Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box

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This Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box showcases pan-seared teriyaki-glazed chicken, spicy edamame, rice, and a simple soy/sesame-dressed salad. Prepare this healthy spread of Japanese-inspired dishes the night before for lunch the next day.

If lunchtime isn’t your favorite meal of the deal, this chicken teriyaki bento box is here to change that. Enjoy a mouthwatering combination of room-temperature dishes loaded with sweet and tangy umami flavor.

Each component can be prepared the night before, packed up, and enjoyed for lunch the next day. And if you’re looking for a way to meal prep or repurpose leftover teriyaki chicken, packing it into a bento-style lunch is a great option.

What is a Bento Box?

In short, a bento box is an upgraded lunch box and a Japanese kitchen staple. These lunch boxes are designed with compartments for each piece of your meal. The portions are meant for one serving (typically lunch) and consist of all the major food groups.

You can try a vegan bento box for a 100% plant-based meal or change up the flavor and ingredients with a curry bento box, vegetarian bento box, Mexican bento box, and a Japanese-inspired bento box.

No bento box? No worries. You can pack up each piece of the meal in separate reusable containers (the old school way) or use crisp lettuce leaves to keep each dish separate.

Let’s make the best chicken bento box, shall we?

Ingredients You’ll Need

Some notes about the ingredients:

  • Sesame oil: You’ll need sesame oil to brown the chicken. I recommend using light sesame oil here as it cooks similarly to canola or vegetable oil. Dark sesame oil has a very low smoking point and isn’t recommended for high heat cooking.
  • Chicken: You can use a boneless chicken breast or a boneless chicken thigh. If the piece of chicken is on the larger side, thin it out to an even 1/2″ to 1″ thickness.
  • Teriyaki sauce: A simple mixture of soy sauce, raw brown sugar, rice vinegar, and fresh ginger captures the flavor of authentic teriyaki sauce.
  • Sesame seeds: To sprinkle over the top.
  • Spicy edamame: For the full recipe, head to my easy edamame guide.
  • Rice: I like using brown rice for the added fiber and nutrients, but feel free to use steamed white rice instead (1/4 cup of uncooked rice per bento box).
  • Salad: The salad is a simple mixture of salad greens, radish, and sesame seeds tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing.
  • Dressing: The dressing is a sweet, salty, and tangy vinaigrette made from sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and raw brown sugar.
Chicken teriyaki bento box on the table with ingredients to make it around it on the table.

How To Make

Prepare this chicken teriyaki bento box in just a few easy steps.

How to Prepare Chicken Teriyaki

  1. Heat the oil: Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking.
  2. Cook the chicken: Add the chicken and brown for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Make the teriyaki sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and grated ginger together.
  4. Thicken the teriyaki sauce: Add the sauce to the same skillet and bring to a boil. Let it boil until it thickens (1 to 2 minutes).
  5. Finish the chicken: Then, add the chicken and its juices back to the skillet and cook until the chicken is done and the sauce is nice and sticky (about 2 to 4 minutes).
  6. Let the chicken rest and slice: Transfer the chicken breast to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

How to Prepare the Edamame and the Salad

  1. Prepare the spicy chili edamame: After rinsing the frozen edamame beans, add them to a saucepan of boiling water and boil for a few minutes. When finished, drain the edamame well, and let them cool. Then, sprinkle with sea salt and chili flakes.
  2. Make the salad dressing: Whisk the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and water together in a small bowl. Set the bowl aside.
  3. Toss the salad: In another bowl, add the mixed greens, radish, and sesame seeds. If you aren’t eating this right away, store the salad and dressing separately. When it’s time to eat, pour the dressing over the top of the greens and toss to coat every bite in dressing.

How to Assemble This Bento Box

  • Pack the bento box: Fill the compartments with sliced teriyaki chicken breast, brown rice, spicy edamame, and salad.
  • Let it cool before sealing: Be sure to let everything cool to room temperature before closing the box. Enjoy your teriyaki chicken bento box at room temperature.
Close up of chicken teriyaki bento box on the table.

How to Store

Fridge: Keep your bento box refrigerated and grab it as you head out the next day. If it will be at room temperature for more than a few hours, tuck an icepack in the box.

Tips and Substitutions

  • If you want to swap in different sides, go for it! Fresh cucumbers, crunchy sugar snap peas, coleslaw, and pickled veggies are great options.
  • Sprinkle with furikake seasoning! If anything’s lacking in flavor, furikake rice seasoning will take care of it.
  • Enclosing hot food risks bacterial growth, so it’s super important that you let everything cool to room temperature before closing the lid.
  • For an alternative salad, check out the Asian salad in this Japanese bento box.

My Favorite Bento Box Containers

  • Stainless Steel Bento Box: These are large enough to hold a good size meal. They are sturdy, yet lightweight. I also love the removable divider for separating different-sized items on different days.
  • Leak-proof Bento Box: If you prefer something lighter and non-toxic, check out these food-grade lunch boxes or a BPA-free plastic option with a cute bamboo lid. These are a great investment!
  • Classic Glass Containers: These glass containers are super solid! I dropped one the day they arrived, and it’s still in one piece, lol. I totally recommend them if you are looking for top-quality lunch box containers!
Corner of chicken teriyaki bento box on the table with ingredients to make it.

Why I Love This Recipe

  • Quick and easy: everything can be prepped the night before.
  • Delicious warm, and at room temperature.
  • Easy to customize!
  • Great way to switch up the lunch routine.

Other Recipes You’ll Love

If you try this chicken teriyaki bento box recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!

Chicken teriyaki bento box with easy to carry fork next to it and ingredients surrounding it.
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Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box

This Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box showcases pan-seared teriyaki-glazed chicken, spicy edamame, rice, and a simple soy/sesame-dressed salad. Prepare this healthy spread of Japanese-inspired dishes the night before for lunch the next day.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Assembly5 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 1 bento box
Calories: 586kcal
Author: Sara Trezzi

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken thigh - or chicken breast – boneless
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

Teriyaki sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce - or 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon raw brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Toppings:

Salad

Instructions

Chicken Teriyaki

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat.
  • Add the chicken and let it brown for 3 minutes on each side, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Combine the sauce ingredients and pour into the pan.
  • Let the sauce come to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes until it starts to thicken. Then add the chicken and its resting juices back into the pan.
  • Cook for 2-4 minutes, turning it quite often until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is nice and sticky.
  • Remove from the heat, let it rest for a few minutes, and cut into slices.

Salad

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and water and set it aside.
  • In another bowl, toss the mixed salad leaves, radish, and sesame seeds together with the dressing (see note 1).

Bento Box Assembly

  • Assemble all ingredients into your bento box.
  • Let everything cool down at room temperature before sealing.
  • Enjoy your bento box at room temperature.

Notes

Note 1: It’s best to add the dressing only before consuming this salad.
How to Store: Keep your bento box refrigerated and grab it as you head out the next day. If it will be at room temperature for more than a few hours, tuck an icepack in the box.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate per serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 22g | Sugar: 11g

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