Nothing fancy and certainly nothing to boast about, but thought I would share a couple of my recent bento attempts. I do this once or twice a week so I’m not very practised, and because I’m not under pressure to do this early in the morning on a daily basis, I also haven’t been working on speeding up my preparation time.
The packing skills and aesthetic inspiration from reading bento websites (especially LunchInABox) and a few Japanese-language bento instruction/ recipe books has really helped me produce attractive lunchboxes so that I no longer dread having to eat dreary meals out of a plastic container.
The principle of having a variety of many foods in small amounts also encourages me to enjoy my food and finish it, whereas before I used to leave behind half the contents of my lunch.
Afternoon snack bento
This one is to tide me over between 1pm lunch and 8.30pm dinner. Packed in a 870ml square Lock & Lock box with removable dividers.
1) Steamed organic Japanese pumpkin (kabocha) in pink silicone baking cup.
2) Homemade okonomiyaki (yam, plain wheat flour, egg, bonito+kombu dashi stock, cabbage, bean sprouts, squid) with Japanese mayonnaise + fresh grated wasabi root in blue plastic mayo container.
1) Homemade wholemeal banana cupcake
2) Chopped avocado in bento side dish container with chopped Packham pear around the side.
This amount of food is way too much for a single meal, but suits my habit of eating snack portions over several hours to manage my hypoglycaemic condition. This is packed in a 1 litre box from Everin, a Lock & Lock lookalike brand which is cheaper but doesn’t have as good a closing mechanism as Lock & Lock. The orange and blue plastic implements at the top are a matching mini fork and spoon.
From left to right:
1) Homemade bread (3/4 organic white bread flour, 1/4 organic wholemeal bread flour) filled with organic spreadable butter and avocado slices seasoned with sea salt. Separated from rest of food with decorated plastic bento food divider.
2) 3 pieces onigiri made with Hokkaido-origin sushi rice (I forget what strain) with nori & salt, no filling.
3) Chopped avocado drizzled with organic maple syrup in silicone baking cup.
4) Homemade Indonesian bagadel potato patty made with potatoes, onions, shallots, ground beef, salt and pepper (frozen leftover heated up in the microwave).
5) Claypot chicken rice seasoned lightly with organic shoyu, topped with small bits of avocado, placed in silicone baking cup (previous night’s dinner leftovers heated up in the microwave).
6) Cucumber salad made with Japanese cucumber and cream cheese, in bento side dish container.