Thursday, May 22, 2014

Japanese Bentou Boxes Inspiring Art and Lunch Fun...

My brother, Dan and his wife, Yoko are super artists! He a hand-crafted sculpture artist and her a natural crafter for things like knitting and card designing. They reside in Japan with their six year old son Jerome, and lucky for him, his mom is always packing him a fun bentou lunch for school filled with rice, meat and vegetables often arranged into cute cartoon caricatures or animals he loves. Bentou is a single-portion, compact take-out or home-packed meal in a box that is nutritionally-balanced and visually appealing common in Japanese cuisine. My brother tells me Yoko would wake up early every morning and prepare Jerome's bentou from her sketches the night before, and they always turn out amazing- we know we eat with our eyes first and what a surprise it is to open the lid everyday and see something so appetizingly unique and fun! Some tips they offered: saran wrapping the rice to mould the faces of characters and then scissors for snipping seaweed eyebrows and facial features. A few of these were made during the week of Food Revolution Day- get inspired!

Photos courtesy of Dan Ng
Amazing display of creative bentou lunches for my nephew Jerome.

This was ode to Christmas- notice the festive edamame tree?

Home lunch. How do you like 'em cute rice bear on your chicken curry?

For inspiring bentou menu ideas, tips and tricks, check out Nami in Bento 101. Lots of great how-to information, and simple but beautiful healthy everyday boxes that are done in 15 to 20 minutes. Doesn't it make you want to ditch the boring paper bag sandwich lunch for good and start jazzing it up bentou-style for your kids at school and for you to take to work...

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