Sauteed Vegetables, Bento Style

Ideal for Box Lunches
Crispy After Many Hours

how to make crispy vegetables for bento lunch

Bento Style Crispy Vegtables

Here’s a recipe for juicy sauteed Vegetables, Bento Style, which incorporates the latest research from Japan on how to prepare dishes that hold up well under long storage between cooking time and eating time.

Sauteed vegetables are a common ingredient in Japanese box lunches or Bento.  But there are lots of complaints about soggy textures and lack of taste.

This recipe produces a vegetable that consumers rate high even after 9 or 10 hours after they were cooked. The procedure incorporates research by Prof. Noriko Ueda, Women’s Nutrition University, Saitama Prefecture, Japan.

Juicy Sauteed Vegetables, Bento Style



Cooking Asian dishes with cabbage


10 ounces Cabbage
1 medium Carrot, about 2 – 3 ounces
½ Green Pepper
½ strip Bacon
1 teaspoon Salad Oil
¼ teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoons Sake
1 teaspoon Vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large pinch dried Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi)
Pinch White Pepper


Using rice vinegar to cook Asian dishes

Rice Vinegar

Combine the Seasonings and set aside. Slice the vegetables in a very fine julienne, trying to make the slices of Carrot and Green Pepper similar in size and thickness to the fine Cabbage slices.

Slice the Bacon very finely and add to the Vegetables.  Add the basic Seasonings to the Vegetable-Bacon mixture and combine, mixing thoroughly.

Heat a frying pan and add the Oil and Salt, then put in the Vegetables and Bacon and stir to combine.

Cover the pan and cook over high heat 1½ minutes, then remove the cover and stir-fry the Vegetables for 20 seconds only.

Using Bacon in the Japanese kitchen


Then cover the pan again and continue to heat over high flame for another 10 seconds.  Turn off the heat and let sand covered for 1 minute, after which it will be done.

Total cooking time for the Vegetables is 3 minutes.  Under no circumstances open the skillet cover when the cooking is taking place.  Instead you can shake the frying pan vigorously every 15 seconds to ensure that the application of heat is uniform.

A good utensil for this kind of cooking is a frying pan with a tight-fitting glass cover.  Martha Stewart has a line of frying pans that are ideal for this. The same kind of pan can be used for other modern Japanese cooking using flash-cooking techniques.

Creating delicious Japanese dishes with Wocestershire sauce

Worcestershire Sauce

After this short cooking, the Vegetables will be thoroughly cooked, but will retain their crunchy texture for up to 10 hours.

black-and-white photography of outdoor vegetable market, Naha. Okinawa Pref., 1960s

Outdoor Produce Market, Naha


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