Bento Inspired Lunch




Note that I shall be back on a regular posting schedule now that I’m at school. Look for recipes on Fridays!

School is back in full speed and I’m already overwhelmed. It’s course selection period, which is when I have the most doubts about the future course of my semester. I always change my mind a few times before I settle for a final schedule that I’m perfectly happy with. During that “shopping period,” I have very little time to eat because I go to as many classes as possible, including over lunchtime. That got me thinking about strategies to keep eating healthy, homemade food even away from my kitchen. Since sandwiches can only be good for so long, I turned towards “bentos” (or Japanese lunch boxes).



My mom received a really cool book about the Japanese culture for Christmas. It is sectioned in “stories” about Japanese people, accompanied with photos of themselves and their go-to bentos. Picture “Humans of New York” but Tokyo-Style and with close-ups of their lunches. Each person makes you travel through food, culture, space, and time. It’s pretty great! A common trait in all bentos is that they are compartmentalized lunch boxes with some type of grain (usually rice), protein (eggs, chicken, fish…), and veggies. Each part plays on taste and texture.




So here’s my attempt at making that type of lunch myself. I still have to get an actual bento box (so please make use of your imagination when looking at the photos) but in the mean time here’s my bento-inspired meal with chicken, veggies and rice. Bon appétit!

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 1/4 cup dried brown rice
  • 1/4 broccoli crown
  • 3-4 shiitake mushroom caps
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1in ginger root, minced
  • 2 chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 lime, juice, zest
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Start by cooking the rice. Cover the grains with two parts water, add some salt, cover, and let it cook until all the water is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, make the marinade for the chicken. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cut the chicken tenderloins into small cubes. Put them in a ziplock bag, add the marinade and shake the bag to coat the meat evenly. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Next, make the “dressing” for the vegetables. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and minced ginger. Cut the mushrooms and broccoli in small pieces and toss them with the dressing.
  4. Bring a frying pan to medium heat and add the vegetables. Let them get golden brown.
  5. In another pan, add the chicken. Cook for about 8 minutes or so, depending on the size of your cubes.
  6. To serve, arrange the cooked brown rice, vegetables and chicken nicely in a plate. Drizzle with some Sriracha and/or extra soy sauce. Enjoy!


Temps total: 25 minutes


  • 1/4 tasse de riz brun sec
  • 1/4 de brocoli
  • 3-4 champignons shiitake, chapeaux
  • 2 c.s de sauce soja
  • 1 c.s de vinaigre de riz
  • 1 c.c d’huile de sésame
  • 2cm de racine de gingembre, émincée
  • 1 blanc de poulet
  • 1/2 citron vert, jus et zeste
  • 1 c.s d’huile d’olive
  • 1/2 gousse d’ail, émincée
  • Sel de mer et poivre noir fraichement moulu


  1. Commencez par faire cuire le riz. Dans une casserole, recouvrez les grains avec 1/2 tasse d’eau, ajoutez une pincée de sel, couvrez, et laissez cuire jusqu’à ce que l’eau soit absorbée.
  2. Pendant ce temps, préparez la marinade pour le poulet. Dans un petit bol, mélangez le jus et le zeste de citron vert, l’huile d’olive, l’ail émincé, du sel et du poivre. Coupez le poulet en petits cubes et mettez les dans un sachet de congélation (type ziplock). Ajoutez la marinade, fermez le sac et secouez le bien. Laissez reposer environ 10 minutes.
  3. Préparez la sauce pour les légumes. Mélangez la sauce soja, l’huile de sésame, le vinaigre de riz et le gingembre émincé. Coupez les champignons et le broccoli en morceaux et recouvrez les avec la sauce.
  4. Faites chauffer une poêle et ajoutez y les légumes. Laissez les dorer.
  5. Dans une autre poêle, saisissez le poulet à feu vif. Lorsque les morceaux sont dorés, baissez le feu et laissez cuire encore quelques minutes.
  6. Pour servir arrangez le riz, le poulet et les légumes joliment sur une assiette. Garnissez d’un filet de sriracha et d’une touche de sauce soja. Bon appétit!

6 thoughts on “Bento Inspired Lunch

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