• Jari

Five Vegan Bento Ideas

One lesson you'll quickly learn as a vegan - You better come prepared! Especially for us outside of the big city, chances are you'll be at the mercy of a plain white onigiri from the konbini, or a dry baguette from a local bakery chain. Here are five Bento lunchbox ideas that got me through my day at the office!


1. Simple Does it !
Vegan Bento Ideas JARI EATS

What's better than to finally hear that 12 o'clock city bell (inaka people will know) and know there is a bowl of all your FAVORITE foods waiting for you. This super simple bento was my go-to during my first weeks in Japan.

  • Inari Sushi deep-fried tofu pockets

  • Daigaku Imo Candied Sweet Potato

  • Atsuage Thick Fried Tofu

  • Shiso Umeboshi Dried Japanese Plum Paste

  • White Rice

  • RANDOM LEAF OF GREEN BECAUSE #EatYourVeggies


2. Any day needs Avocado
Vegan Bento Ideas JARI EATS

Avocado's are usually crazy expensive in Japan. And we all know that once that Avocado is ripe, you better eat it! ALL! So if that means you'll have a crazy full bento that day. So be it.

  • Avocado

  • Atsuage Thick Fried Tofu

  • Edamame Furikake Rice Topping

  • Shiso Umeboshi Dried Japanese Plum Paste

  • Extra Sesame Seeds


3. Roasted Veggies
Vegan Bento Ideas JARI EATS

Whether as a left over or a deliberate choice for a more healthy, super filling lunch. Even better when your workplace allows you to actually heat up food. Boring? Maybe. But people often forget how simple vegan meals can be and that you don't need to think of complicated ingredients and fancy recipes in order to get a delicious meal with loads of *wait for it* PROTEIN!

  • Chickpeas

  • (Frozen) Carrots

  • (Frozen) Mixed Mushrooms

  • (Frozen) Aubergine / Eggplant

  • (Frozen) Broccoli

  • Shower in spices and garlic powder as per preference


4. Comfort Food Break
Vegan Bento Ideas JARI EATS

So just because you're on the clock, you're not able to get some comfort food? How about some Yaki-udon fried noodles? Work either cold or warmed up. Just make sure you get out of that comfort-zone when the hour's up!

  • Udon Noodles stir fried in vegetable oil and Soy Sauce

  • Garlic and Red Onion

  • Shiitake Mushrooms

  • Spinach and some Green Beans


5. Mommy Would be Proud
Vegan Bento Ideas JARI EATS

My Japanese host mother would have been proud. Veggies, umeboshi, balance and less furikake than I would have used during my high school days... It took me years before I learned to appreciate Japanese Sour Umeboshi Plums. They are super healthy - and they do spice up an otherwise plain lunch box!

  • Green Beans

  • Kobai (Red Shiso) Umeboshi Dried Plum

  • Edamame Furikake Rice Topping

  • White Rice


Products used

  1. Edamame Furikake: Most furikake is not vegan. This furikake does contain palm oil, but no other animal derived ingredients as far as the label indicates.

  2. Kobai Shiso Umeboshi: Contains nothing but plums, salt and Shiso (perilla) vinegar. Very high in nutrition, but also in salt content. Your local supermarket will have cheaper options, but the more expensive brands are bigger, juicier and often more delicious.

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