Hey! Learn how to make a Great Bento Box!
Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Bentos are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops, railway stations, and department stores. However, Japanese homemakers often spend time and energy on a carefully prepared lunch box for their spouse, child, or themselves.
Bentos can be elaborately arranged in a style called "kyaraben" ("character bento"). Kyaraben are typically decorated to look like popular characters from Japanese animation (anime), comic books (manga), or video games. Another popular bento style is "oekakiben" or "picture bento". This is decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants. Contests are often held where bento arrangers compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.
There are similar forms of boxed lunches in Asian countries including the Philippines (Baon), Korea (Dosirak), Taiwan (Biandang), and India (Tiffin). Also, Hawaiian culture has adopted localized versions of bento featuring local tastes after over a century of Japanese influence in the islands.
I freakin' love Bento Boxes!!!
I love them so much, that when I go to Sushi Restaurants, I order one every time with at least two sides of sushi rolls & sashimi, knowing damn well I can't finish all of it.
I JUST CAN'T SIT THERE AND NOT ORDER A BENTO BOX! I mean, they're the perfect meals when done right. They consist of your: Proteins, Veggies, Fruits & Carbs. And I'm not just talking about how delicious they are, they're simply a pleasure to look at; both the Kyaraben & the Traditional Bento.
And I've always wanted to learn how to make them, but from the pictures that I've seen online, it just seemed unattainable. The designs are so intricate and small in detail. And it just seemed like a 10-min job would take me 45-mins to and hour. So, I just gave up, and maybe to soon. Not realizing, you should draw out a plan of action and literally draw out the character design you're trying to pull off.
I found two cool videos from YouTube that can show you the easy, fast & everyday styles and the more ambitious styles of making Bento Boxes.
EASY, FAST EVERYDAY STYLE OF MAKING BENTO:
AMBITIOUS KYARABEN STYLE OF MAKING BENTO:
AND ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD:
So I hope that these short but sweet videos helped you out. I know they helped me! I am going to give it another good you guys! And if you all give it a try after watching these videos, PLEASE, share them with me. Add them in the comments below or email them to me. And I will be more than happy to showcase them for the world to see.
If you enjoy the aesthetics of Bento Boxes, checkout the Gallery below: