Bento refers to single-serving Japanese lunch boxes either homemade or purchased. Some are placed in beautiful lacquerware while take-out portions are placed in disposable containers.
Traditional bento boxes contain rice or noodles, and a combination of meat or fish and side dishes tastefully arranged by colors and varieties. Some even have sweet beans or dessert.
There are specialties such as regional bento, train bento, seasonal bento, ladies’ bento, children’s bento and vegetarian bento.
Most of these bento boxes are meant to be carried away thus served cold. However, some restaurants especially in Tokyo area make hot bento with daily menu changes that are delivered to offices.
Our bento boxes were purchased from a Japanese Supermarket located in Gardena City, CA. J.J.'s white rice is sprinkled with sesame seeds topped with a dried plum. It included salmon, shrimp, 1/2 vegetable croquet plus 6 different vegetables.
My bento, served with brown rice, also had salmon and shrimp plus 8 varieties of vegetables. They were healthy and satisfying and reasonable for $16 for two.
Aloha -- Cathi