10 April 2024

Fast, Fun, & Fancy: Tips For Your Bento Box Masterpiece

Who says a packed lunch has to be boring? Delight in the world of Japanese bento boxes and turn your midday meal into a culinary adventure. One that's as fun to put together as it is to eat, filled with color, flavor, and whimsical ideas. Let's get into how you can whip up a lunch that's quick to make, a blast to unveil, and gorgeous to gaze upon.


  • Picking Your Bento Buddy and Accessories
  • What's on the Menu? 
  • Prep like a Pro
  • Let the Bento Building Begin
  • Wrapping It Up

Picking Your Bento Buddy and Accessories

For our lunch, we got out our chic, two-tiered Kishu cypress bento box that's spacious enough to stash a smorgasbord of treats. 

And for that extra sprinkle of tradition, we selected a brightly colored and patterned furoshiki to wrap all things up neatly.

What's on the Menu? 

A bento's magic comes from its vibrant array of eats. Here’s our lineup that's bound to make your taste buds dance.

  • tamagoyaki - made with 3 eggs  
  • sausages - 3 small-sized sausages
  • edamame - about 20 individual beans
  • carrots - 2 to 3 slices cut out in your favorite shape
  • broccoli - about 2 florets
  • kamaboko (fish cakes) - 2 or 3 slices
  • chikuwa filled with cheese or cucumber - 2 sticks
  • apples and grapes - 2 wedges and a couple of grapes

And, of course, onigiri rice balls to round off the feast. 

Prep like a Pro

The trick to an effortlessly yummy bento is all in the prep. With a little slicing and sauteing, your lunch is transformed into a treasure chest of edible gems.  Here are some pointers on how we prepped our ingredients. 

First, we blanched the cut-out carrot slices and broccoli, then sliced some kamaboko. We filled chikuwa with cucumber and cheese, cutting them at an angle for flair.

Next, we prepared tako-san sausages, beloved in Japan, by making two vertical cuts at one end of each sausage.

After a couple of minutes in a hot pan, you'll find yourself with adorable eight-legged cuties ready to decorate your bento. 

Slice a piece of tamagoyaki into two triangles and join the straight, uncut sides together to form a heart-shape tamagoyaki. 

A bit of attention to detail, we skewered some edamame onto little food sticks for some green touches on the muted colors. 

Lastly, show off your carving skills with these bunny-eared apple wedges. With the bottom half of the knife blade, make cuts converging at a central point on the apple segment. 

Then, thinly slice off the skin just enough to let the incised section detach, creating charming bunny ears.

Let the Bento Building Begin

Now comes the best part: assembling all the delicious parts together. We layered and arranged each culinary creation, playing with colors and textures. 
One good rule of thumb to remember is to set bigger items first.  

Then we filled in the remaining spaces with smaller bites like the green little bushes of broccoli, the edamame skewers, and the carrot flowers. 

After completing the top tier, we filled the second tier with our onigiri favorites. Our choice: barrel-shaped onigiri, two wrapped in nori seaweed, one topped with furikake, and the other with umeboshi from last spring. 

Don't miss our blog How to Make a Beautiful "Bento Box" Lunch to learn more detailed techniques and explore different styles.

Wrapping It Up

And there we have it! With the lid securely in place, we nestled our ready-to-go meal on our vibrant furoshiki, wrapping it snugly and tying it off. 

With these simple tips and a sprinkle of creativity, you'll be putting together lunches that radiate joy before you know it. Let bento-making be the highlight of your spring and venture out to savor a hearty, handmade lunch all by yourself, or with family members or friends. It's the little joys, like opening a bento box to discover a colorful array of tasty treats, that genuinely make days happier and richer.

View Bento Box Collection