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5 from 3 votes
Tonkatsu Bento.
Bento Box - Tonkatsu Bento
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

Bento Box with Tonkatsu as a main is called Tonkatsu Bento. It consists of cooked rice, tonkatsu and a small amount of a few side dishes. It is intended to be eaten at room temperature. 

I have written my instructions on how to pack the box to make it look like the photo of the bento box in the post. But you don’t need to place the ingredients in the same way.

Because bento is usually made mostly from the left-over dishes or make-ahead dishes, the time indicated in this recipe only shows the time to pack the bento box.

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: bento, bento box, tonkatsu bento
Serves: 1
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 1 cup cooked rice (note 1)
  • 50g/1.8oz Goma-ae with snow pea shoots (note 2)
  • 2 tomato wedges
  • 50g/1.8oz Japanese Potato Salad
  • A handful of shredded cabbage
  • 100-150g / 3.5-5.3oz Tonkatsu cut into 2cm/¾" wide strips (note 3)
  • Black sesame seeds with salt (optional, note 4)
  • Bulldog tonkatsu sauce in a tiny bottle/jar/container (note 5)
  • A bento box of your choice (I used a double decker bento box)
  • A mini foil cupcake liner (note 6)
1st Box
  1. While the rice is still hot or warm, place the rice in the bento box and let it cool.
  2. Put snow pea shoots goma-ae in a foil cupcake liner and place it next to the rice.
  3. In a small space next to the cupcake liner containing goma-ae, place tomato wedges.

2nd Box
  1. Place the potato salad at one end of the box.

  2. Place shredded cabbage next to the potato salad, allowing sufficient space for the tonkatsu to fit in.
  3. Place the tonkatsu pieces to fill the box.
  4. If the container of tonkatsu sauce is small enough to fit in the corner of the bento box, put it in the box. Otherwise, pack it separately.
Recipe Notes

1. It is best to pack cooked rice in a bento box while hot or warm as it is easier to shape the rice into the bento box.

2. The recipe referenced here uses chrysanthemum leaves but I used snow pea shoots instead. Unlike chrysanthemum leaves, it is difficult to align the stems, so I simply spread the blanched shoots and cut to 4cm/1½” long.

3. Instead of pork, you can use chicken or fish fillet if you like.

4. I sprinkled black sesame with salt simply because the rice looked bare without something on it.

Other options include shredded roasted seaweed, furikake (rice seasoning) or umeboshi (pickled salty plum). I mentioned furikake and umeboshi in How to Cook Rice the Japanese Way.

5. Bulldog is a Japanese brand that is famous for sauces. Tonkatsu sauce is a thick fruity sauce that goes well with tonkatsu. The details and a photo of Bulldog sauces can be found in my post Yakisoba.

Sauce container - I bought a pack of small plastic sauce bottles from a Japanese grocery store. It’s like the plastic soy sauce bottle in tiny fish shape that you get at sushi roll shop. Similar tiny plastic bottles are sold at Daiso as well, if you are interested.

6. When I have two different foods that can easily integrate if placed next each other (e.g. one item is saucy), I often put one of them in a small foil cupcake liner (goma-ae in this case). Instead of a cupcake liner, you can also use a small sheet of aluminium foil to segregate two items.