The list author says: "I started making simple bento lunches as a way to save money, have healthy meals and to make cooking for one person more interesting. A great side effect is that I've also lost 20 lbs and counting - so I'm a bento convert. I've listed things I use in my bento boxes at least several times per week."
"This rice cooker is the perfect size for one and can cook any grain and most beans, lentils and dried peas as well. The best feature is the timer - I set it up at night or in the am and I have rice or porridge ready when i wake up or come home from work. Magic!"
"I use at least one silicon cupcake cup in every lunch I make - a good way to neatly add a small salad or side. The cups can also be used for freezing fruit cups or savory muffins: Freeze the baked or prepared food, then peel off the silicon muffin cup and pop the food in a ziploc freezer bag."
"This bento box is a good example of a great size for a more sedentary adult - a lunch of about 450-550 calories, depending on how you fill your bento. I use a bento like this almost every day, kept closed by a matching elastic band."
"I like these picks because they are a little more natural looking, and avoid the sometimes overly-cutesy look of some specialty bento picks. They may be a bit long at times, but can easily be shortened with a good pair of kitchen scissors (cut on the angle to keep the point)."
"These are great little bottles to tuck into your bento box- just pour a little sauce into a shallow cup or tiny bowl, take the lid off of one of these and squeeze, then submerge the end in the sauce and release to fill. I use them for soy sauce, ponzu, maple syrup or olive oil."
"I use these cutters several times per week: usually I slice carrots lengthwise, and then cut out the shapes from the "planks" of carrot. It is surprising how much the cut-outs add to the visual appeal of your bento."
"I use one bottle for soy-sauce - it allows me to have a lot of control in my aim and distribution of soysauce in a small bento -and another for sesame oil, which is a very common seasoning element in my bentos. I cut the tip off another to widen it and keep the bottle filled with toasted sesame seeds for garnish or recipes."
"I love black sesame seeds as a garnish on lighter colors in my bento, and I've also seen them used on carrot flowers and as eyes on fish-cake rabbits and mini-sausage octopii. The taste is quite distinct and adds something to the small-portions of foods in the bento."
"This is a great book for getting started with bento boxes: the writer also has a great website, justbento.com. I refer to her book several times per week, and religiously follow her instructions on washing my rice before cooking."
"This is my personal favorite of the many varieties of furikake rice seasonings. This one contains wasabi, a hot, mustardy-tasting horseradish. I use it as a garnish or inside maki rolls (sushi rolls)."
"This knife is handy for cutting veggies or maki sushi (rolls) because the handle is specially designed for use in a wet environment, but it is my all-purpose knive: I use that blunt end to stir food in pots, as a spatula, a spreader and countless other ways. Expensive, but it really is the only knife I use."
"I've been using a rice paddle of one kind or another for 25 years. I love them! They fit the hand well, transfer your motion more directly to the pot, are much more effective than the bigger, more traditional (and awkward) wooden spoon. Bamboo doesn't warp so it can go in the dishwasher without a thought, and it is both inexpensive and a renewable resource."
"I usually buy this brand of Nori - it has been solidly good, inexpensive, available just about everywhere and hasn't had any funky off-tastes that I've come across with other brands. I's prefer to buy organic (Eden) but this is a reliable second."
"Maangchi has a great website centered on Korean cooking - with some fun home-made videos illustrating a wide variety of recipes. I've made many of her recipes including "doshirak" or bento dishes. If you like spicy food try the kimchi (but don't take it to work with you in your bento...)."
"I got this Vacuum Jar for my brother - he commutes by train every day to downtown Chicago, and is very much one of the Carhardt crowd. This particular vacuum jar comes in a tough, cordura-like bag with a shoulder-strap that looks manly enough that he is willing to be seen with it."