Bento 101: Constructing a Bento

Bento - Ao Haru Ride 02 - 01Now that you have your bento equipment ready, how should you go about filling your carefully chosen box? How much rice will you pack? What kinds of vegetables and meats should come together to make your meal? What proportions of meat, vegetables, and carbohydrates is suitable? How does colour come into play when constructing a bento? In what order should a bento be packed? And, what about food safety?

In this post, we’ll be exploring the various factors you will face while going about constructing your bento…. and, while the principles are simple, I hope they will serve as a useful guide as you begin your bento journey. Continue reading

Bento 101: Equipment

Bento - Hanasaku Iroha 22 - 01In my previous post, we learned the basics of bento, getting to know a little more about its history and the different types that exist… and now, it’s time to go about making your own. But, where to start?

Even before diving into recipes for items to fill your bento with, or decorating your meal with heart-shaped tamagoyaki and carrots cut like flowers, it’s important to gather the equipment necessary to make your bento a success. A container is a must, and cutlery seems like a natural fit, but what about all the other extras that help organize your meal and take your bento to the next level? Continue reading

Bento 101: The Basics

Bento - Noragami 04Whether or not you watch anime, I’m sure you’ve seen a bento before… you know, those nicely segmented boxes full of compactly arranged food? Maybe it was in a Japanese restaurant that served a bento box dinner special, or perhaps it was a friend’s simple homemade lunch. Either way, it piqued your interest….

Bento are featured heavily in anime, with an overwhelming number of characters and series showcasing these often adorable and intricately arranged packed meals. Sometimes it seems like everyone from students to office workers make, purchase, and consume bento on a regular basis…  But, what exactly is a bento, where did they come from, and how do you go about making one?

To answer that, let’s start with the most basic of the basics. Continue reading