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Posted on Nov 24, 2007 in Bento, Equipment, Fish or Seafood, For Kids, Lactose Free, Onigiri or Sushi, Rice, Sandwich or Wrap, Tofu | 20 comments

Triangular onigiri bento box lunch

Triangular onigiri bento box lunch

Bento boxes come in all shapes and styles, from small and cute to big and mannish. I’ve been curious about the triangular boxes that are designed to hold triangular onigiri rice balls. I picked up a couple from local Japanese dollar stores, but so far I’ve only seen cheaper onigiri boxes without proper seals (fine if your lunch is not too moist). I’d welcome feedback from people with other versions, though; have you found one with a really secure seal? (Feel free to provide links to your photos or blog entries.)

Oinari lunch for preschooler

Contents of preschooler lunch: Oinarizushi (sushi rice in seasoned abura-age tofu wrappers), fried fish fillets with built-in tartar sauce (Akebono Nichiro brand, reviewed here), edamame skewers, cherry tomatoes, kiwifruit, and pomegranate arils.

Morning prep time: 8 minutes, using homemade frozen inarizushi (freezing instructions here), frozen fish fillets, frozen edamame and leftover pomegranate arils. In the morning I microwaved the frozen items and assembled the fruits/veggies.

Packing: I threaded the edamame onto thin Anpanman food picks; if you try to do this with thick or wide skewers the edamame will split apart and won’t stay on. The fruit went into a medium-sized reusable silicone baking cup that I picked up at Daiso (Japanese dollar store with branches internationally, 3 cups for US$1.50), and the kiwi got a little dog-shaped pick with four prongs as legs (from Daiso).

Onigiri bento box, closedContainer: The lunch was packed in a two-tier Clickety Click onigiri bento box with the Mink Monkey character; the bottom tier is 230ml with a lid, and the 550ml top tier is large enough to hold two convenience-store-sized onigiri (rice balls). 780ml is way too big for a 3-year-old’s lunch, though, so I packed the upper tier lightly with three oinarizushi rice balls for an estimated total volume of 400ml or so (still slightly too large). I picked this box up for US$1.50 at Ichiban Kan in San Francisco, along with a matching dessert box and mayonnaise cups (shown below). Quality’s a little flimsy and the seal is not secure, but at that price who cares? (Just be sure to pack non-liquidy foods inside.) Store details at the SF Bay Area shopping guide for bento gear. There’s no real fastener on this box, so I used a mushroom-themed elastic bento band from Daiso (US$1.50) to keep it all closed in transit. (Click on any photo for a larger view.)

Clickety Click dessert box and mayo cupsVerdict: Pretty good, but there was too much food. Bug ate all of the sushi, edamame and kiwi, and half of the fish and pomegranate. Tomatoes were a no-go, though. Sometimes he gobbles them up, other times not — I’m finding he has irritatingly good taste and will inhale ripe heirloom tomatoes in season, but reject tougher, less tasty tomatoes. Reminds me of the line on the cartoon King of the Hill, just before Hank Hill tastes organic tomatoes for the first time, “You two are just talking nonsense. Tomatoes don’t have any taste!”

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  1. Between the Anpanman picks, and the Clickety Click onigiri box, I can’t help but want to shout, “AWWWW!!!! HOW CUTE!!!!!” :0D

  2. Soooo cute! And it looks delicious too. :D

    I’ve been wanting to get one of those Clickety Click onigiri boxes but haven’t been able to find them on their own.

  3. @1 from Jessica: You know, I’ve seen those little Totoro boxes locally in San Francisco before too, but they’re CRAZY expensive (at Moritaya in Japantown). If you’re lagging toward insanity, I guess I’ll see you when you get here! ;-)

  4. @2 from VeggieGirl: When I first started packing bento lunches, I swore I wouldn’t get into cutesy picks and boxes. Things change, huh? Kawaii!

  5. @3 from Kaits: Hmm, are they usually sold in a set? With what else?

  6. They sell Totoro bentos at http://www.dreamkitty.com. I bought one here once, I remember it being cheaper than Moritaya. I just checked the website and they don’t have any right now, but the inventory changes.

  7. Ahhhh I have one of those, I don’t remember if I bought the monkey or the bear (I was debating, because I’m born the year of the monkey, and my nick has bunny in it, but then the bear was the most normally colored one and honestly, though I adore the cuteness, I genuinely don’t know how I’d handle the questions at work…). I still haven’t used it but I do want to!! Kept thinking what I could cram in the bottom… 780 is too much even for me (an adult woman on the tall side) so I can’t really figure out what to put in there if I did buy an onigiri and cram it in there… sigh. So did you find it to be secure otherwise? The strap didn’t decide it wanted off and slide off? Did you wrap it in a kinchaku? Thanks!!! Love all your ideas…. sigh.
    (I think I bought the bear since it was a dark color)

  8. @6 from biggie:
    I haven’t been able to find them at local stores and every time I find them on ebay they come with a bunch of other stuff.

  9. i discovered your blog and have been quietly reading for several weeks…this weekend i visited our Japanese market and got a few bento boxes. i made my first one today and i LOVED it! it made lunch so much fun and so healthy :)

    here’s a photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/goodnightdean/2064306871/in/photostream/

    i plan on posting about it on my blog tomorrow. thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Forget my comment. I just now found all three styles on Ebay for $10 each.

  11. @7 from Emily: Thanks for the tip on Dream Kitty, Emily! They do have some unusual boxes from time to time.

  12. @8 from Yvo: I’m thinking I could put a triangle-cut sandwich in the top (it’s bulky, and there’s lots of space in there). Haven’t tried it out yet, though. The bento band was tight but held fine — I popped the whole thing into a vinyl Cars lunchbox that stands vertical, along with Bug’s oshibori and case. So there wasn’t a lot of friction against the band like there might be with a kinchaku.

  13. @10 from dean: Nice first bento, dean, and welcome to the bento fold! (mwah ha hah) I’ll be sure to check out your blog tomorrow to read all about it.

  14. @11 from Kaits: $10 each? That’s a healthy markup for a $1.50 box.

  15. i would like to buy this box on line but i don’t know how can i do.i explain me my english is very limited and it’s very difficult for me to understand all. someone can explain me in french by e mail how can i buy this box? thank you

  16. @16 from kumiko-san: J’ai trouvé quelques sites pour l’acheter:

    Bonne chance, kumiko-san!

  17. What I don’t understand is how you fill the top tier with triangle rice balls. I thought triangle rice balls were tiny so what’s the point in having a big triangle? or are you meant to make a big triangle of rice? but how would you eat it as wouldn’t you have to turn it upside down to eat it?

    I’ve probably got the whole concept of how you use these wrong so could you please explain? thanks

  18. I see you spell the rice balls two ways Oinarizushi/Oinarizushi what is the difference between the two? Thanks!

  19. Sorry, I meant this:
    Oinarizushi/inarizushi

  20. I’m thinking about buying this bento in the bunny rabbit version. <3

    It doesn’t have anything written on it besides “Clickety Click,” does it? I try really hard not to get bentos with words on them, usually…