Many times people ask about what is “bento” and how it differs from container to container. In this post I would like to show you that there are many shapes of containers that you can use to create your bento in a very short amount of time with the correct bento tools. Another major question / remark we get is the size of the bento box, with most Bento boxes they are small as it is normal for Japanese style boxes, but you be surprised what can fit into them. I am going to take the same amount of food, basically make one cute design and place it into six different bento boxes from a normal plate, to a normal Tupperware, to Easylunchboxes, and to traditional bento boxes. I think it is really interesting how you put the food into the box, can really set a different type of mood for the food, but you can see if you feel the same way, as Bento Art is expression of one’s self, but the bento container is your canvas.
So to get an idea about how long it takes to make each one of the bento’s it took only 10 min to prepare the food, it is fast and fun when you have everything needed. A lot of people are very surprised in how fast you can whip together a cute and healthy bento creation, the most timely part of creating this bento was just moving the cute out items into place. (and writing up this post, :P)
So here is what we are going to use to make this yummy bento lunch.
– Cheese (2 kinds, creating 2 colors)
– Romaine Lettuce
– Fried Egg
– Stri-Fried Chicken in Bulgogi sauce (Korean Sauce Spicy)
– Small Hint of Mayo
– Normal Plate
– Normal Tupper ware
– Easylunchboxes Container (887 ml)
– 2-Tier Round Bento Lunch Box (400 ml)
– Single-Tier Bento Lunch Box (330 ml)
– 2-Tier Slim Bento Lunch Box
How to make Cute Rabbit Sandwich and Her Little Wonderland:
I used the rabbit ham/cheese cutter to cut the outer part of the rabbit head silhouette, then I used the face cutter to punch out the cute big smiling happy face, Next I needed to dress the rabbit with a cute little dress (Can’t go to lunch naked…LOL ) so I used the dress cutters to punch them out. I used the squinting eyes shape to make little bunny’s pockets on her dress, also miss bunny needed a bow on her head. (This and the dress can be changed to more boyish maybe change the bow to be some cool shades over the eyes) The arms are cut using an arm cutter set, this set is great as it gives our bunny a real sense of cheer almost that joy you see when you are watching your kid on a roller-coaster or when you see them after school and they are excited to see you. This rabbit character is very easy to make when all the shapes are all ready cut using the correct bento tools. With little effort you can make this rabbit from a cute little powder puff, to a cool rocking out bunny. This was a lot of fun to make I know I could have spent more time going into more details of this overly cute bunny but I needed to create her little wonderland.
For the sun I made it from cutting the fried egg (yolk part) using a round metal bento cutter. I then transformed this egg yolk to become little bunny’s sun by using little cut pieces of cheese around the yolk. I placed a smiley face using lettuce and created the eyes using black sesame seeds.
This is served with stir-fried chicken in Bulgogi sauce, celery, romaine lettuce and strawberry. Make it even cuter with little Japanese baran (decorative food-safe plastic sheet). They are cute but not for eating (^_^)
Here I show this Character Bento (also known as kara ben or chara bent) on a normal adult size plate, but this plate maybe size for adults but is decked out for a kid (^_^). But as you can see you can make cute food on anything. It does not only have to be on a cute bento box.
Here I used a normal tupperware. I placed all of the items that I showed that was on the plate but moved it on the tupperware as you can see all of the food can be stored on this container but it will scatter around while transport, as this container has single large compartment so trying to separate items is tuff, also even the use of a baran is not much help as the spacing is too far due to the size of this container. Overall this container was good for a single item like spaghetti, but not a bento-style lunch box, also I was not impressed with the quality of the plastic used. (>_<)
Here I used an Easylunchboxes® container. All the food can be stored in Easylunchboxes container, 3 compartments are perfect for separating food into their own sections and there was still a lot of room for more food if it was needed, as remember everything we had in the plate we moved it directly to the Easylunchboxes. This box makes a great lunch box, as it is sturdy and very accommodating if more food is needed.
I moved everything to a compact Japanese bento box, two-tier compartment. Looks can be deceiving with this lunch box as when you first look at it you wonder how it can hold your lunch as this bento box can fit into the palm of your hand (well, it depends on how big is your hand), but you can see it holds everything that the other boxes held, but only one small modification was done to cut the celery into smaller pieces. This is more of what you will find in the Japanese Bento boxes they are small but they can pack a fair size lunch, but at times it is like playing Tetris to get it all packed in. This bento box is 2-tiered so it stacks our cute bunny on the bottom and our veggies and fruit on the top, all fitting nicely in a lunch box that smiles back at you (^_^), Now depending on your needs 2-tier may be not enough space you could easily bring two if needed in the same space a normal lunch boxes take.
I now move our little happy bunny over to a single-tier bento box to show everything that fit in all of the other containers now fits in this single-tier bento box. Don’t be too fast to judge how much you really can fit in little spaces, and look our happy bunny smiling just as much as she was in the larger containers. When using a single tier container, this is where a baran becomes very handy to prevent things from touching as well as help keep items in place. Don’t you want to just reach out and dance around with our little bunny friend?
The last bento box I wanted to show was a Japanese bento box, two-tier slim design. (coming soon..in the store) This bento box type was originally designed for fitting in a laptop bag, briefcase or diaper bag as the slim shape helps the bag less bulky. In order to fit the sandwich, I need to do a modification. I needed to cut the sandwich in half (which is good in a way for a convenient bite-size sandwich). This 2 –tier slim-shape bento box can also fit all the food inside that the other boxes had as well. This box also had a built-in moveable divider that made spacing even more helpful.
So in the end, it really comes that no matter what container you use to make your bento, you can make it looks cute by just spending a little time to make a great looking meal. For the container I really feel that it is personal preferences as each one has its plus depending on your life style and what your total intake of food, but one thing that is nice about smaller containers is they do help to ensure portion control as we do tend to pack more food than is needed which either we waste it or we over eat, whichever way is not good. Or you can opt to a compartmentalized container as it is very handy and convenient. I think it is great to experiment with different types of lunch boxes and find the right one that will fit your needs, also it maybe not just one but multiple.