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Picnic with Bento

Hello everyone. It feels like spring in the blink of an eye, and there have been a few days that were so warm that you did not need a jacket. One activity you can do in the spring when it is no longer cold is having a picnic.

The best part of a picnic, after all, is enjoying homemade lunch in the warm sunshine, isn't it? As you probably know, Japanese lunch boxes are called bento. There are various standard bento items such as rice, rice balls, sausages, karaage fried chicken, egg omelette, etc. You would like to try it, but do you think it is difficult to make a bento by yourself because it is hard to make many different dishes at once? In fact, many of these bento dishes can be easily made with products available at Maido.

This week, we will introduce you to the perfect bento items Maido offers, including bento box containers, and talk about picnic at home. Let's get started.


Bento Items Maido Offers

Sausage is such a popular and representative item in Japanese bento boxes. The sausages we offer are arabiki, which means coarse in English. By Japanese standards, coarse sausages are those manufactured by adding meat ground once for 5 mm or more or something similar to this to the raw material. The coarser the grind, the more the flavor of the meat remains.

The top left one has the biggest size, the top right one is natural casing berkshire pork, the bottom right is spicy smoked Berkshire pork, and the bottom left one is smoked flavor added Berkshire pork. They are all offered frozen, so you can keep them in the freezer and use them whenever you want. They can be fried or boiled.

Along with sausage, two of the most popular bento items are meatballs and Karaage fried chicken, which Maido also sell frozen. Both are bite-sized, easy to eat, well-seasoned, and delicious even when cold. Karaage is a boneless type of fried chicken, so there is no need to remove the bones. They are microwavable, but if you want to make karaage crispy, you can cook it in the toaster oven or oven.

These two are ready to deep-fry frozen breaded aji bigeye scad fish and shrimp. Both are popular dishes for bento, and we have similar dishes in our own bento boxes that we sell at our restaurants. (We have daily specials everyday, so you may not see them when you come in though.) Many of you must feel like it is too much to deep-fry as it takes time to prepare then clean up, or you care about the calories of deep-fried dishes. In those cases, you can cook them in the air-fryer to make them healthier, yet leave the crispness of the dishes.

If you find frying or air-frying too tedious, these items are perfect for you. The squid tempura on top is seasoned with tempura sauce with black mirin. It can be defrosted naturally and tastes great. The sweet and spicy fried scallop in the middle is battered with nori seaweed and has a variety of flavors. The bottom one is deep-fried aji mackerel covered with sauce. It contains DHA.

Shumai dumpling is a dim sum, originally from China. Usually, either ground pork or shrimp paste, or sometimes both, are wrapped in a flour skin and steamed. We offer shrimp shumai and pork shumai with shrimp added in our freezer. If you have a steamer, it can be cooked in a microwave or over the stove top very easily. Each piece is pretty small, so it is perfect to fill the small gap in your bento box.

Gyoza dumplings are very popular at our store and restaurant, so you must have tried them already. We currently offer three different brands' frozen gyoza at our store. Ajinomoto's gyoza is probably the most-known Japanese frozen gyoza. (They also make the shumai introduced above.) Not only they have the very authentic flavor, but also they are super easy to cook, as you do not have to put any oil when cooking them. They still come out crispy! Pork & chicken flavor and seafood (shrimp) flavor are available.

Umami gyoza has no MSG added, yet you can taste the umami flavor all over your mouth when you bite into it. Pork & leek flavor is the most authentic flavor, but those who do not eat pork or chicken lovers can enjoy chicken & shiitake mushroom or/and chicken & leek flavor(s).

These ones are made by the same company as the umami gyoza. The pork and chicken flavors here are also no MSG added ones. If you are vegetarian, the vegetable flavor is available. If you are a seafood lover, you can choose the shrimp flavor.

Yumepirika is Hokkaido's highest quality brand's rice. It is the culmination of Hokkaido's rice technology, which has been used to improve the variety over the years. It is a variety with a pronounced sweetness and a deep flavor, and can be enjoyed simply with rice alone. It is also soft and particularly sticky among Hokkaido rice varieties. It has been awarded the highest ranking for the eating quality of rice for 13 consecutive years, and its taste is on par with Niigata Prefecture's Koshihikari rice. You can make a high quality homemade bento using this rice!

Jidori eggs are so tasty, that once you try them, no other eggs will compare. They have firm, nearly spherical, dark yellow yolks, and smooth, viscous whites that hold a rounded shape even when cracked. When it comes to taste, they are superior, containing more eggy flavor than you would think possible. The whites are firm and slightly springy, and the yolks are high, dense and perfectly textured. One bite will leave you wondering how such wonderful eggs even come to exist in the first place. These special eggs come from an equally special Japanese breed of chicken, called Hinai-Jidori, which are known for producing eggs with rich, dark yolks. The chickens’ heritage combined with a vegetarian diet, careful husbandry and free-range lifestyle, make for some of the highest-quality eggs that you can buy from an urban grocery store.

deLijoy, Yudetamagokko Boiled Egg Molds

Rabbit and Bear (left), Fish and Car (right)

These molds are amazing! Just by placing boiled eggs in them, they are transformed into cute animal and vehicle shapes! They are very easy to use, and are helpful when you make your salads and bento boxes. They are for birthday parties, Christmas parties, New Year's Eve parties, etc.

  1. Peel a freshly boiled egg (extra large size) while it's still hot, place it in the mold and slowly close the lid.

  1. Prepare cold water in a bowl. Put the mold in it and wait for about 10 minutes.

  2. Open the lid and remove the boiled egg. The finished product may vary depending on the size of the egg.


  • Use extra large size eggs (American large size eggs are as big as Japanese large size eggs) for beautiful shapes.

