Japanese Bento Cooking Class (6 recipes)

Japanese Bento Cooking Class (6 recipes)


Bento Cooking Class Orianasnotes


Hey !

I’ve been to a cooking class Saturday with my sister, a Japanese one !
It was a class to learn how to make a simple and easy bento ?
A bento is basically the Japanese version of a lunchbox, and is mostly composed of many bits of different things rather than one full dish. In this post I’m going to show you some pictures of the class, but I’ll also add the 6 recipes of everything we cooked !

Some ingredients or tools might be a bit difficult to find depending the place you live in, so i’ll add some links where you can find these things online.

The place where we went to was a Japanese Cultural Center, in the 10th district of Paris, calledEspace Japon




Inside, there was a room full of Japanese books and magazines, that we could go and read freely (Japanese fashion is quite nice by the way) :



And directly on the right of the main room, there was the cooking space where the class took place ! It was an open kitchen, really nice and well ventilated.




The teacher was so kind to print all the recipes for each one of us, and with such a cute little picture on it :




The first recipe we did, was marinated vegetables in a Dashi broth and soy.

Marinated veggies 

Ingredients :

  • lightly cooked veggies, we used brocoli and carrots (only 2 min in boiling water, to keep them crunchy)
  • Dashi stock, enough to cover the vegetables
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • a tablespoon of sugar (less or more according to taste)


The steps :

  • Prepare the broth and bring it to a boil. When it boils, stop the heat to let it cool. Then, let it rest all night in the fridge.
  • The next day, cook your veggies, and let them cool. When they’re not hot anymore, put them into the stock bowl and let it cool in the fridge for at least one hour.
  • Then take them out and drain them when you’re going to place them into your bento !




The next recipe she taught us to do, was lightly fried chicken.



Fried Chicken 

Ingredients :

  • Approximately 300g of Chicken thighs (or any part you prefer)
  • two tablespoons of soy sauce
  • A tablespoon of sake
  • two-three handfuls of flour
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Some grated ginger and garlic to taste

The steps :

  • Put your pieces of chicken into a bowl, and add the soy sauce, sake, salt and pepper, ginger and garlic. Let it rest overnight in the fridge with some clingfilm/plastic wrap on top of the bowl.
  • Take the bowl out, and add two or three handfuls of flour, add more or less if needed, it has to be enough to be on every piece of chicken. Mix the flour to distribute the flour, with your hands or cooking chopsticks.
  • Heat a pan with sunflower oil (enough to cover the pan), and fry the chicken.



Delicious ! ✨




Just above you can also see the Japanese omelette we made, and that’s the next recipe !


Japanese omelette

Ingredients :


The steps :

  • mix the eggs with the ingredients in a bowl
  • heat a pan with sunflower oil (not olive oil, since the flavour is too strong
  • Now comes the hard part : you need to put half of the egg mixture into the pan, to make a sort of crepe (or a big and flat pancake). After a few seconds, roll it to make an egg tube. push it to the side, and pour some more egg so it touches the first roll.
  • when the second egg layer started to cook after a few seconds, roll the first roll onto the second layer, so it rolls itself onto the first roll. It’s kind of complicated, but basically it’s a layered rolled omelette.


  • When the eggs are done, cut the roll in half, and shape it with a Bamboo Rolling Mat, the same that is used for sushi rolls
  • Last step consists just in cutting the two halves in slices, and serve.




Here you can see my sister, while she gives it a try (under the Japanese teacher’s expert supervision of course)




We’ve already got plenty of things to put in our bento, but we don’t have beef ! Next recipe are beef meatballs !


Japanese Meatballs 

Ingredients :

  • 400g of ground meat, half beef half veal (only beef can be a bit dry)
  • Onions to taste
  • a bit of milk
  • 100g of breadcrumbs
  • a bit of rasped potato (to make the texture extra soft)
  • Bull Dog Tonkatsu Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Salt and pepper

For this recipe, if you feel it’s too dry add more milk, and if it’s too soft add more breadcrumbs.

The steps :

  • Cook the onions with some oil in a pan until they are soft and brown.
  • mix the meat into a bowl with the onions, milk, breadcrumbs, potato, salt and pepper, and shape the meatballs.
  • place them into a hot pan with oil or butter.
  • When they are brown on both sides, take the heat down to low, and cover the pan up with something (like with another pan for example) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Last step : put a bit of Bull Dog and Ketchup sauce into the pan, and mix it up with the meatballs. Done !



One of the very easy recipes, are the octopus hot dogs. I love those because they are extreeemely simple to make, yet they look so cute !


Octopus hot dogs 

Ingredients :

  • Hot dogs
  • Cherry tomatoes (optional)

The steps : 

  • Take your hot dogs out of the pack, and cut each one in three pieces.
  • Cut some little legs with a knife, on one side of the hot dog
  • Cook them on a pan with some oil, until they get a bit grilled brown parts
  • Last optional step : take some cherry tomatoes and a toothpick, and sit your little octopus on it !



