Posted in Book, Food


I usually make bento or lunch box for my hubby, especially when he is so busy at work that he has no time to get lunch. As i was searching online for information about bento, i came across this book and decided to order it from My hubby is a vegetarian, while i’m a pescetarian (diet that includes seafood but not the flesh of other animals). So, I’m not actually interested in the recipes inside it but the tips and tricks regarding how to make a bento. I really like the author’s bento rules and i try to apply them to my bentos!

Makiko’s Top 10 Bento Rules

1. Make the bento healthy and balanced

2. Keep the bento simple

3. Make sure the bento is tasty

4. Make the bento fun, colourful, and attractive but don’t fuss too much

5. Use seasonal, locally grown, natural ingredients whenever possible

6. Pay attention to safety and hygiene

7. Plan ahead

8. Shop for bento-friendly foods that require little or no cooking and fits in a small box

9. Keep costs down

10. Don’t try to replicate Japanese bentos made in Japan

Source: Itoh, Makiko (2011) “The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches to Go”, page 8-9

Bento 1 Bento 2 Bento 3 Bento 4

Here are some example of bento box i made. I try to follow the rules as much as i can. The balance of the nutritions is the most important thing. My bento box contains protein (egg and soy meat), carbohydrate (rice or fried rice), and vitamins (vegetables or fruits). Sometime i also make sandwiches or a burger. My bentos are simple and easy to make. I buy most of the ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes and eggs, from organic supermarket nearby. As i plan and prepare what needed the night before, it takes only 30 min. in the morning to finish everything. I always use cooking chopsticks to prepare the bento, so that foods are safe until lunch time. Chillies and vegetables are used as a colourful decoration. I also make sure that my bentos are cheaper and healthier than eating out. For those who want to make your everyday lunch to go, i highly recommended the author’s “Just Bento” website ( If you like japanese foods and want to cook them, please check my favourite YouTube channel “Cooking with Dog” for some easy recipes ( Good luck in the kitchen! 😀

Just Bento Cookbook

The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches to Go

Author: Makiko Itoh

Photographer: Makiko Doi

Paperback: 128 pages

Publisher: Kodansha USA (2011)

Language: English



INTJ / Economist (by learning) / Illustrator (by trying) / Bookworm / Coffeeholic / Toy Collector / Gamer

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