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A Japanese box lunch, traditionally packed in a partitioned lacquered box and sometimes artfully arranged to resemble familiar characters, animals, or objects.

[Japanese bentō, from late colloquial Middle Chinese pɦjian`taŋ, convenient (also the source of Mandarin biàndāng) : Middle Chinese pɦjian`, convenient (from Old Chinese *bens) + Middle Chinese taŋ, to match, correspond, be capable (from Old Chinese *tâŋ; perhaps akin to Tibetan taṅ, with, together with, and).]


(ˈbɛntəʊ) or

bento box

n, pl -tos
a thin box, made of plastic or lacquered wood, divided into compartments which contain small separate dishes comprising a Japanese meal, esp lunch. Also called: obento
[Japanese bentō box lunch]
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References in periodicals archive ?
Chef Hanada demonstrated how a Shokado bento box comes together, as a tribute to the Shinto priest Shokado Shojo, whose square boxes with compartments inspired the first bento.
The Ko Macrobiotic Shokado Bento prepared by chef Seto was a sumptuous meal consisting of a number of small dishes like Kimpira sauteed onion, fresh vegetables with miso paste, deep fried dried bean curd with carrot, and vegetarian eel with teriyaki sauce, layered simmered root vegetables with dried scallop, chilled taro soup, organic brown rice with black sesame salt, and miso soup.