I <3 JAPAN: Bento

posted in: Japan, JETAADC | 1

sachiko and ryan logo thumbnailHi everyone! I hope you are having a great week!

I’m Sachiko Tsunoda-Bedford. I come from Yatsushiro city, Kumamoto prefecture in southern Japan. I’ve been in the United States for about 3 and half months now. This July I married Ryan Giralt Bedford, who worked as an English teacher on the JET Program for 3 years in my hometown. We had a loooong distance relationship while I was in Japan and he was in the US for nearly 3 years. So these days in the US feel like our honeymoon. hehe Since coming to the US I’ve been going to English classes, volunteering, making friends, etc.

Anyway!!! One of my favorite things to do is cooking! I’ve been making bentos, or lunches, for my husband almost every day. So today I would like to share with you my bentos!

Photo ①-1 Onigiri Bento ♫
On the left side of the bento box,

  • Yaki-Onigiri (baked)
  • Normal Onigiri
  • Tamago-yaki with green onion (omelet)
  • Cheese hamburger with tomato sauce
  • Stir-fried veggies and mushrooms

Photo ①-2

The inside of the Onigiri is tuna, mayo, dried bonito and soy sauce! If you like Wasabi, try it adding wasabi to the tuna mayo sauce! It’ll be more delicious!!


As you can see, I put this amount of sauce in the rice, because of any more would leak out from the onigiri.


Cooking Tip 🙂

I use one pan for making bentos, because I don’t have a lot of time every morning and don’t want to wash many dishes…I’ve gotten it down to about 30 minutes for making a bento.

Photo②-1 Shoga-Yaki Bento
On the left side of the bento box,

  • Rice with black sesame and salt
  • Cooked veggies (leftovers… hehe)
  • Shoga-Yaki, Stir-fried pork with special soy sauce with slices of ginger
  • Tamago-Yaki (Omelet)
  • Slices of carrot and cheese wrapped with slices of pork.

Photo②-2 Shoga-Yaki Sauce

Mix all the ingredients: Soy Sauce, Mirin (Sweet cooking rice wine), Sugar, Salt, Ginger. Then soak the pork cutlets overnight in the sauce.


You can see on the top on an extra frying pan; that’s leftovers from last night. I put some of that into today’s bento. hehe

Photo③ Chicken nanban Bento

Chicken nanban is a special food from Miyazaki prefecture which is located in  the southeastern part of Kyushu island.

Photo④ Nori Bento

I found Nori, dried seaweed, at a nearby Asian market. I put the Nori on the rice and put a little bit of salt and soy sauce on it. Also in the Bento are cheese tamago-yaki, meat-balls, a tomato slice, and boiled napa with mayo and sesame seeds.

Photo⑤ Stir-Fried Rice Bento

  • Stir-Fried Rice
  • Cheese Tamago-Yaki (Omelet)
  • Mini hamburger with tomato sauce
  • Carrot slices and Cheese

When I showed those photos to my sister, she said that they look very similar to the way my mom makes bentos. My mom didn’t teach me how to make bentos, but they do taste and look like hers! I always think about the color of the bento for the balanced diet, such as having enough greens, oranges, and reds. I think I should put more vegetables though. Next time, I want to try making キャラ弁, Character Bento. They’re bentos that look like famous characters from TV shows. @(^ェ^*)@

If you have any ideas about making bentos or comments, please let me know!! 

 (Looking for a Japanese grocery store near you? Check out our Japan-in-DC Directory in our Returnee Handbook Wiki.)

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