Guide to what is a Japanese lunch box and how to choose it?
In a time when we are short of time, when eating well becomes more and more complicated, the bento box comes to bring a practical solution to take away good home-made meals.
More economical, more balanced, and much more pleasant to the taste, homemade dishes are becoming more and more popular with children and adults alike.
From the minimalist design to the high end you will find everything you need on Instant Japan!
What is the purpose of a bento box?
It is an airtight and compartmentalized lunch box, which preserves your food, and allows you to take them easily everywhere you go. For your lunch at work, for your children at school or for walks in nature, it allows you to take your good food with you everywhere.
In recent years, the fast pace of work has greatly reduced breaks between colleagues. Adults now spend an average of about 20 minutes on lunch during a workday. But more and more people are bringing their own meals to work.
It's a routine that has many benefits. Packing your own homemade lunches allows you to eat better and maintain a balanced diet without damaging your health with industrial dishes.
How to choose your Bento
Today, there is a wide variety of bento boxes. There are different shapes, sizes, colors and styles. When choosing a bento box, there are some small details to pay attention to:
- The size: Choose a box that suits your needs and appetite. A lunch box should be well filled to prevent food from shifting and to keep the heat in for longer. On the other hand, choosing a large container allows you to store more food and to vary the pleasures inside (starter, main course, dessert).
- The organization: Some bento boxes do not have a divider that allows you to separate the food. On the other hand, if you like to prepare a variety of meals, you should use modular boxes. This is what we recommend, it will avoid mixing the appetizer and the main course for example.
- The accessories: Many lunch boxes are sold with cutlery (fork, chopsticks, spoon). Others have a strap to hold the lid securely.
- The design: This argument is very subjective but can make the difference, because Japanese lunch boxes are a trendy object.
What to put in your bento box?
In the composition of a bento, there is always a search for balance, it is therefore a complete and balanced meal, often in this form:
- one portion of rice (40%)
- one portion of protein (30%)
- one portion of vegetables or pickled vegetables (tsukemono) (20%)
- one portion of fruit (10%).
In general, for children, each parent redoubles his or her ingenuity to make the meal fun by creating characters often inspired by the Kawaii (cute in Japanese) universe.
Based on the Japanese bento lunch boxes, which were traditionally made by hand, the wooden boxes have an unparalleled aesthetic. Nevertheless, they are more fragile and are not microwave or dishwasher safe.
Accompany your bento box with beautiful Japanese wooden chopsticks!