Monday, February 22, 2010

Say Hello to Bento

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I was born and raised in Japan. When we were first married, I was a little worried about how we could combine our two different cultures. My optimistic Mr. layed back said, "Don't worry, we will just take whatever is good from either culture and make it our own."

One of the things our family loves from Japanese culture is "Bento". Bento is a single portion takeout or home-packed meal in a box, and very common in Japanese cuisine. Usually, bento consists of rice, fish or meat and other side dishes.

Normally, I pack sandwishes, fruit and a light snack for my husband's and kids' lunches. (Because it is easier and quicker!!). Every now and then, when I have time I pack a Bento. (Being a night owl, I don't like mornings.)

This morning was the rare occasion. I packed a Bento for each of them.

Inside the bento, there was...

Rice with Furikake(flavor flakes)

Hanbagu (just like meatballs, but I used ground turkey and chopped veggies with teriyaki sauce)

Tamago-yaki (Thin layers of egg rolled into a rectangular shape)

Little sausages (I made two slices from one end to the middle to make it look like flower.)

Sliced apple (looks like a bunny)

Some lettuce.

They loved it. Oh, and I will show you how we wrap our bento box (you know...just a final touch).

1. You can use any square fabric. I used napkin this time. Put the lunch box on the fabric diagnally.

2. Fold the front corner to the other side, cover the container and fold the corner under the container.

3. Bring the opposite corner over the box to the front.

4. Take both right and left corners and tie them together using a square knot.

5. You have Japanese style Bento!

A tip to make bento is to put three basic colors. Red, Green, Yellow in the container. That way it not only looks pretty, you can also get a balanced meal in one box.


  1. This is so pretty and looks delicious. I love the little touches like the rabbit apple!

  2. although i'm a yonsei, i love bento boxes! thanks for sharing... i'm salivating now ;o)

  3. thank you for showing how to balance colors in a bento, and to wrap one. do you have to carry the lunchbox in your hand (not in your bag)-so everything does not mix together?

    when i was growing up, my mom used to pack rice and curries in a lunchbox and wrap it in a big hankerchief, tying one square knot with the first set of corners and another knot with the next set.. once i untied it at school, i had an instant placemat!

  4. I love it! How did you cut the apple to look like a bunny?

  5. That is cute and looks delicious! I am totally a night owl/not morning person too. I don't know what I am going to do when I have to start packing lunches!

  6. Apple bunnies are easy to make. Here's a link to a really easy tutorial for making them:
    I love my bento lunches!

  7. konnichiwa ^.^
    delicious bento, good colors

  8. Mmmmmm, that looks delicious!

  9. I bet your husband and children were very happy! Even the small things like packing a different lunch can show how much we care for our loved ones.

  10. Hi! I found your blog just a little while back looking at sewing and craft stuff and have loved it. Did not know that you were raised in Japan until this post. I live in Japan! My husband is Japanese and we love bento, such a part of my life now I don't know how I ever lived without it before I came here 13 years ago. Just thought it was neat to discover we have this much in common!

  11. I love that! Your family is very lucky to have a thoughtful mom/wife :)

  12. What a special touch for lunch. I tall says "i love you" to your family.
    I watched Kitchen Impossible on the foodnetwork where Robert made Bento boxes. it all looked so pretty to eat when the box was open.
    Thanks for sharing Sachiko.

  13. yummy! i'm off to hunt some recipes!

  14. Yum! I'm so hungry now, thanks. :) Looks gorgeous!

  15. wow this looks absolutely delish! you are such an amazing cook!

  16. Oh my, that looks so amazing! I grew up in Hawaii, and it's been years since I've had a bento. Mmmmm, am I missing it right now!

  17. I love the art of Bento the japanese are so wonderful in their presentation. I have been searching for a bento box that I like in the UK but I havent found one yet. I love your idea of wrapping with the fabric.

  18. So pretty! And it looks like so much fun! Maybe I will just have to try to make some Bento for my girls sometime! And thanks for the wrapping lesson!

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  20. That looks SO delicious!! I love Japanese and Thai food both MMMM YUMMMMM

    Hugs from Marian from the Netherlands ♥

  21. I like bento a lot and i adore japanese food! I will try to make something like bento inside and exactly like bento outside!


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