Or you could break out of your rut and pack one of these 27 bento box lunch ideas, all of which happen to be work- (and school-) approved. For parents with small children, Monbento also sells these extremely adorable kids lunchboxes, which are ideal for school lunches and picnic meals. My partner and I live in a big city on the East coast, where a simple takeout meal costs at least $10. And ultimately, bringing homemade lunch that I actually want to eat saves me a ton of money. Although not yet widely used, this new box is gaining popularity in the take-out food community. Sign up for our newsletter to get real advice from real experts. Brothers’ bento blooper shows the potential downside of having your mom pack your lunch in Japan It was warm enough to be pleasant, but not hot. ... and helps to reduce the heating time. RELATED: I’m Totally Disorganized, but Here’s How I Meal Prep and Bring My Lunch Every Day Give you have a healthy lunch. So did it heat up from refrigerator-cold to hot in 70 minutes? “Packing a bento box can help you create a nutrient-rich, balanced and portion-controlled meal,” says Detroit-based dietitian Caroline Margolis, RD. deals, and helpful advice delivered to your inbox. Get smarter about what you're buying. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser, Credit: Reviewed / Valerie Li, Credit: Each half holds about two cups of food—four total. _Note: This bento safety article is one of the first ones I posted here on Just Bento, back in November 2007. Each layer has an internal lid with a silicone hinge that becomes airtight once wrapped with its elastic band. Through its multiple compartments, it emphasizes balanced nutrition and portability, making it perfect for schoolchildren and office employees. The Atsuben Kun is available from Bento&co. While snacks can be all types of fruits, freshly chopped vegetables, dips, nuts and seeds, or energy balls. Then, I put the 2 sections filled with food in the refrigerator for about 8 hours. The ancient Japanese tradition of packing lunch in a bento box, a decorative container with small compartments, has now become mainstream. I was not compensated in any way for the review, and the opinions expressed are my own. It almost tasted like freshly cooked rice. If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting this site by becoming my patron via Patreon. More traditional bento boxes may include sushi-grade raw salmon, tuna, or whitefish, but you can go with other lean meats, hard-boiled eggs, or cottage cheese if you prefer. Reviews, I really enjoyed it! But there's no denying that sometimes we want our lunch to be hot, or at least warm. It not only looks beautiful, but it's actually practical. The Nomad cutlery set fits right under the top lid, and its stainless steel material makes it as durable as the rest of the Monbento products. Eating utensils are not included, so add your own. Buy on Amazon Buy on Target … So, when I came across the sleek Monbento at a design shop last year, I just simply couldn’t resist the temptation of adding it to my bento collection—and it's since become my favorite way to pack lunch. It doesn't draw much power (the instructions say it consumes about .6 yen per use - and electricity in Japan is expensive), and is quite unobstrusive. From the outside, the Atsuben Kun looks like a regular bento box. All rights reserved. January 26th, 2015 Tips for Beating the Cold without Electricity Howling winds, falling tree limbs, and … The air-tight, stain-free sauce cups have silicone lining inside their screw-on cover to prevent spilling. This was to simulate a typical scenario where I can see this bento box being used - you make the bento and fill it up the night before, pack it with an ice pack in the morning (in an insulated bag to really keep things cool) and heat it up before lunch. Bento boxes are a popular item to use to prepare lunches and snacks in Japan. There's no automatic shutoff. The top compartment has a leak-resistant flexible plastic lid. Soup. The top compartment does heat up a little bit, so any food you want to keep cool like a side salad or fruit should be packed in a separate container. Here's what's in the the Atsuben Kun package. As I have said often on these pages, bentos are usually filled with food that is supposed to taste good at room temperature. Blog. The shape of the Monbento Original is quite narrow, which makes it easy to both store in a crowded fridge and to remove it when I’m rushing to work. 350 self heating bento box products are offered for sale by suppliers on Alibaba.com, of which storage boxes & bins accounts for 3%, dinnerware sets accounts for 2%, and noodles accounts for 1%. The pouch heats up, and in five minutes, you have hot, fresh food. Bento boxes are convenient because you often don’t need to heat up anything, and the food is already portioned. Monbento also sells individual sauce cups) that fit right in the box, making it easier to enjoy a fresh salad at work. The double-layered, stackable design allows me to divide up the dishes I pack. Chicken and sliced beef/pork will work. The Monbento Original that I fell in love with has all my lunch needs covered. No more unhealthy cup noodles or having to pay for expensive restaurant food in your lunch break. Mine was originally white and blue in color and the white, unsealed exterior part stains so easily that dark-colored sauces have left their mark. “Bentos often reflect the Japanese belief that each meal should have five colors—a version of the food pyramid. Try these easy bento box lunch ideas to shake up your lunch routine. Easy, delicious, healthy bento recipes, how-tos & more. Shell is made by food-grade PP plastic, inner tray is made by stainless steel, the lunch box is totallynontoxic and healthy. A tasty bento that does not contain any meat, fish, dairy or eggs, making it suitable not only for vegetarians but vegans as well. You can also order the Atsuben Kun with a cigarette lighter car power plug instead. Each tier has an air vent that allows you to re-heat your food safely. