Or how to create an organised team picnic every day for eight days.

We’ve been posting to our Instagram the team lunches that I prepared for the Nobonsai team at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and we’ve decided to collect them all in one post here on our blog, along with the recipes so that you can use them as inspiration for a tasty picnic or two!

Let’s start with day 1!

Day 1: Ham, Egg, Cheddar & Cucumber Sandwich

Some Ham, egg, cheddar cheese and cucumber sandwich with seeded bread for the first day. And then, Suha, one of our team members, brought her homemade chocolate cake! It was delicious, and we all enjoyed it with some coffee.

Day 2: Brown Rice Onigiri

On the second day, we had brown rice onigiri (rice ball) with a few options: tuna mayonnaise or salted kombu (kelp).

Day 3: Bento Box Bonanza

On Sunday, we whipped up a mouthwatering bento box filled with wholesome goodies like brown rice, sweet and savoury shiitake mushrooms, steamed spinach with sesame, tuna carrot, rolled cabbage with ham and Japanese egg omelette and BBQ pork. Plus, a help from @alicegarden made it extra delicious! 😋🌸

Day 4: Teriyaki Chicken Wrap

Today's lunch featured a tasty teriyaki chicken wrap with a gluten-free sweet potato base, crunchy shredded cabbage and carrot, mayonnaise and a boiled egg on the side. Simple, yet satisfying! Who's hungry?🌯

Chicken teriyaki recipe


  • 4 to 6 boneless chicken thigh
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking sake
  • 3 tablespoons of mirin
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar or sweetener (I used agave syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce


  1.  Remove the excess fat on the chicken thigh.
  2. Heat a pan with medium heat. Start cooking from the skin side down. Cook until the skin gets golden brown.
  3. Flip the chicken and cook the other side until golden brown. (if the chicken thigh is thick, lower the heat and put the lid on for a few minutes.)
  4. Add the sake, mirin, sugar, and soy sauce mixture, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce thickens.
  5. Serve with some steamed rice and some vegetables.

Day 5: Sanshoku Don

The lunch for the Nobonsai team on day 5 was “Sanshoku don” (three colours donburi). 

On top of the brown rice, I put some miso pork mince, hard scrambled egg, spinach and a bit of hijiki. I didn't have any more space in the box, so I added steamed broccoli on the side to add more vegetables 🥦 OK, it's more than “three colours”, but it’s more nutritious that way, right? 👌

Miso pork mince recipe


  • 500g of pork mince (you can replace it with other meat or vegetarian options)
  • A small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking sake
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of miso


  1. Put all the ingredients but the miso in a pan and mix well until the meat is cooked.
  2. Add the miso, mix well and cook until the sauce gets thicker.

Day 6: Tuna & Egg Mayo Sandwich

The lunch for the Nobonsai team on Day 6 was a simple – but just as tasty – tuna mayo and egg mayo sandwich. 

I also added tomato, cucumber, rocket, cheddar cheese, tuna mayo, and lightly salted and squeezed cucumber to the egg mayo sandwich. 

Look at this bento box and beeswax wrap; they are convenient to bring lunch without creating any waste. 

Day 7: Grilled Salmon Bento

Today’s lunch was grilled salmon bento.🐟🍱

I paired the salmon with Japanese rice, spinach, emmental rolled egg omelette, hijiki, sweet and savoury shiitake, and stir-fried carrot. 

I struggled to place them in the bento box, but it's not too bad, right?

Easy simmered Hijiki seaweed recipe


  • 25g dehydrated hijiki seaweed
  • One medium-sized carrot, shredded
  • A small amount of sesame oil to fry hijiki and carrot
  • ½ tablespoon of bonito fish stock powder
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar or sweetener
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking sake


  1. Place the Hijiki into a glass bowl and soak it with plenty of water. Leave it for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and wash the hijiki three times. Drain the water as much as you can.
  3. Heat a pan with medium heat. Add sesame oil, carrot and hijiki, and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour enough water into the pan to cover the hijiki and carrot.
  5. Add dashi powder, sugar, soy sauce, sake, and mirin when it starts simmering.
  6. Cover the pan with a lid and leave it a little bit open. Cook with medium heat until most of the sauce is reduced.
  7. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool to let the hijiki and carrot suck the taste of the sauce.

Try to have it with steamed rice. You can also mix it into some steamed rice to make onigiri(rice balls)! It’s super delicious and nutritious!

Day 8: Onigiri & Tamagoyaki

On day eight, I prepared some onigiri with the minced miso pork from day five, paired with grilled salmon and tamagoyaki with some Aonori (seaweed) inside. We also had some miso soup on the side.

It was a busy week for all the team members, but I’m glad I managed to prepare lunch (and dinner) each day. Phew!

During the show

My simple onigiri with a Vietnamese “Bun” rice noodle. 

During show week, we brought some onigiri to enjoy with the food from the food trucks at the Chelsea Flower Show. The food we tried was delicious, but it was a little on the expensive side, and the queues over lunchtime at the food trucks were quite long, so bringing homemade food was a good idea to make the lunches less stressful.

Closing words

You may have noticed that most of the lunches were Japanese. That’s because all the full-time workers at our garden in Chelsea were Japanese, so having something familiar during their break made it easier for them.

But don’t worry! They didn’t just eat Japanese food while in the UK. I took them around London so they could taste delicious food in Borough Market and a few other restaurants.

We hope that you can get some inspiration from these lunches and make a few of them yourself. If you have any questions, leave a comment on Instagram or send us an email!

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