  • Peel the shells of boiled eggs while they are as hot as possible and place them in a container.

  • Cool the eggs in cold water for at least 10 minutes.

  • Use boiled eggs with the yolk centered as much as possible.

  • Clean off any white that has come out of the mold.

Spam Musubi Rice Ball Maker (top left)

Spam rice ball has been popular in Japan, especially in Okinawa prefecture. It looks like a nigiri sushi with spam (and egg for preference) on top.

  1. Put rice in the mold and press the rice ball into the mold with the presser.

  2. Place the meat (and egg omelette) on the oval-shaped rice ball and roll up the nori seaweed.

Onigiring Donut-Shaped Onigiri Rice Ball Maker (top middle)

The Onigiring Donut-Shaped Onigiri Maker is an easy way to make stylish onigiri that will have you asking, how did you make this? You can also enjoy various arrangements by using furikake rice, fried rice, raw fish (for donut-shaped sushi), and other ingredients. It is very easy.

  1. Wet the inside of the container and lid with water.

  2. Put about half a bowl of rice into the container.

  3. Place the lid over the container and press down hard.

  4. Remove the lid.

  5. Turn the container over and press the center of the bottom to release the rice.

  6. The rice ball will be a beautiful ring shape.

It is perfect for bento boxes that look great on SNS. It can also be used for parent-child cooking and small parties. These simple yet stylish and exciting onigiring is a fun way to add color to your dining table.


Shake Shake Boy and Girl Onigiri Rice ball Molds (top right)

This is a set of rice ball containers in two sizes and a mini paddle. You can make round rice balls by shaking the containers up and down. It's easy even for children to use them. Inside the containers are coated with bumps to prevent sticking. You can make soccer balls, snowmen, cherries, etc.

  1. Prepare hot rice. (If the rice is cold, you need to heat it up.)

  2. Wet the inside of the container (both the face and body sides) with a small amount of water.

  3. Use a mini paddle to fill the rice up to the inside line of the body container. The trick is to put the rice in softly without pushing it in.

  4. Put the lid on the container tightly until the lid stops snapping and shake it firmly. Be careful not to let the container fly away.

  5. Open the container and remove the rice balls.


Triangle Onigiri Rice ball Molds (bottom)

They are for the most common shape of onigiri. With them, you can make very beautiful triangle shaped onigiri in no time! Basically, you just fill in the rice in one mold then press it down with the other. You can make two onigiri at once. Check out our blog post for directions and filling ideas! - Click here.

Dekomori Shamoji Rice Decoration Scoop (top left)

Whether you are making a one-plate café-style meal or a bento box, the this item makes it easy to arrange rice in a rounded shape, making your usual meal look much prettier. All you have to do is quickly dip the rice scoop in water, scoop out the rice, and pop it onto a plate. The inside of the rice scoop has an uneven surface to prevent the rice from sticking to the surface and to serve it neatly. The bottom of the rice scoop bounces like a spring when pushing rice out of the bowl, so a light push with one hand is all that is needed to remove the rice.


Hello Kitty Small Onigiri Mold

This set allows you to make Hello Kitty-shaped onigiri simply by placing rice in the mold and pressing down to harden. By being able to enjoy not only the taste but also the appearance of the onigiri. You or your loved one will look forward to lunch time.

  1. Put the lid on the bottom and fill with rice.

  2. Press the top with the mold.

  3. Remove the lid from the bottom and push out the top with the stick with Hello Kitty on it.

  4. Decorate the Hello Kitty face parts with nori seaweed etc., or make a hole with a push mold that makes a dent and fill it with ingredients.


Petit Onigiri Rice Ball Molds (bottom)

They are smaller version of the triangle onigiri molds introduced earlier. They are perfect for small hands, or put in the small gap in your bento box.

Sanrio bento boxes are always the cutest! With them, your lunch time will be a fun time easily. They are perfect for gifts as well!

Cats and dog items are very popular at our store. Sibatasan is a well-known shiba-inu for his tote bags sometimes offered at Maido. (They always run out super quick!)

Peanuts are loved by people in Japan which could be more than people here! Enjoy your lunch time with Snoopy and Charlie brown.

The two items above are disposable containers for sauces. These items are perfect for adding a little extra flavor to your bento dishes. You can also use these containers as a back-up for toners and other items while traveling. On the bottom, there are vegetable picks in funny poses. They will definitely make you smile when you find them in your bento box.

These little cups for side dishes are absolutely necessary to keep the flavors of each side dish from mixing in your small, condensed bento box. The three items below can be used in the microwave.

When you carry your own utensils, there is no waste. These items help protect the environment. The item on the left contains chopsticks, a spoon and fork, and the items on the right and middle contain a spoon and fork. Which set would you choose?

When you carry your own utensils, there is no waste. These items help protect the environment. The item on the left contains chopsticks, a spoon and fork, and the items on the right and middle contain a spoon and fork. Which set would you choose? We carry three-piece and six-piece washable and reusable bamboo cutlery sets. These sets are durable and long-lasting! They contribute to de-plasticization and are eco-friendly, including even the packaging. You can carry around the cutlery in a little pouch, and it does not take much space in your purse or desk at your office.

There is a three-piece cutlery set with basic items. You must be able to eat most of your meals with this set. You can carry this set on the go!

Set includes: chopsticks, fork, spoon

There is also a six-piece cutlery set. This set includes the items above plus a knife, straw and a brush for the straw. They are perfect for use in the office. Unlike paper straws, bamboo straws do not get soft when used, so they are easier to use without texture being changed.

Set includes: chopsticks, fork, spoon, knife, straw and straw brush


There is a lot of food items, housewares, stationery, and gifts available at the store and our online store, Maido! Kairashi Shop, where you can place your order for shipping or store pickup! Happy shopping. :)



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