I just realised that I have not posted one of the most popular bento dishes, Teriyaki Chicken Bento. The Teriyaki Chicken comes with a tasty teriyaki sauce. By placing some Teriyaki Chicken on rice and pouring the sauce over it, your bento becomes like a Teriyaki Chicken Don. I have picked colourful side dishes to counter the dominant brown colour of the chicken.
It is not an exaggeration to say that you will always find a Teriyaki Chicken Bento at most of the bento shops in Japan. It is probably so even in other countries. When I was working in the Sydney CBD, I sometimes went out to get a bento box for lunch. I remember that the bento shop always had a Teriyaki Chicken Bento.
You could actually eat the tasty chicken and rice with nothing else, but I added several side dishes to go with it.
WHAT’S IN MY Teriyaki Chicken Bento
Here are the ingredients of Teriyaki Chicken Bento.
- Cooked rice – this can be made ahead. Please refer to How to Cook Rice the Japanese Way. Pack the cooked rice in a bento box while the rice is still hot (or warm) as it is easier to shape it, and let it cool down before adding other ingredients.
- Teriyaki Chicken– leftover from dinner or make ahead. Slice the chicken into 1½-2cm/⅝-¾” thick pieces so that you can eat them with chopsticks. Reserve the teriyaki sauce to go with it.
- Dashimaki Tamago – egg goes well with chicken. I used 2 sliced Dashimaki Tamago, which is equivalent to about 1 egg. Each slice is about 2cm/¾” thick. A boiled egg is also a good alternative. It adds a bright colour to the bento.
- Simmered Shredded Kelp (Konbu) – simmered dishes are good items to fill a bento box with because you can make them ahead of time and the quantity can easily be adjusted. They are tasty even if they are cold in most cases. My suggestions for alternative dishes include Hijiki Seaweed Salad, Kinpira Gobō, Gomoku-mame, and Simmered Kiriboshi Daikon.
- Cabbage Salad Tossed in Shio Konbu – I wanted to add a fresh vegetable. Alternatively, you can have shredded cabbage, lettuce, or other leaf salad.
- Baby tomatoes – to add colour to the bento as well as cleansing your palate.
PACKING TERIYAKI CHICKEN BENTO
I used a double decker bento box so that I could separate the Teriyaki Chicken on rice from other dishes.
- Fill the bottom compartment of the bento box with rice, allowing for a small margin at the top to fit the chicken pieces on.
- Place the Teriyaki Chicken pieces on the rice, then pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken pieces.
- In the top compartment of the bento box, place the Cabbage Salad on one side and the baby tomatoes next to it.
- Place the Dashimaki Tamago slices next to the tomatoes, then place the Simmered Shredded Kelp in an okazu cup.
The top compartment of my bento box came with a plastic divider. So, I placed it between the cabbage and the tomatoes. But even if you don’t have a divider, the tomatoes separate the two dishes on both sides. This is possible if your bento box is narrow like mine.
If the side dish compartment of your bento box is not narrow (which is most likely the case, unless you have a double decker bento box) and if you need to avoid two dishes directly touching each other, I would recommend using an okazu cup, at least for one dish.
The simmered dish contains liquid, so I used a cup to keep the liquid within it.
If you have a standard bento box or a flat plastic container, you can place the rice with Teriyaki Chicken on one side of the lunch box. Use okazu cups where necessary to place other dishes and vegetables in the remaining space. Below is the example of the Teriyaki Chicken Bento packed in a plastic container.
If you don’t want to place your chicken on the rice, that’s OK too. You can place the chicken next to the rice. You may want to put the teriyaki sauce in a small container so that the sauce does not leak onto the other dishes.
Teriyaki Chicken Bento is one of the very popular bento dishes, which is sold at almost every bento shop in Japan. By placing the Teriyaki Chicken on rice with a small amount of teriyaki sauce, the rice becomes so tasty like a Teriyaki Chicken Don. Choose colourful side dishes to brighten up the bento box.
Because bento is usually made mostly from leftover dishes or make-ahead dishes, the time indicated in this recipe only shows the time to pack the bento box.
- 1 cup cooked rice (note 1)
- 1 serving Teriyaki Chicken (note 2) sliced into 1½-2cm/⅝-¾” thick pieces
- ½ tbsp teriyaki sauce from Teriyaki Chicken
- ⅓ portion Dashimaki Tamago (Japanese Rolled Omelette)
- 30g/1.1oz Simmered Shredded Kelp (KONBU)
- 30g/1.1oz Cabbage Salad tossed in Shio Konbu
- 2 baby tomatoes
- 1 okazu cup (note 3)
Note: This instruction assumes that you use a double decker bento box.
Fill the bottom compartment of the bento box with the rice, allowing a 1cm/⅜” margin at the top.
Place Teriyaki Chicken pieces on the rice, then pour the teriyaki sauce over them.
Place the cabbage on one side of the top compartment of the bento box and place the partition divider next to it (note 3).
Place tomatoes next to the divider, then place Dashimaki Tamago.
Put Simmered Shredded Kelp in the okazu cup and place it next to the Dashimaki Tamago.
1. It is best to pack the cooked rice in a bento box while hot or warm as it is easier to shape the rice into the bento box.
2. Depending on the size of your bento box, you may need to adjust the size of the Teriyaki Chicken.
3. I had a partition in my bento box so that I only needed 1 okazu cup to put the simmered dish in. But if your bento box does not come with a partition, I’d suggest that you also put the cabbage in another okazu cup.
If your bento box does not come with a partition/divider, put the cabbage in another okazu cup so that the tomatoes do not get the flavour of the cabbage.
4. If you have a single layer bento box with no partitions, you can place the rice on one side and use okazu cups to separate the dishes with liquid from the other dishes. Please see the example photo of the single layer bento box in the post.