The Bento and the Wasabi

The bento box is the ultimate combination of food. It normally comes in a wooden lacquered box with multiple compartments so that each food item is separated from the other (nobody wants soggy tempura or wasabi mixed with their teriyaki). Below is a common bento box combination, but in Japan they can take on many whimsical shapes and colours.

A bento box

There are hundreds of combinations that you can get in a bento box, but what we ordered above was chicken teriyaki, sashimi, maki rollssalmon sushi, shrimp and veggie tempura and miso soup.

If you have never had wasabi before, just note it’s that little innocent light green ball in the center of the bento box. The real wasabi plant is expensive, so many places use horseradish instead. However, it’s spicy! Not your typical chili pepper spicy, but the clean-your-sinuses kind of spicy.

I remember when I was younger, I made a bet with a friend and the person who lost would have to eat a whole ball of wasabi. Let’s just say I won and my friend’s nostrils were burning and it didn’t come out too fun in the end. Why am I sharing this? Basically to demonstrate that wasabi is fiery! It has a uniquely sharp flavour that can definitely pack a punch on your sinuses – not that I recommend doing this on a regular basis! 🙂




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