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Appetizers, Mains

Chicken Teriyaki Bento

Chicken Teriyaki Bento
LUIS SINCO / Los Angeles Times

Bento means lunch or lunch box. But for most Japanese home cooks, the act of preparing a bento box can mean much more than that. A bento box represents a mother's love for her family. For centuries, bento boxes have ... Read more

Total Time: 25 minutes | Serves 2 to 3


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (regular or low-sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sake

Step 1Heat the broiler or grill to medium-high heat.

Step 2Cut each chicken thigh into 8 bite-size pieces. Combine the soy sauce, mirin, ginger, sugar and sake. Add the chicken and marinate 10 minutes.

Step 3Thread the chicken on skewers, then broil or grill, basting with the marinade and turning the skewers every minute so the chicken doesn't burn, until lightly browned. The chicken will take about 6 to 8 minutes to grill or about 5 minutes to broil.

Basic rice

  • 1 cup short-grain rice
  • 1 cup plus 2 to 3 tablespoons water

Step 1Gently rinse the rice under cold running water 2 or 3 times. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, 20 minutes.


  • Basic rice
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Chicken
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • 1 green onion, chopped, for garnish

Step 1To arrange a bento box, place 1 1/2 cups of rice in each box. You may use sushi molds and mold the rice into finger foods. Sprinkle the rice with the sesame seeds.

Step 2Add the chicken to the bento box with the lime wedges and the green onion.

Note: You can substitute 6 to 8 ounces of tuna, salmon or yellowtail filets for the chicken. Slice the fish into 1/4-inch-thick bite-size pieces and marinate in teriyaki sauce for a couple of minutes. Pan-fry the fish in a nonstick frying pan with a little oil until brown on both sides. For side dishes in the bento box, arrange an orange wedge, a steamed broccoli floret and some plum tomatoes. Mirin and sake can be found at Asian markets. Also look for mirin in the Asian aisle of well-stocked supermarkets, and sake at well-stocked liquor stores.


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