Teriyaki chicken bento

A perfectly balanced meal.

  • 25 mins cooking
  • 30 mins marinating
  • Serves 6
  • Print
Sweet, savoury, and sticky teriyaki sauce is a staple of Japanese cuisine. Prepare healthy lunches for school or work with this simple Japanese classic.


Teriyaki chicken bento
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • toasted sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)
  • 1 cup medium-grain rice (japanese rice or arborio)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • cherry tomatoes, snow peas, carrots, sliced capsicum or other fresh vegetables of choice


Teriyaki chicken bento
  • 1
    Combine soy sauce, mirin, ginger and sugar in a bowl. Add chicken and marinate for 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge.
  • 2
    Heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a frying pan or wok and add quarter of the marinated chicken. Cook on a high heat, stirring often, until the chicken is dark, caramel-coloured and glossy.
  • 3
    Remove from pan and batch-cook the remainder of the chicken, adding more sesame oil if needed. Sprinkle cooked chicken with toasted sesame seeds, if using, and leave on bench to cool.
  • 4
    When cooled, divide chicken into serving-sized portions and refrigerate or freeze until required.
  • 5
    Place the rice in a sieve and rinse three times, rubbing it gently and rinsing well until the water runs clear. Place the rinsed rice in a bowl of cold water to soak for 15 minutes.
  • 6
    When the rice has soaked, drain and place in a heavy-based saucepan, add 1½ cups water and bring to the boil. As soon as the water is boiling, cover with a lid and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cook without stirring for 14 minutes. By then all the water should be absorbed, leaving grains that stick to each other but are not mushy.
  • 7
    When the rice is cool enough to handle, use wet hands to mould it into serving-sized portions and refrigerate or freeze until required.
  • 8
    To prepare your lunch, assemble the chicken and rice portions in a lunch box or bento box. Add fresh vegetables of your choosing.


Check labels of soy sauce and mirin if eating gluten-free.

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