Flavorful, Fun Japanese-Inspired Lunches to Cook with Your Kids


Cooking with your kids is a fun way to bond while teaching basic culinary skills. It provides practical lessons like counting ingredients and dividing portions. Plus, meals cooked together offer kids something to look forward to during lunchtime. They can enjoy the food they helped prepare, and you’ll be able to check at least one meal off your to-do list while teaching valuable life lessons.

One way to make cooking more exciting for the family is to prepare food for a bento box using pantry staples. Bento boxes are considered an act of love in Japan and are a fun way to get your family involved in the kitchen. Bento boxes are similar to single-portion lunchboxes except they feature small compartments for each element of your meal, making it easy to encourage kids to eat fresh fruits and veggies. They also offer a whimsy visual appeal that can make mealtime more entertaining. 

Next time you plan a meal with loved ones, try incorporating authentic Japanese recipes like a Miso-Glazed Salmon Bento or Garlic Shrimp with Jasmine Rice. These dishes call for simple preparations, short cook times and pantry basics, making it easy to involve your family in the process. 

To create a taste-tempting family meal with genuine Japanese flavors, try Mizkan premium sauces and rice vinegars. For more than two centuries, the vinegars have helped chefs and families around the world delight in the flavors of Japan. Now the taste can be at your table, helping you create authentic meals your whole family can enjoy.

Find more tips and ideas for creating flavorful and authentic Japanese recipes at mizkanflavors.com. (Family Features)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Ponzu Rice

1 cup jasmine rice

1/2 cup Mizkan Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Soy Sauce

1 1/2 cups water

Stir Fry

2 tablespoons Mizkan Organic Rice Vinegar

1/4 cup Mizkan Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Soy Sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil 

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons oil

1 pound (about 21-25) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup red onion, large chopped

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, shredded

1 cup sugar-snap peas

1 cup broccoli florets

2 scallions, sliced

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

To make ponzu rice n small saucepan, combine jasmine rice, ponzu and water; cook according to rice directions.

To make stir fry n bowl, whisk rice vinegar, seasoned soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, vegetable stock and cornstarch to combine. Set aside.

In large saute pan over high heat, heat oil; add shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes until pink.

Add red onion and cook 1 minute. Add garlic, red bell peppers, carrots, snap peas and broccoli; cook 3 minutes until tender.

Add reserved sauce and cook 2 minutes until thickened.

Divide rice among six bowls and top with shrimp stir fry. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds; serve.

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