Thursday, 16 February 2012

My bento boxes and what they're good for

Small Bento
About: 500ml capacity, two separate little boxes, cube
From: Casa Bento's website
Pros: Good for high calorie meals (due to the small size), very sweet looking, awesome colour
Cons: Small, doesn't pack away into itself, can't use tomato based sauces with it because they'll stain the white lids, no cutlery space. This one is such a vanity purchase, but I love it.
Tips: The equal portions make this super easy to pack- Rice goes in one (I usually put sesame seeds on top to make it look fancy), and the other tub is 2/3 veg to 1/3 meat. These snap on lids are really good for keeping juices in, so don't worry if you're packing something like roasted Mediterranean vegetables that are a bit sloppy, because it'll hold it all in. These portions are also a very good size for onigiri, or for 6 maki sushi rolls.

Medium Bento
About: 600ml capacity, lid with place for chopsticks and fork. Red with bunny motif (which I originally thought was some sort of alien garlic. It's a rabbit as viewed from above. More to the point: Why did I buy a bento that at the time I thought had an alien garlic motif on it?!)
From: Ebay. Not the greatest price for it, but I wasn't to know. Brand is Urara, Lube Sheep (yes, "Lube Sheep"- delightful example of Engrish!)
Pros: Smaller portion folds away into the bigger one when you're done eating, very useful. Nice deep tray for main meal parts like curry, can fit snacks like nuts in the lid portion with the chopsticks, the chopsticks that came with it are adorable....
Cons: Black lids are a bit flimsy, so not great for making it leakproof, but this is literally the only drawback. This is an excellent bento box.
Tips: Really good for pretty bentos, since the wide lozenge shape means you can stack different type of veg next to each other for a simple little platter.

Bento Bag
Just a happy little bag for the Urara bento, though I use it for the others too. Worth getting a bag for your bento, or wrap it up in a furishiki, for easy carrying. 

Thermos food flask
About: 480ml, stainless steel, thermal, folding spoon in top portion
Pros: Keeps food hot for up to 8 hours, great for curry/ stir fries, has folding spoon, looks badass
Cons: No separate food segments so rice can get a bit soggy, need to fill with boiling water before you put the hot food in to make sure it keeps hot all day. This is wonderful for wintertime, which it is most of the time here in sunny England, and also if you detest cold rice (which, after several hard onigiri in a week, I sometimes do)
Tips: Undercook the food that's going in here because it'll cook in residual heat. If you're reheating in the morning, make it too hot, because it's only going to lose heat when it's in there. For rice/pasta involving dishes, put the wet bit in the bottom and use the rice/pasta as a lid to stop it going soggy.


  1. Very nicely written, Pippa! Informative, funny, and dangerously parallel to my own views on various bentos and lunch-packing paraphernalia (right down to the alien rabbit!). I like your style, girlfriend =)

  2. Thanks, April! I intend to do more bento posts once half term is over and I start carrying them again. :)

  3. Finally another bento blogger in England!!
    I've been looking into getting the urara, lube sheep bento so thank you for your review!!

    If you find time please check out my blog as I update my blog every time I find a shop that sells bento gear :)