Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bento: Chicken Karaage (Japanese fried Chicken)

Last weeks bento was cabbage kimpira and leftover karaage chicken.  Simple meal, but super-yummy.  I used an extra cabbage leave to separate the chicken from the rice.  The little chicken sauce dish is closed before the main bento lid goes on so that the sauce doesn't spill.

When I make karaage chicken, I often use pickled ginger instead of fresh (the bright red julian ginger, but sushi pickled ginger will do in a pinch).  That way I can add the ginger liquid to the marinade and I get the bright red colour from the ginger.  I wonder how they make ginger into delicious bright red slivers.

This is a traditional style wooden bento box.  The main thing about this box is that it allows the food to breath, which in my opinion keeps the rice much nicer.  As with all bento boxes, allow the food to cool completely before closing the lid (and heat up any leftovers before putting them in the box to extend their keeping power).  It seems weird to heat then cool, but have a read of this bento safety post by Just Bento.  She's fantastic and has a blog full of yummy recipes.

The only problem with this wooden box is that I don't have an elastic to fit it, so I fall back on the Japanese tradition to tie it up tightly with a colourful cloth.

Tea, bento, an orange for snack,
and chopsticks in a cute cat container.

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Bento Lunch

Check out some amazing bentos people made on What's for Lunch Wednesday.  I love browsing through the site for lunch ideas.


  1. How do you heat up food in a wooden bento box? Can you use a lower a wattage on the microwave or is it not advised to use the microwave at all?

    1. You don't heat up the food, most bento boxes are designed to be eaten at room temperature. That's why it's important to use the marinade on the chicken, make certain it's cooked well and allow the bento to cool completely before putting the lid on so that there won't be any excess condensation/moisture that encourages bacteria to grow.

      Have a look at this post, it's fantastic for explaining how to keep your bento safe:

      If you wanted to reheat the food, you could arrange it on a plate, then put it in the microwave, but I suspect it would cook the wood, which would probably damage it.