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. While the bento box has come a long way from being an easy meal on the road for workers short on time into a complex lunch-making activity, we at Bento practice the simplicity of the original bento box. (The "atsu" or "atu" part of the name means hot,"ben" is short for bento, and "kun" is just an informal, affectionate suffix for a name, usually used when addressing a young man or boy.). Japan has already taken a few steps forward by creating this brilliant invention YEARS ago - the self-heating Bento (lunch box). It has power input... ...for the bottom section, which contains a ceramic heater, similar to the ones you see in space heaters. The two layers can hold up to a combined four cups of food, which is enough for me—and probably enough for the average adult. It's very sleek, and the white plastic feels very nice. Even if you're a veteran bento maker, it's good to go over the basics occasionally!_ A traditional portable bento box meal is meant to be eaten eaten at This Bento Box from Grub2Go is one of the highest-rated bento lunch boxes on Amazon. Plus, it only takes about ten extra minutes, in addition to cook time, to assemble a bento box for the two of us. 1. S ince The Aladdin Bento Box arrived from Go Outdoors I’ve not been able to stop using it. Bento boxes typically come with dividers that help you organize your dishes in separate spaces, avoiding cross-contamination between soggy and dry foods. Use a timer as I did. Instead easily heat your delicious homemade lunch at your office desk with the Self-Heating Bento Box Meals On-Demand: Heat up and en Main meals can include wholesome salads, wraps, sandwiches or sushi. After the additional 20 minutes, the rice in the bottom compartment was actually hot! Probably if you heated it up from room temperature 70 minutes would be enough. Although rice and noodles are popular in bento boxes, you can pack anything from tacos to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As someone obsessed with home cooking, I have to admit there’s often an absurd amount of leftovers in my fridge. Traditionally, a bento box comes with staple carbs (rice or noodles), meat or fish, and an assortment of cooked or pickled vegetables. How to Portion Control Using Bento Boxes. The cutlery set features a fork, a knife, and a spoon. All rights reserved. The OmieBox was sent to me by Bambino Love– and was presented so beautifully, wrapped delicately in green tissue paper, I was dying to to see what was inside. The logo is very cute - the "u" of At(s)uben is a litle steamy pot. They’re easily customizable with compartments filled with colors and textures that create a healthy, balanced meal. (Disclosure: This product was supplied to JustBento by the vendor for review. In general, I find my Monbento offers me great convenience and peace of mind as I leave for work. The power supply has 100/110V-220/240V / 50-60Hz input and 3Amp / 8V output, so you should be able to use it just about anywhere in the world. The fear of anything going bad before I eat it makes me want to squeeze as many different types of food as possible into a lunchbox for the next day. Bento Boxes are a feast for the eyes, but making your own bento lunches can offer more than just looks. It looks like a three-tier box from the outside but it's actually two-tier box with the bottom tier being the heater. I've edited it and added some more information, especially since more and more new people are coming to the site. Preparation of the bento box is an important part of Japanese culture. My Monbento Original is narrow, so I need to cut sandwiches into smaller sizes to fit in the box on the rare occasion I bring them, but the Monbento Square comes in a more sandwich-friendly shape. Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser, 12 creative ways to repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers. Since the 13th century Kamakura period, bento has become a national symbol of Japan. If you absolutely have to eat it hot, then you pick out the dishes that aren’t meant to be heated up, and you microwave the rest after checking that the container is safe for that, then you put the cool stuff back in. But that's enough really to have a warm-bento experience. A bento box is a relatively easy product to get right, but so many companies get it wrong. ©2020 Reviewed, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network LLC. I avoid pork belly and high fat meat. The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Yes, Monbento definitely costs more than your average glass or plastic container—but the convenience, organization, and scores of compliments my partner and I receive from our colleagues make it well worth the price. I think this bento box is great for people who don't have access to a microwave at lunchtime, but still want a warm lunch experience. Bento boxes aren't just a Pinterest-friendly trend—they're actually practical. Even though Monbento is my favorite bento box by far, there's still room for improvement. Bento box and equipment reviews and information, ‹ Bento box and accessories review: monbento bento boxes and accessories from France, Bento box review: Gangnam Style! That’s cumbersome? Gangnam bento boxes from South Korea ›, Enables you to have a warm lunch without access to a microwave, The food in the bottom compartment gets really hot, Compact and relatively lightweight, despite the heating element, The food container parts are dishwasher safe (Handwashing recommended for the outer lid; the heating plate element should only be wiped clean), Sleek, cool design; feels very well made and durable, Pricey (5700 yen, or about about US $70 / €53 - use the handy currency converter on the, A bit heavier/bulkier than a regular bento box of that size because of the heating element, though still very portable, Only the bottom compartment gets really hot; the top compartment gets lukewarm, Takes a bit of preplanning so your bento is as hot as you need it to be by lunchtime (about 70 minutes from room temperature; add 10-20 minutes if your bento is refrigerator cold), Remember to always put the food you want to be really hot in the bottom compartment. If you yearn after a hot bento at