Archive | Bento Tips RSS feed for this section

#1 Bento Tool to Have – A Nori Punch

16 Aug

A Pair of Happy Bentos

Little Ms. Bubbles doesn’t have summer camp or school for the next few weeks, so I’ll be posting some old bento that haven’t made it to this blog yet.  The above bento was made for Little Ms. Bubbles and her Cousin T.  I usually don’t include a cupcake or super sweets in my lunches, but Cousin T was visiting and I wanted to give them a special bento for their picnic.

The pair of bentos above illustrates a perfect example of why everyone needs a nori punch.  If there is only one bento making item that you need to get, please make it a nori punch.  I promise, a nori punch will make any lunch look cute instantly.  Yes, the picks add cuteness too, but the nori face gives the bento a personality.

I purchased my nori punches online.  I did a quick search for “nori punches” or “nori cutters” and stumbled across a few sites.  In a future post I show you which punches I have.

BTW, this bento uses a fake lettuce foil instead of real lettuce.  I found it at Daiso and thought it was kind of unusual.  I generally don’t use it, but if I don’t have any real lettuce on hand, it’s a nice stand-in.

Contents: Ham and cheese sandwich, orange cupcake, carrots, kamaboko and apple stars.

No Frills Bento – Just a Cute Hello Kitty Bento Box

13 Aug

Hello Kitty Soy Nut Butter & Jelly Sandwich


Yesterday was a rough morning for me.  Little Sweet Pea got up at ~4:30am, which is insanely early for me.  I tried to get him back to sleep but then Little Ms. Bubbles woke up with the noise and then everyone was up.  Whooohoo.  🙂

When it came to putting together Little Ms. Bento’s bento, it was thrown together with little thought.  I like this bento box because it’s an easy standby that requires little decorating of the food because the box is so darn cute.  I made her a soy nut butter and jelly sandwich, cut off the edges and placed it in half of the bento.  The other side is strawberries cut into slices and carrots that I cut with my vegetable cutter.  Another reason why I really like this bento box is that it comes with a divided container section.  Therefore, I’m able to put “wet” stuff on that side and the liquid won’t run into the other section.  By no means is it leak proof, so I won’t put soup or anything it it.  But if I had tofu, it would have been perfect for that.

Contents:  Soy nut butter and jelly sandwich, strawberries and carrots

Food Dividers Serve a Purpose Other Than Being Cute (but mainly they are just cute!)

11 Aug

Tofu Patty Bento


Last night we had tofu patties for dinner.  Little Ms. Bubbles smashed her tofu patties with her corn and rice and called it a masterpiece.  I’m not sure she will have enough room in her bento to do the same thing, but she did say it was the best thing she’s ever eaten.  🙂

When I thought about putting this bento together, I had a good idea of what I was going to do on the top tier.  But for the bottom tier, with the veggies and fruit, I had no idea.  At first I was going to just throw the peas in, but then thought it would be too messy.  So, I found a heart container that I usually use for sauces on the side.  I then placed the strawberries in the bento and was left with a tiny space on the bottom.  I really wasn’t sure what I was going to put there.  If I had time, I would have put some carrots, but I was rushing out the door.  So I looked in my cabinet for anything that would fit.  I decided on pretzels, but didn’t want them to touch the strawberries because they’d get soggy.  Hence… the elephant food divider (although, you can’t see the elephant).  A lot of times I put these colorful dividers in a bento to add a bit of cuteness, but this time I actually used it for a purpose.  The musical touch was added at the VERY last minute (right before I took the picture) because the peas looked too naked.  It was sitting on my counter so I threw it in.

Contents: Tofu patties, rice with furikake, peas, strawberries and pretzels.

Remember to Separate the Tofu

10 Aug

Simple Mac & Cheese

This was a fast and simple mac and cheese bento.  It shouldn’t have taken too long to make, but Little Sweet Pea was up, and whenever he is up that early in the morning, life is always a bit sweeter but more hectic.  After looking at the bento, I feel like I should have put some type of decoration in the tofu section, but ah well…  This bento is a perfect example of why you need to divide your food. Tofu is watery and needs to be separated from other food.  If you plan on putting tofu in your bento, be sure to separate it from other food, and keep it cool.  I generally always include an ice pack in Ms. Little Bubbles bentos, and today was no different.

I love this bento box (it is one of my favorite, and the first really good bento box that I purchased) because it has three divided sections.  Given the sections come out, I’ve also used them in other bento boxes.

Contents: Mac and Cheese, strawberries, tofu, and carrot flowers.

Bunny Onigiri That’s SUPER Easy to Make

9 Aug

Bunny Musubi

If you are stumped on what to do and think you cannot make a onigiri (but I believe you can!) just get a wrapper.  This adorable onigiri bunny wrap is so easy to use!  It’s kind of like arts and crafts day at school.  I handmade the chicken onigiri, and just put a bunny wrapper around it.  It’s basically a square wrapper with a twisty tie, and bunny sticker ears.  And voila!  You are done! This is definitely one of the easiest bentos I’ve made, and one of the most adorable!  🙂

I can’t remember where I got these wrappers from, but I think it may have been from Marukai.

Contents: Chicken onigiri, strawberries, carrots and crackers.

No Brown Apples in my Bento

6 Aug

This was a bento I did earlier in the week and didn’t have a chance to upload it.  I think there is a total of three gyoza bentos this past week!  Yes, I made a lot of gyoza.  For this one, I made yaki soba noodles to go with the gyoza.  I purchased the yaki soba from a Japanese grocery store in the area, then added peas, kamaboko and hot dogs.  For the fruit, I put strawberries and apples.  To keep the apples from going brown, I dipped them in salt water. I didn’t leave them in there too long as I didn’t want it to get salty.  I’ve tried lemon juice in the past, but I didn’t like the taste of the apples after I put the juice on it.

Contents:  Gyoza, noodles, broccoli, carrots, strawberries and apples


Noodles & Gyoza

Happy Musubi Boys

1 Aug

Happy Musubi Boys

This bento makes me happy, I hope it made my daughter happy!

When I was growing up, my grandma taught me how to make onigiri by hand.  First, I splashed water on my hands and then added salt.  I was instructed to put the warm rice in my hands and alternate my cupped hands until a triangle formed.  As I got older, I used molds that you can buy from almost any Asian market.  But after reading posts by other bento lovers, I realized there is nothing like a hand molded onigiri (musubi).  Except, now I use plastic wrap!  Wow… the plastic wrap makes it so much easier and is not as messy.

The two happy boys were made by hand using plastic wrap.  One boy has black sesame seeds as hair, although, it’s a little sparse and makes it look like he is balding.  The other boy has no hair.  hehehe.  Once again, the pics add the cuteness to the bento.  I just love these little hat bento picks. So cute.

Contents: Onigiri, nori for the face, sesame for the hair, chicken, carrots, green beans, and a variety of fruit.

%d bloggers like this: