Sake Nori Bento is one of the traditional bentos in Japan. You would see it at convenience stores, Bento shops, grocery stores, department stores and so on.

Bento is a meal which we can take-out and carry. Japanese people bring Bento as a lunch to schools, workplaces and so on.

A lot of Japanese people make Sake Nori Bento at home. Each ingredient would be different. Depending on the people and the family.

You can use a fresh salmon and grill or bake it, however I used a frozen hot smoked salmon to make the bento easily and save time for the busy morning.

Apparently, bento first appeared back in the Heian period in Japan.
People in the Heian period used “Onigiri (Rice ball in English)” which was called “Tonjiki” in Japanese. Apparently, Japanese word “弁当(Bento in English)” originally came from the word “便當(Bento)” in Chinese and Song dynasty in China.

Bento culture was established among Japanese people rapidly due to the fact that Japonica rice could keep the taste even though it cooled down.

Ingredients (2 bento boxes):

  • 1 Frozen smoked salmon (4oz, 113.4g, I used a frozen hot smoked salmon)
  • 1/2 big Nori sheet (seaweed)
  • 4 small bacon asparagus rolls (Please see how to make Bacon asparagus rolls HERE)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoons *Hondashi
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 8 very small parts of broccoli
  • 8 small cherry tomatoes
  • rice for 2 people
  • 2 US cups (473ml) water

-> See pictures A & B.

Picture A: Frozen Hot Smoked Salmon
Picture B: Hondashi (Bonito Soup Stock)

Here is how to make it at home. Cooking time is about 25 - 35 minutes.

  1. Cook rice. Thaw the frozen smoked salmon using cold tap water and put it in a refrigerator for about 30 minutes as shown in a picture. -> See picture C.
Picture C

2. Meanwhile, put 2 US cups (473ml) of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil. -> See picture D.

Picture D

3. Add the broccoli into the small pot from step 2. and boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. -> See picture E.

Picture E

4. Put the broccoli into a small strainer basket and remove hot water. Set them aside. -> See pictures F & G.

Picture F
Picture G

5. Put eggs into a bowl. Add *Hondashi into the bowl. Mix thoroughly. -> See pictures H & I.

Picture H
Picture I

6. Preheat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small square frying pan with low heat. -> See picture J.

Picture J

7. Pour ½ of the mixture from step 5. into the frying pan and heat for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture becomes half hard as shown in the pictures. (Cooking tip: Please do not overheat. Otherwise, you would not be able to roll the mixture.) -> See pictures K & L.

Picture K
Picture L

8. Roll the mixture using a turner from the back side to the front as shown in the pictures. -> See pictures M, N & O.

Picture M
Picture N
Picture O

9. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and pour the rest of the mixture into the frying pan and heat for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture becomes half hard as shown in the pictures. -> See pictures P & Q.

Picture P
Picture Q

10. Roll the mixture from the front to the back and move to the front as shown in the pictures. -> See pictures R & S.

Picture R
Picture S

11. Set the Japanese omelette aside and cool it down. -> See picture T.

Picture T

12. After the frozen smoked salmon was thawed, microwave the salmon for 3 minutes with 1100W and cut it in half as shown in the picture. -> See picture U.

Picture U

13. Put cooked rice into a bento box, cut Nori into the cooked rice shape and add it on top of the cooked rice as shown in the pictures. -> See pictures V & W.

Picture V
Picture W

14. Add the smoked salmon on top of the Nori, put broccoli and cherry tomatoes into the bento box. Cut Japanese omelette into 4 pieces and cut off the edges. -> See pictures X, Y & Z.

Picture X
Picture Y
Picture Z

15. Put Japanese omelette and Bacon asparagus rolls into the bento box.