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Japanese Fried Chicken Bento http://rasamalaysia.com/japanese-fried-chicken-bento/
July 05th, 2012 23 Comments

Japanese Fried Chicken Bento

Japanese Fried Chicken Bento
Japanese Fried Chicken Bento pictures (1 of 8)

One of my favorite bento is chicken karaage, or Japanese fried chicken bento. In the United States, chicken kaarage is also referred to as sesame fried chicken in many Japanese restaurants. Other than chicken teriyaki, chicken karaage is probably one of the most popular combinations when it comes to Japanese bento. If you have had Japanese food or lunch box, I am sure you have tried the crispy and flavorful Japanese fried chicken. I simply can’t resist the good taste.

Making restaurant-style bento is actually easier than you think, and the whole process of assembling the different dishes into the bento box is actually quite fun. When I started making bento at home, I got myself a 5-compartment bento box, which is widely used in many Japanese restaurants. Please take note that there are a wide variety of bento boxes available: plastic, wood, lacquer ware, 2-tier, single compartment, 2 compartments, up to 7 or 8 compartments, and the list goes on. When it comes to choosing the size and type of bento box, it’s really a personal preference and what works best for you and your needs. If you are a working professional, you should probably start with a simple 2 to 3-compartment bento box.

Japanese Fried Chicken Bento

Everyone can make a bento of your choice. If you are a beginner, here are some pointers for packing mouthwatering bento:

  1. Use short-grain rice for the steamed rice and always cook the rice ahead of time to allow for cooling before assembling.
  2. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top of the steamed rice to enhance the presentation. You can also add some green peas to the rice. The key to a great bento is to make plain looking food looks interesting and hence pleasing to both the eyes and taste buds.
  3. Sauces such as dipping sauce and salad dressing should be packed in separate sauce containers to avoid spillover and ensure freshness, especially if the bento is meant to be taken out or consumed later.
  4. Avoid raw fish or sashimi (especially in warmer weather) unless the bento is served immediately.
  5. Avoid soupy or watery dishes as they don’t pack well in a bento box.
  6. Traditionally (regardless of the size or type of the bento box), the perfect ratio of a healthy bento is 3 parts carb (rice, noodles), 1 part protein (meat or fish), 2 parts vegetables/fruits. However, this is a guideline and not rules. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can still pack a bento!

Japanese Fried Chicken Bento

This is my Japanese fried chicken bento. Other than the main dish of chicken karaage,  there are steamed rice, gyoza, pickled cucumber and mixed green salad.

Bento Box

Here is my empty bento box with the different compartments and how I pack my bento. A typical restaurant-style bento usually consists of steamed rice, main entree, side dish, tsukemono (Japanese pickle), and salad.

Mixed Greens with Mizkan Sesame Dressing

For the Japanese fried chicken, I marinated the chicken meat with Mizkan (Bonito Flavored) Soup Base, consists mostly of soy sauce and dashi. I also added some Mizkan HONTERI® Mirin for a tint of sweetness. For the tsukemono, Mizkan rice vinegar comes in handy as a little dash goes a long way in the simple cucumber pickle. To balance off the taste of the bento, I chose Mizkan Sesame Dressing for my salad. The end result was a beautiful bento packed with all my favorite Japanese dishes that I just couldn’t stop eating!

Click Page 2 for the Japanese Fried Chicken Bento Recipe
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23 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Amy says:

    Wow, your bento is gorgeous and I’m sure it’s delicious. I’m Japanese so I grew up with bento…happy and proud that bento is catching on here.

  2. Gary says:

    I always order teriyaki bento with beef, chicken or salmon. I’ve seen the karaage on menu and I’ll have to try this fried chicken next time. As always, great pictures and easy ways to make at home!

  3. Dar says:

    Look yummy! Fried chicken bento is always my favorite.

  4. may says:

    Hi! Your bento looks super yummy! I saw you in a recent episode of House Hunters International…I was thinking she looks familiar, and then they mentioned your blog :) Keep up the good work here and all the best with your new home!

  5. Elaine says:

    New subscriber here, love Japanese bento. Can you share teriyaki chicken recipe?

  6. Oh I just love fried chicken! And in a bento, it is even more adorable!Thanks for sharing this delightful recipe idea!

  7. Lena Lee via Facebook says:

    Tonkatsu is my favourite :)

  8. Pingyu says:

    Hi, where can I get Mizkan products online? This karaage fried chicken looks simple enough to make but I want to get the same ingredients you have here.

    Thanks!

  9. Shamim Ara Nahid via Facebook says:

    tnx:) I’ll try it

  10. Phil Smith via Facebook says:

    Those dumplings look great. I like the shrimp tempura bento. With Louisiana shrimp LOL

  11. These bento dishes all look so delicious! I’m all crazy for Karaage as well, and recently I’ve been trying to learn how to make one (even bought myself a couple of bento boxes, lol). These tips will help me a lot for sure. Thanks a bunch! :)

  12. kathy says:

    wow, this is making me hungry, once i got those 2 Mizkan products i will definitely do this…chicken karaage is one of my favorites…thanks for sharing :)

  13. Fern says:

    Looks like it came from a restaurant! You make me want to get a bento box too….it’ll be a treat to have nice bentos like this at home everyday :)

  14. Oh your bento look and sound perfect! Love the combination with fried chicken, dumplings, rice, salad..tasty for sure! Thank you for sharing!

  15. This looks fantastic and I am going to add it to my Mouth Watering Mondays post this Monday. Come on by to see it at http://www.noshingwiththenolands.com Cheers, Tara

  16. Sally says:

    Hi, where did you get your bento box from?Thanks.

  17. OH, this makes me miss the days we used to live in Japan. I worked in a school with my children and every day I couldn’t wait for lunch to see what goodies would be delivered in our obento boxes.

  18. Sarah – tell me about it. I miss those days when I traveled there for business. I was always so looking forward to the lunch bento with so many delicious dishes in one box. So yummy!

  19. Fuji Mama says:

    Another winner! Love seeing you make Japanese recipes so accessible to people living in other countries!

  20. cee elac says:

    Thanks for this recipe I’m a fried chicken fan. I will add this up to to my bento recipe collection. Where did you buy your bento box, it looks good? Mine is from http://www.katachiware.com.au/bento-boxes.html

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