Salmon and Ikura Bento boxes are a beautiful Tokyo style lunch that you can enjoy at home or on the go. The beautiful hand made lunches are served in a bento box and can be bought in convenience stores or made at home. In fact, the term bento is derived from the Chinese term biandang (便當, pinyin: biàndāng), which means “convenient” or “convenience”. So a “Bento” or a “Bento box” is a Japanese lunch box.
Bento boxes are often beautiful and prepared with a variety of delicious and seasonal ingredients. For example, bento boxes from Tochigi are often loaded with crab, bento boxes from Hiroshima often feature Oysters, and bentos from Kagoshima are often loaded with black pork. Bentos are usually sold at train stations and convenience stores, especially around train stations. If you ride the bullet trains, people will often board with a bento that features hometown or seasonal ingredients.
Tokyo is home to the famous Tokyo fish market where salmon and salmon roe (Ikura) can be found in abundance. So what better says Tokyo than salmon and ikura?
Salmon and Ikura bentos start with a bed of sushi rice which is topped with salmon flakes and a pice of tender poached salmon and then topped with fresh ikura. Japanese pickles (tsukemono) are used to garnis the meal and are usually colorful and reflect the season. Other accoutrements can be added to the bento such as chrysanthemum flowers, plastic sawgrass, or mitsuba (Japanese Parsley) leaves to decorate the bento and create a convenient personalized feast that can be carried with you and eaten later.
When carrying a bento it’s often packed in a cold storage bag with some lice packs to keep it cool, although the sushi rice is loaded with vinegar keeping the bento fresh at room temperature for a few hours.
Try this bento box for yourself, or pack your children a 5 star lunch if you prefer.
Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments section, below.