How to make Japanese Bento★Bento Prep.★for whole week!お弁当おかずの作り置き(EP64)

Posted on Posted in Obento lunch Box

Today, I’m going to show you Bento Prep.

Last week, I introduced you to the basics of Bento.

This week, let me show you how to prepare the bento in advance.

Well, some people asked me “how long does it take to make my Bento? ”

I can understand you are thinking it is just a little bit overwhelming to do everything in the morning.  Even for me, it is too much job, if I make everything from scratch.


I prepare some of the main dishes, and keep in my freezer.  Main dishes are made from protein, so freeze well.  And it’s so versatile! One Okazu could make into so many varieties.


Let’s start with “Tuskune” meatball.  “Tsukune” is one of the varieties of Yakitori.  Goes well with rice!



<Tsukune meatball>

350g ground chicken

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 eggwhite

1 tablespoon potato starch or corn starch

1 tablespoon sake

1 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper to taste


<Teriyaki sauce>

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoonn potato starch + 1/2 teaspoon water


  1. Mix all the ingredients well until very sticky, the fat sticks to around the bowl.


  1. Do this a night before and you can keep the filling in the fridge. In the next morning,By using an ice cream scoop, shape into an inch size ball and drop onto a frying pan.  Flatten with back of a spoon.  Cover with the lid, cook for 3 minutes on medium heat.


  1. Flip over then cook another a couple of  minutes with the lid on.


  1. Save the half and keep in the freezer.  Add the teriyaki sauce seasonings and reduce until glossy, then add potato starch solution to thicken the sauce.  Set aside until comes to room temperature.  Tsukune meat ball is good for all genarations.


<Vegetable rolled Pork>

200g sliced pork loin ※pork slice for hot pot

1 bunch asparagus

1/2 carrot

1/2 Red bell pepper

Salt and pepper

All-purpose flour


<Teriyaki sauce>

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoonn potato starch + 1/2 teaspoon water


  1. Slice carrot and red bell pepper into matchsticks. Peel the bottom half of skin of asparagus.  Cut off  an inch from the bottom.  Cut into three lengthwise.


  1. Place 2 pork slices over-warping each other onto a plastic wrap lined cutting board. Sprinkle salt and pepper, then dust with flour.


  1. Place veggie on one end, then roll it up. Keep in the fridge for the next morning or you can freeze.


  1. Alternatively, you can bread it to make it into cutlet. You can freeze it as well.


  1. In the next morning, start cooking on the frying pan. Place rolled pork the end side down.  Cover and cook a couple of minutes, then rotate.  Repeat until all the surface is golden brown and cook through.


  1. Add the seasonings and reduce until glossy.  Cut in the middle when it comes to room temperature.  Then pack in the Bento box.  You can use another veggie, like green beans and potatoes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We like to season with Teriyaki flavor for Bento Okazu, becauce it tastes good even if it chilled.  And goes well with rice!


<Mini-Cutlet for Bento>

300gpork loin slice

1 chicken breast slice thinly diagonally

All-purpose flour, salt and pepper

Breading batter ( 1 egg +3 tbs flour+80ml cold water)

1 cup Panko ※preferaby nama-panko.  (moisoned panko)

  1. Shape 2 sliced porks into small cutlet, by folding 2 times.  Season with salt ant pepper, dust with flour, dip into breading batter, then bread with Panko.

We call it mille-fille cutlet, easy to eat and takes less time to cook.


  1. Slice chicken breast thinly, to make it easy to eat, slice diagonally. Then bread as we did to the pork.  You can freeze these cutlet for about a month in air tight container.


  1. In the morning, dump it into 160℃ oil and deep fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. I want to cook it thoroughly, so I start cooking on low temp, and cook longer than usual.


<Karaage for Bento>

・a night before

1 chicken thigh

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon sake ※Sake makes your chicken soft and flavorful.  You can skip it if you don’t like it.

・in the next morning

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon soy sauce

  1. A night before, cut chicken thigh into 1-inch cube chunks.  I do this while I’m preparing dinner.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   For Bento, everything have to be smaller in size.                                                                                                                Transfer chopped chicken into a ziplock bag,  add grated ginger, salt and sake. Keep in a fridge or you can freeze at this point.


  1. Next morning, add mirin and soy sauce. Rub.  Set aside while you are preparing other Okazu.


  1. After 15 to 20 minutes, toss in the potato starch. Deep fry them at 180℃ for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.


  1. You can freeze half of them. Yes you can freeze after deep frying.  Thaw in the micro wave and coat in sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce or, whatever you want.


<Simmered kabocha squash>

200g kabocha squash

1/2 cup (120ml) water

1/2 teaspoon Dashi powder

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons mirin

1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Scrape seeds from kabocha. Scrub the skin well with brush.  Cut into chunks.  It’s so firm, be careful not to cut your self.  Shave a part of the skin so that easy to cook.
  2. Transfer to a pot, add water and the seasonings. I add a little bit of dashi powder to add some flavor.   Turn the heat to medium, put the lid on and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until almost all of the liquid is gone.  I like to cook kabocha on relatively high heat to keep the texture.  If you cook on low heat, it’s going to be soggy.


You can keep in the fridge for a couple of days so you can make in advance.


The main dishes made from animal protein are freezer friendly.  Make a big batch and you can save your time.


Other Okazu, like Tamagoyaki, sauteed sausage, easy veggie Okazu are cooked in the morning.


Next week, I am going to show you how I finish my Bento in the morning.


I want to finish my Bento within 30 minutes more or less.  Make a delicious bento everyday from scratch is not so difficult if you know tips and tricks!  Do not miss next week’s video!


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