Coming from the slang term 便當 (biàndāng) – “convenience” pretty much sums up what a bento box for lunch is all about.
Originating from Japan, it is a long-standing tradition for mothers to pack and prepare nutritious bento boxes for their kids to keep them going throughout the day.
The basics of 101 are simple: simply separate your lunch box into different compartments and fill them in with your favourite fruits, veggies, meats, and choice of carbohydrates! The key ingredient (no pun intended) to making a winning bento box is going small in portions, and big on variety for a well-balanced meal.
With Singapore’s inflation rate inching up with year-on-year – preparing your very own bento box for lunch is the perfect solution to enjoying a tasty meal that is healthy for both your body and wallet.
Don’t let its cute and detailed exterior scare you – meal prep your very first bento box with the help of these 7 exquisite ideas to instantly make you look like a pro!
1. Sushi Platter
Whether you prefer raw fish or canned tuna – simply roll your favourite ingredients such as cucumbers, pickles, and avocados for a filling lunch that tastes just as good as it looks! Don’t forget to sprinkle on some furikake seasoning and place some cherry tomatoes in a separate compartment to add some colour and texture to your meal. If making sushi proves to be too hard, go with some rice balls instead!
You can never go wrong with a bunch of appetizing skewers. This useful bento accessory features chicken, bell peppers, and smoked tofu slathered on with some mouth-watering BBQ sauce. When paired with a simple omelette and grapes on the side, this bento box might just be your new go-to comfort meal.
3. Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs
Put together your bento box for lunch by shaping some flavorful chicken meatballs from scratch – and complementing it with a classic stir-fry using snow peas and bean sprouts. Feeling extra hungry? Make some room for a cup of rice and slices of watermelon – or even consider quinoa or cauliflower rice for a healthier, low-carb alternative!
If you are pressed for time – purchase a bag of premade dumplings from the supermarket and simply pop them in the microwave. On the side, boiled and lightly salted edamame for crunch and tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette) for a hint of sweetness and you got taste, texture and colour all-in-one!
Bento boxes don’t always have to include Japanese fare. You can opt for some fuss-free salads such as a potato or pasta salad tossed with broccoli and raisins. As a refreshing option, replace your mayo with plain Greek yoghurt to achieve an equally tasty, creamy goodness! Then throw in a handful of nuts and apple slices to achieve the ideal balance of sweet and savory.
Forget sandwiches and try a wrap stuffed with wholesome goodies instead! Put one together in just 5 minutes by throwing in some smoked ham or turkey, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes in a tortilla with just a squirt of ranch dressing. Cut up some carrot and celery sticks and designate a special spot for the satisfying hummus dip perfect for the mid-afternoon munchies.
7. Burrito bowls
Want to eat the rainbow? You can count on this burrito bowl featuring juicy pulled pork or marinated chicken breast, rice, black beans, corn, and chopped up lettuce with shredded cheese on top. To complete the meal, go for a creamy avocado dressing with a side of lime to zest things up, and remember to leave some space for some tortilla chips and salsa!
If there’s anything to take away from this article, it’s these 3 rules of bento packing: divide the meal proportionally, pay attention to the colors and always pack tightly!
There are plenty of tools such as tweezers, cookie cutters, disposable cupcake liners, and decorative toothpicks that can also make the process that much easier.
Since bento boxes can be prepared ahead of time, it is equally important to ensure your lunch is safe to eat even after a day in the fridge. Separators are very useful for making sure your food doesn’t contaminate each other and using stronger seasonings such as ginger or vinegar to marinate your rice and meats can help it last longer.
The Perfect Bento Box for Lunch
Bento boxes are the epitome of an insta-worthy, healthy, and affordable meal! If you rather do all the eating – 338 catering offers some delicious and nutritious bento boxes infused with all-time favorite Asian dishes such as sweet and sour pork and Yong Chow fried rice to keep you satisfied every day of the week!
For other food selections, you can find out more from our catering services. Do feel free to contact us for all your catering needs and order your lovingly prepared bento box for lunch, starting from just $6.80 per person with a minimum order!