Japanese-style bento box

This Asian-inspired lunchbox with mackerel sushi, edamame beans and fresh fruit will keep you going all afternoon

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:25 mins
    plus cooling
  • Serves 1
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 619
  • fat 20g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 81g
  • sugars 11g
  • fibre 6g
  • protein 25g
  • salt 2.1g


  • 100g fresh edamame in the pods (or frozen soya beans)
  • handful of a favourite fruit, such as fresh pineapple, blueberries or strawberries
  • 100g sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 sheet nori
  • 1 smoked mackerel fillet, about 75g, flaked
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • pea-sized blob wasabi (optional)
  • ¼ red pepper, thinly sliced lengthways, about 6 slices


  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the edamame for 3-4 mins (or 1-2 mins if using frozen soya beans) until tender. Drain, sprinkle with salt and set aside.

  2. Rinse the rice well in cold water until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a heavy-based pan with a tight-fitting lid and cover with 200ml water. Bring just to the boil, then put on the lid, turn the heat to its lowest point and cook for 15-20 mins, until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave with the lid on for another 10 mins.

  3. Spoon the cooked rice into a wide bowl and leave to cool a little. Stir together the rice vinegar, sugar and a small pinch of salt, until the sugar and salt dissolve. Mix this into the cooled rice. Lay the nori sheet on a sushi rolling mat or sheet of cling film. With damp hands, spread the rice over two-thirds of the nori sheet.

  4. Mix the smoked mackerel, mayonnaise and spring onions, season well with black pepper. Spread a line of wasabi down the middle of the rice, if using, and layer on the red pepper pieces, then the fish mixture. Roll the sushi up, starting from the end covered with rice. Dampen the uncovered end to help it stick. Slice into about 6 x 3cm thick pieces.

  5. Pop the sushi rolls into a bento box or lunchbox, adding the edamame and fruit to the other compartments.

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