And finally, last but not least (I’m not sure if many people use this expression, but I like it for some reason), onigiri ! Onigiri is basically a rice ball shaped as a triangle, and mostly wrapped in nori seaweed (the same you use for sushi rolls). In Japan you can find so many kinds of different flavored onigiri, it’s the equivalent of a good old sandwich for them.



The ingredients :

The steps :

  • Cook the rice. If you don’t have any rice cooker, follow the instructions on the rice pack.
  • Shape your onigiri, trying to make a triangle. Put a bit of pressure on the rice so it doesn’t dismantle itself, and roll the onigiri to shape every corner with your top hand. Your hands should look like that :


  • wrap it up with some nori sheet, and fold the sides
  • Then you can sprinkle any seasoning you like on top of it. Be creative ! it’s plain rice, so any flavor will do, like sesame seeds, paprika, dried herbs, or any dry seasoning you might have in your county.



And that’s the end of all the recipes we made !

All there was left, was to take a bit of everything and arrange it in a cute way. The teacher gave us some compartmentalized bento boxes and cute little cupcake holders to separate the food :







I ate it back home and gave some of it to Victor so he can taste it too, it was really so flavorful and delicious !

I’m so happy I took this class, and I would like to thank a lot the teacher for teaching all of this to us (I already did of course, but I’m doing it again here !).
I’ll try to make it all again at home.

I hope you enjoyed this post !

What do you think about these recipes ? Do you know Japanese cuisine ?




  1. 07/05/2017 / 19:48

    so cool!!! i need to try this! nice post

    • Oriana
      07/05/2017 / 20:29

      Thank you Zoe ! ? Yes you definitely should try it out, it was so tasty ! ?

  2. 07/05/2017 / 19:54

    I do love Japanese food (as much as Japanese animation movies; like Miyazaki’s!! 🙂 Great post and really fine pics of the dishes; they made me feel hungry all of a sudden. Hahaha!!!

    • Oriana
      07/05/2017 / 20:32

      Thank you ! And so sorry about that haha ! ?? I love Japanese animation too like Miyazaki, but also Anime ! ?

      • 07/05/2017 / 21:13

        So I do 🙂 Were I not Catalan and half Romani (which is quite right to me), I would like to be Japanese. Honest ! Hugs and kisses ✨ ❤ !

        • Oriana
          08/05/2017 / 20:14

          It was also my dream when I was young, being at least half Japanese ! But Romani is cool too, if I remember well the language is quite similar to Spanish and French ?

          • 09/05/2017 / 00:11

            No :)) Not Romanian, but Romani (meaning Gipsy!!) Many people mistakes one thing for the other. Hahaha! My dad was a Rom, a Gipsy with his ancestry come to Catalunya from southern Ukraine. Also, Romani language comes directly from ancient Sanskrit and it’s very different from Romanian, French, Catalan or Spanish. It’s quite similar to modern Hindi or Bengali. :)) About Japan: it’s a culture I really admire, but I don’t know the language at all… I wish I knew !

          • Oriana
            10/05/2017 / 08:44

            Oooh I’m so sorry, I didn’t even know Gipsy had another designation ! It’s so interesting how language travels (literally !) through different countries, do you actually understand Hindi/Bengali people ? I studied Japanese during my teen years, the most difficult is the writing ! So many symbols to learn ?

          • 10/05/2017 / 17:09

            No problem 🙂 !! “Gipsy” has some implicit derogatory meaning, so we use to call ourselves by our original name as a folk: Roma (or Rroma), and Romani (or Rromani) people.
            I understand a little of spoken Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi and other languages from Northern India, because we share some basic lexic. But I’m not able to read the Devanagari and other scripts they use.
            I guessed you knew some Japanese reading your posts 🙂
            A warm hug !

          • Oriana
            13/05/2017 / 11:43

            Oh I see, I didn’t know at all sorry again ! It’s so cool to be able to understand another language with your own, even a little ?

          • 13/05/2017 / 17:28

            You don’t have to apologize for anything!! On the contrary 🙂 You’re kind and sensible and I wish you all the best. ❤ ? ? ✨

  3. 07/05/2017 / 20:08

    Omg it looks so good! I’d definitely like to try a bento??

    • Oriana
      08/05/2017 / 19:33

      Thank you Lee ! ? You should try it it’s delicious ? In some Capitals you can find some shops that sell bentos !

      • 09/05/2017 / 01:51

        I will search! Thank you again?

  4. 07/05/2017 / 20:49

    These recipes look very user friendly!! Thank you for sharing will esp be trying the vegetable one! If I can remember to prep the day before ? I always struggle with day before prep! What a lovely day out! xx

    • Oriana
      08/05/2017 / 19:58

      They totally are ! For the vegetable one, I think it’s fine if you don’t want to as long as you use more soy sauce and a stronger dashi stock ?

