunch is a  simple “dry” oyakodon.

It’s just  eggs and chicken over rice.   To disguise these common ingredients, I’ve added green onion, nori, renkon, and enoki mushrooms.

Hmmm, the  splash of pickled red ginger —beni shoga, furthers the  deception don’t you think?

Adding this to “What’s for lunch Wednesday?”

Colorful Chard Bento 18

Posted on August 19, 2010 by Debra

Today’s featured bento shows off the bright and colorful chard that I bought from the farmers market way over in Sequim, Wa.

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