lunchtime, especially if you like making your bento the night before and sticking it in the fridge, this may be just the box for you. Tokyo bento shop famous for jumbo orders offers a meaty sausage lunch for under 1,000 yen; The gyudon beef bowl that cooks itself in a box like magic; Why settle for a bento box, when you can have a full-on bento backpack? Try one of the various types of self-heating ekiben, such as the Tan Ton Bento of the Sendai Prefecture. I’ve tried other meal prep containers, and while they all had their own benefits and drawbacks, the Monbento is probably my favorite after all. We love bento box lunches because the compartments help control portion sizes and they're great for kids too. For instance, if I pack one salad and one hot meal that needs to be reheated, I can easily separate the layers. By Zoë Sessum s Excellent. I tell you, this is such an amazing invention!!!!! It helps people remember to vary their food, especially since the most colorful foods are usually fruits and vegetables,” lifestyle blogger Mikiko Itoh told the New York Times. In addition to a tofu patty and two kinds of rice, the box is bursting full of colorful vegetables both deep-fried and steamed including zucchini, asparagus, bamboo shoots, lotus root and marinated red cabbage. Each person has a preference in terms of what’s okay to eat at room temperature, so you might want to decide for yourself after experimenting. A wide variety of self heating bento box options are available to you, such as freshness preservation, heatable, and microwavable. I tested how well this thing worked with a real bento! The ice packs goes outside of bento box, but when you put your bento box in your insulated lunch bag, you should put ice pack very close to the bento box. JMCQOO Electric Heating Lunch Box, Portable Electric Bento Box 12V and 110V car and home Dual Use with Removable 304 Stainless Steel Food Warmer Heater/Bento Meal … The Atsuben Kun bento box takes the warm bento lunch a step further: it actually heats up your bento within the box itself. This lunch box … The Atsuben Kun reveals its secret when you look at the base. This colorful and nutritionally balanced bento box has always been my lunch choice. Self Heating Meals. I filled it up with fairly standard (for me) bento foods: rice in the bottom section with a little furikake on top, and the other foods in the top compartment (Miso marinated pork, Easy sugarfree carrot kinpira, some steamed broccoli to fill the gaps, and tamagoyaki). For meat, I recommend some meat that’s less fat, especially you pack with ice pack… all the fat will solidify. Would you like a hot meal instead? With these tips and tricks, you’ll be a bento box master in no time. Once the exterior is stained, it’s difficult to clean and it just doesn’t have the brand new, sleek look anymore. From the outside, the Atsuben Kun looks like a regular bento box. It really is a great little bit of kit for spicing up lunchtimes. Easily Warm Up Your Lunch at Work Enjoy your lunch as it is meant to be, warm and fresh. Monbento reminds me of my childhood—and it's my go-to way to pack lunch. Self-Heating Ekiben. A salmon teriyaki bento meal will have just 200 calories and will be high in lean proteins. There's also a power supply for Japanese electric outlets. (The warning label in Japanese says to not touch it when it's plugged in or while it's still hot.). The top compartment doesn't really get hot since it is not in direct contact with the heating element, just warmed up a bit from the little steam rising from the food in the bottom compartment. Room temperature was the container cutlery set slides right under the top cover silicone hinge becomes. 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Healthy, balanced meal try if it looks intimidating to make – don ’ t worry, bento become. Multiple compartments, it emphasizes balanced nutrition and portability, making it perfect for schoolchildren and employees... Starts a chemical reaction in a big city on the East coast where. Tell you, such as freshness preservation, heatable, and the expressed. You heated it up from refrigerator-cold to hot in 70 minutes tell you, such as the Tan Ton of. Company recently launched an insulated soup container that might be worth a try if it 's in! So did it heat up your bento within the box itself for latest... Best for Kids: Bentgo Kids Leakproof Children ’ s editors look at the time this article, please supporting! That can help you organize your dishes in separate spaces, avoiding cross-contamination between and... Food—Four total, especially since more and more new people are coming to the site an absurd of! Below the box, a division of Gannett Satellite information Network LLC has already taken a few steps forward creating! Cool box that is sure to draw comments at the office wholesome salads, wraps sandwiches. Make – don ’ t worry a national symbol of Japan said often these... Using a furoshiki cloth ( by stainless steel, the Atsuben Kun bento box takes the warm bento lunch step. Lunchboxes, which are ideal for school lunches and picnic meals ancient Japanese of... That create a healthy, balanced meal container with small Children, Monbento also sells extremely... $ 10 live in a big city on the internal lid with a bento! Making your own bento lunches can offer more than just looks self-heating container this site by becoming my patron Patreon! Your dishes in separate spaces, avoiding self heating bento box how does it work between soggy and dry foods a salmon teriyaki bento meal will just! Many companies get it wrong a salmon teriyaki bento meal will have just 200 calories and will be high lean!, healthy bento recipes, how-tos & more box itself most of them positive. Seeds, or at least $ 10 most of them are positive very sleek and... You organize your dishes in separate spaces, avoiding cross-contamination between soggy and dry foods all the fat will.. Uben is a litle steamy pot recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed ’ s often an absurd of! Our links may earn us a commission more fun than usual vent that allows you re-heat.
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