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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Chicken and Rice Bento 3

Posted on November 19, 2011 by Debra


While I was on vacation last week I had the opportunity to pack a couple of real school -lunch bentos!

They were for two very sweet high school students who were gracious to indulge me with my hobby. Okay, obsession.

Their mom said they eat about anything but I kept things pretty basic with teriyaki chicken, fried rice, tamagoyaki, cucumbers and sliced tomatoes.

Luckily for me their pantry had a stash of containers and I was able find these…a perfect size!

Everything worked out great and I heard that the kids enjoyed their bentos that day!

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!

Char Siu Bao Bento 4

Posted on March 01, 2011 by Debra

This quickly assembled bento features something new for Saba Man, a pan-fried char siu bao!

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Furikake Chicken Bento 12

Posted on December 13, 2010 by Debra

I feel out-of-it.  We are halfway through  December and I haven’t even attempted a winter themed bento until today!

It’s embarassing I tellya, especially with the holiday B.O.M.B. challenge  up and running! Read the rest of this entry →

Three Tiered Bento 26

Posted on December 02, 2010 by Debra

A short post for a three tiered bento box.  I find these  boxes a challenge to photograph so I rarely feature them. 

I love the box, very modern with it’s slick lines and contemporary vibe…comes with its own set of chopsticks too. 

It gives this otherwise ordinary lunch of  fried rice, roasted chicken, brussels sprouts and potato salad a sort of futuristic look.

Speaking of the future… we are in “hurry-up” mode these days so I  suspect many more fried rice and chicken bento lunches in days to come. :)



Thankful for Dim Sum Bento 12

Posted on November 27, 2010 by Debra

Saba Man and I celebrate Thanksgiving in an unusual way.  No long-distance driving, no cooking or cleaning, and thank goodness…no airports! 

Instead we sleep late then watch football.   When we get hungry… we go out and look for something good to eat.  This year we  found dim sum.

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Roasted Chicken and Squash Bento 16

Posted on November 16, 2010 by Debra

Mmm…roasted free range chicken and Red Kuri Squash, also roasted.

The top tier  fried black rice with peas and corn.  Now doesn’t that sound  interesting? Read the rest of this entry →

Quick Fried Rice Bento 24

Posted on November 04, 2010 by Debra

Making fried rice for Saba Man.  Ham, green onion, egg, and cold rice. 

Refrigerator-cold rice is important. 

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Fried Rice Bento 15

Posted on July 25, 2010 by Debra

What’s better than fried rice for dinner?  Leftover fried rice for the next day’s lunch!

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Vegetarian Ketchup Fried Rice Comments Off

Posted on September 18, 2009 by Debra

Since I’m not currently packing bento boxes I thought I would dust off an old family recipe for “Ketchup Fried Rice”. Ketchup!!! Really? Yes, it’s an island thing. And before I switched to soy I used to fry this baby up with…SPAM!

I no longer eat meat (hold the “SPAM is not meat” jokes) I substitute with other protein options or just eat it with egg. In fact, you can use this recipe as the filler for “OmuraisuIngredients:
1 cup of chopped protein: TSP, Tempeh, or wheat meat

2 C Ketchup (more or less to taste)
3-4 C day-old Cooked cold rice
Sesame oil
Cooking oil
Tabasco, optional

1 medium Round onion chopped
4 Eggs
Chopped green onions for garnish

Cooking Instructions:
Chop the Spam into 1/2 inch pieces, fry with a little cooking oil on medium/high heat. Use a large frying pan or wok. Add the chopped round onion, cook until the onions are tender. Add the sesame oil. This is for flavor and to keep the rice from burning and sticking. Immediately add the cold rice. Keep stirring and tossing to heat up the rice, when the rice starts to get hot and loosen up, slowly add the ketchup. Keep stirring until the rice is covered with the ketchup and until the desired taste is achieved. When done, set aside. Grab another frying pan and fry the eggs. When the eggs are done, scoop some of the rice in a bowl, top with an egg and garnish with the chopped green onion. Serve with Tabasco. Adjust the amount of sesame oil to your taste. Use cooking oil instead if the rice is sticking and you don’t want to add too much sesame. This recipe will not work with freshly cooked rice.

I recently featured this recipe in Saba Man’s bento box. He ate it with gusto and didn’t miss his beloved SPAM.

Today’s Bento Boxes 2

Posted on September 15, 2009 by Debra

Saba Man cooked salmon for dinner and I asked him if he wanted the leftovers packed in a bento box lunch for work. “Sure”, he says. So I promptly packed his 2 bento boxes. Only thing is… I completely forgot to use the salmon! Is this a sign that I need a “vaycay”? I think so.

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