Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/23): Akita Cedar Wood Bento Box

The Missus at long last received the two cedar wood bento boxes she had ordered from Akita Prefecture in the far north of Japan!
The one she used today cost a whopping 90 US$ although she managed to buy it through the Internet for a little less than 60 US $.

The reason for such a cost is that all boxes are manually fabricated with the best cedar wood cut into very thin sheets to be later shaped with molds and then affixed to each other in painstaking process. Such boxes are washable, although they need some care then. The fact is that the cedar wood will add extra flavour to the food!

The box comes into two tiers with a lid, a small inner mobile partition and its own lacquered cedar wood chopsticks. A “belt” is also provided to secure the box before the Missus wraps it in napkin.
Traditional multi-tiered bento boxes used to be secured with bamboo twine or tightly wrapped into a large piece of cloth.

The boxes seem to be of small small size at first look but they contain more than one might think thanks to their depth.

Not only the box, but the meal too as very traditionla today!
The rice was plain rice steamed with konbu/seaweed and later mixed with home-sweet vinegar pickled myoga ginger and sprinkled with roasted yellow and black sesame seeds.

The Missus fried the salted salmon she bought at the local supermarket in a teriyaki sauce of her own. Shee added some home-pickled wasabi stems for extra punch.

The garnish box was filled to the brim!

The vegetables are separated with a small cedar wood partition:
on the right is mixture of yama imo/yam, red and green pimentoes and carrot strips fried together in spicy sauce with hijiki/sweet seaweed;
on the left salad of rapeseed flowers with their stwms and leaves seasoned with gomadare/sesame dressing and sprinkled with ground roasted sesame seeds.
Note that the salads are placed inside paper cups to avoid too much direct contact with the wood.

As for dessert, The Missus included freshly fried plain tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette.
Tamgoyaki is readily available in supermarkets amd are tasty enough, but contains large amounts of sugar and preservatives. The Missus never touches them.
On the other hand the sweet beans were bought at the supermarket, although the Missus from time to time uses beans cooked by her mother.

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16 thoughts on “Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/23): Akita Cedar Wood Bento Box”

    1. Dear Sara!
      The Cedar wood will be cut into very thin strips and let to dry completely.
      It will then shaped with water and heat and after havin joined the strips with cherry tree bark, the bento box will be dried and stored in a dry and clean place for some time. It will fully germ free by then.
      Now cleaning a cedar wood bento box can be done easily by gently washing it firs and then if you absolutely want to desinfect it steam it. But bear in mind you will have to dry it again!
      In Japan the govenment (very strict on hygiene!) has accepted it so it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s certainly cleaner than a palstic box!
      I will soon write an article on its manufacture!
      Best regards,


  1. Wonderful! New magewappa bento boxes. I covet them as they are my favorite kind of boxes. They are beautiful but I must stress that you Missus’s bento look good no matter the box! 🙂


    1. Thank you so much, my friend!
      A different box for today!
      And don’t worry too much about those egg-plants. In any case they are considered “masculine” in Japan!LOL


    1. Dear Friend!
      Yes, these boxes are expensive and you may buy them only if you are sure and interested to use them!
      They do make for great presentation, though!
      I will feature the other box on Tuesday!
      Best regards,


  2. First off the meal looks so delicious. There is such a variety there to satify any palate. The bento itself is beautiful and I can see why your wife ordered it.


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