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

hapa bento

Meatless Monday Bento 3

Posted on October 25, 2011 by Debra

Tofu again!  Hey, it’s my “go-to” protein.    Quick, easy and absorbs any flavor that you throw at it.

This time…hoisin sauce.  I found a very nice vegetarian type and tossed it with baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, onions, fried tofu cubes then simmered until tender.

Brown rice topped with furikake with a slice of takuan.   Takuan (takuwan), pickled daikon, is risky for the work environment.  It’s very stinky.  He hasn’t mentioned it but I’ll have to ask Saba Man if his co-workers have commented on his odorous lunches.   I’ll let you know his answer.

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

More Tuna Burgers Bento 5

Posted on July 02, 2011 by Debra

Surprise!  Tuna burgers!  LOL  I know, right?  However, a slight spin on my never ending varieties…

I used corn bread instead of bread crumbs!

Saba Man gave the thumbs up and an official, “yummers!”

Mini capsicum sauteed in butter, garlic broccolini and tomato complete the bottom tier.

Top tier: sprouted brown rice, nori, takuan, and a splash of  furikake.

I added extra takuan—he loves—to brighten up his busy weekend at work.



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Tuna Squares Bento 10

Posted on May 28, 2011 by Debra

Since Saba Man has stopped eating meat, his lunch bentos are frequently packed with “something tuna”!

Today is no exception.

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Baked Mahi Mahi Bento 5

Posted on April 17, 2011 by Debra

Today’s featured bento was for Saba Man’s lunch yesterday.  I had forgotten that he had to work this weekend  so when I saw him prepping to leave I had a minor panic attack.

A bento is needed!   Thank goodness I had already defrosted a mahi mahi fillet for his dinner.

Lightly seasoned with sea-salt, cracked pepper and a quick brush of olive oil, the fish was ready-to-eat after 15 minutes of baking.

While that was in the toaster oven, I zapped a packet of frozen brown rice and sauteed brown mushrooms in garlic-butter with a splash of sake.

These are the times when I’m glad that I have a postage-stamp sized kitchen. Everything is within arms reach.

But, something’s missing.  “I need green!”, muttering to myself….

Yay! Leftover roasted asparagus to the rescue!

The nori details and deco were added while the contents cooled— a speedy bento can still be charming so a red strawberry completed the look.

I handed Saba Man this bento, he grabbed his coat and keys then out the door he went!

I think this bento took less time to assemble than to post!  :)


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Mayo Mahi Mahi Bento and Recipe 4

Posted on March 30, 2011 by Debra

Ah…mahi mahi.  It’s one of those fishes that can be fixed up to order!  Cooked and served up in almost any style.

Grilled, baked, breaded…whatever!  Have you ever had a mahi taco?  Mmm… a fish taco bento sounds divine.

But for now Saba Man is stuck with this mayo grilled mahi mahi filet.  Darn.

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A Tribute to Japan 21

Posted on March 19, 2011 by Debra

Today’s bento features white rice with red umeboshi which symbolizes the iconic Hinomaru, (日の丸) the Japanese flag.  

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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.


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Chicken and Mushroom Bento 3

Posted on March 10, 2011 by Debra


The use of fresh lettuce for baran, the barrier between food items, is becoming cost prohibitive.   With the recent rash of bad weather, fresh fruits and vegetables are now almost double in price!  What’s a bentoist to do?  Read the rest of this entry →

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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Mushroom Meatless Monday Bento 8

Posted on February 28, 2011 by Debra

So far, so good with our Meatless Monday bento boxes.  Saba Man doesn’t mind the exclusion of meat in his lunch! Yay!   Read the rest of this entry →

And Another Stainless Steel Bento 2

Posted on February 11, 2011 by Debra


I may have to change Saba Man nickname to Stainless Steel Man if we keep going on like this.

So this is another quick one. 

Nimono (simmered veggies), fried tofu, saba shioyaki (grilled mackerel) cukes, tomatoes  and snap peas! 

Top tier…more hapa rice and stinky takuan just like yesterday’s bento! :)

Lucky for SM’s coworkers it’s a stainless steel bento—he is not going to microwave his lunch.  Can you imagine heating up saba in a lunch room?



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Another Stainless Steel Bento 3

Posted on February 10, 2011 by Debra

After a short pause, we’re bringing sexy back!   Stainless steel baby!

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