Tamagoyaki Bento Box

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Traditional Japanese bento for a delicious lunch far from sandwiches and chips. The onigiri can be formed into cute shapes or animal figures to surprise your kids with a fun lunch.


  • ½ cup uncooked short-grain white rice
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 sheet nori (dry seaweed), or as needed
  • 2 teaspoons bonito flakes, divided
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
  • ⅛ teaspoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon wasabi paste
  • ¼ cup steamed broccoli florets
  • ½ cup cooked shelled edamame


Rinse rice with cool water until the water runs clear; drain. Bring rice and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a pot. Reduce heat and let simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, 10 to 20 minutes.

Cut the sheet of nori into two 1-inch strips; reserve the remainder of the sheet for making tamagoyaki.

Wet your hands and form the cooled rice into 4 equal portions. Keep your hands wet to keep rice from sticking. Create an indention in one of the rice portions using your thumb. Fill the indention with 1 teaspoon bonito flakes. Top with another rice portion to close the onigiri. Form into an oval shape and wrap the middle with a strip of nori. Make another onigiri with the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle white and black sesame seeds on top. Place in a bento box.

Whisk together the eggs, mirin, and 1/8 teaspoon tamari together in a bowl; divide into 3 portions. Cut remaining portion of nori sheet into four 1/2-inch strips.

Heat oil in a small saucepan or square tamagoyaki pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of the egg mixture and cook until almost firm, 2 to 3 minutes; if omelette is too firm, it won’t stick together very well. Slide onto a plate. Add the 4 strips of nori to the pan with some space between each.

Cook another 1/3 of the omelette the same way, but roll it up carefully in the saucepan with the nori. Slide the rolled-up omelette onto the edge of the first omelette. Cook the third omelette and roll it up, sliding it on top of the second omelette. Let cool enough to touch, about 5 minutes.

Roll the entire layered omelette together with nori inside. Cut into 4 pieces. Place into the bento box alongside the onigiri.

Mix 2 tablespoons tamari, ginger, and wasabi paste together in a bowl. Put the mixture into a portable container then put inside the bento box. Add the steamed broccoli and edamame.

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 1 – Yield: 1 bento box



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