Bento is a term used to described Japanese boxed lunches, typically comprised of rice, meat or fish and pickled vegetables. While Bento are readily available in many varieties of shops and restaurants in Japan, they are also traditionally lovingly made for a spouse or a child as such, care is often taken to make the Bento lunches visually special by forming the food into shapes of characters or places that the receiver will like.
Traditional children’s bento is formed in the shapes of popular children’s characters or Japanese pop culture characters such as Godzilla, Domo Kun, Ultraman, Hello Kitty and Gon to name a few, that being said, the aesthetic of a bento box is optional and its the food itself thats important. The beauty of Bento is that once the various elements are prepared it can be put together in a matter of minutes.
The main idea is to prepare the main components before hand. Cooking the rice and vegetables for your bento at the start of the week will allow you to refrigerate it until needed. The pre-cooking of your chosen meat or wish will be determined by what you’ve picked, fish would have to be cooked the night before consumption, as would chicken.
When all components are cooked and prepared, its simply a case of arranging your bento into perfect segments, bento is not supposed to be mixed together. In order to stop the elements mixing, bento boxes have segments built in, if you dont have a bento box, you can use cup-cake cases or similar items.When you become more confident you can begin creating shapes and characters form the bento and surprise your kids each day with a new character.
While bento can seem daunting at first, it can be simple to master and is a healthy and interesting way of lunch becoming enjoyable for your children. And while children can be initially be put off by fish and pickled veg, Bento will help push them towards trying these healthier dishes.