      • 08/05/2017 / 20:12

        Oh that’s good to know!! Will be giving this a go soon!! Thank you!! Xx

  5. 07/05/2017 / 20:54

    Mmmm now I’m hungry for Japanese food.

    • Oriana
      08/05/2017 / 19:59

      Haha, sorry about that ! ??

  6. 07/05/2017 / 21:33

    I wish they’d offer a class like that here! I hate cooking, but I LOVE Japanese food, so it would be worth it

    • Oriana
      08/05/2017 / 20:15

      Hahaha, it’s true that in the end the teacher lets you keep the food so totally worth ! ?

  7. 08/05/2017 / 01:00

    Yummm this all looks so delicious!! 😀 Reminds me of the lunch boxes my mom used to make for me as a kid. It would be so cool to go there if I ever went to Paris!!

    • Oriana
      08/05/2017 / 20:19

      It might have been so cool to eat this kind of lunch as a kid ? And yes you should totally go there, the ladies are really nice !

  8. josypheen
    08/05/2017 / 11:24

    That is such a good class. I love having all those things in a bento!! I really love the egg with dashi. Nom.

    The bento food that always confused me was a little tomato spaghetti, served cold in a teeny pot. It tasted good, but why would mums think of adding cold spaghetti to a rice bento!?

    • Oriana
      08/05/2017 / 20:25

      Yes the particular taste of Japanese omelette is so delicious ! About the pasta and rice, I think Colombian people can totally relate to that. I saw my cousin order some bolognese pasta, and the waiter served it with a bowl of rice. He added the rice to the pasta dish and ate it together ? In Colombia rice just goes with every meal !

      • josypheen
        08/05/2017 / 21:09

        Niiiice like a happy carby overload!! 😀

        • Oriana
          10/05/2017 / 08:35

          Exactly ! ?

  9. 10/05/2017 / 04:39

    Those octopus hot dogs are the absolute cutest things ever!!! Pinning this for later!

    • Oriana
      10/05/2017 / 08:58

      Right ? ? I always cut them that way now, it makes a regular boring dish so cute in an instant ! ?✨

  10. 10/05/2017 / 16:09

    A cooking class sounds so fun! I haven’t tried much Japanese food but this all sounds amazing! x

    • Oriana
      20/05/2017 / 10:30

      It was much fun indeed ! And delicious of course ?

  11. 12/05/2017 / 00:52

    How amazing! I don’t cook at all and really have no aptitude toward it but I love watching the process. 🙂
    The Octopus hot dogs are so darling! 😀
    I love Japanese cuisine – I visited Japan for 2 weeks last year and I was so overwhelmed by all the options. They’re not just about sushi, they eat such a wide variety of things I didn’t even know about like curry and omelette skillet things – and of course, bento boxes!
    Thanks for sharing your cooking class experience – I felt like I was there. 🙂

    • Oriana
      13/05/2017 / 11:39

      Yes absolutely ! They have a whole range of different foods, mostly we only get the generic stuff overseas ? But some restaurants in Paris do offer more options like curry and takoyaki. I’m really glad you enjoyed my post, have a nice day ! ??

  12. 12/05/2017 / 04:36

    Japanese bento are so cute! I see them in all Japanese dramas but I think it takes a lot of efforts to make them. 🙂

    • Oriana
      13/05/2017 / 11:34

      Yes honestly I couldn’t cook a bento on the morning, I’m always late anyways ! But the night before maybe ?

  13. 16/05/2017 / 17:40

    Thank you for including the recipes, I’m going to give them a try.

    • Oriana
      20/05/2017 / 01:44

      Of course, I want you all to be able to use those too ! Tell me how they turned out ?

  14. 21/05/2017 / 00:33

    These look delicious, I love this post! Definitely need to have a go at this 🙂 What’s next on the menu? Are you doing some more Japanese cooking or trying something different?

    • Oriana
      22/05/2017 / 10:15

      Thank you ! Yes I might do some more Japanese recipes later, since I love Japanese food very much ?

      • 22/05/2017 / 21:01

        Cool ☺ I’ll definitely be keeping a eye out for your blog then ?

  15. 20/08/2017 / 14:23

    Thank you so much for sharing this, as a soon-to-be student I’m looking for easy recipes ! As a japanese food lover I will definitely try these out ?

    • Oriana
      22/08/2017 / 01:06

      How awesome ! I totally understand the struggle of learning how to make your own food when you start to live on your own, I’m glad my post inspired you a bit ! ??

  16. 10/05/2018 / 14:19

    Everything looks so good. I didn’t realize that Bento Boxes were small bites. I’ve pinned this.

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