Bento boxes are convenient way to pack lunch for work or for school. Assembling your own homemade bento box is pretty simple, all you need is a food container, rice, side dishes and some fruit for color. However, a key aspect to a great bento boxes is the decoration! Below is an essential guide on how to assemble and decorate a bento box.
What You Will Need:
Bento Box: In order to start assembling your bento box, you will need a lunch box or food container. There are many options available to pick from, from simple plastic Tupperware to hand-crafted lacquerware. You can also head over to the Bokksu Boutique and choose from the Moomin or Studio Ghibli lunchboxes available online.
Sauce Containers: You will need to prepare sauce containers to help you store your sauces separately from your food. This prevents sauces from being mixed up with food that it wasn’t meant for, and to keep your food from getting soggy.
Organizers: Once you have your box prepared, you will need to get an assortment of silicone cups and dividers, and food picks to organize your food and keep them separated. Silicone cups are a good way to keep wet foods and dry foods separated, as well as keeping loose foods together. Dividers are used to separate your foods and keep your sections separated. You can use plastic dividers or edible dividers such as lettuce leaves. Food picks come in an assortment of colors and cute designs to help add a fun and colorful touch to your bento as well as help keep loose foods together such as meatballs and berries.
The key rule of thumb in order to decorate a beautiful bento box is to make sure to your box is colorful. This means incorporating lots of colored fruits and vegetables to add vibrancy to your box. You should also incorporate fun shapes and designs to add more fun and depth to your box. Below are some fun ideas to add fun touches to decorating your food for your bento box.
Colored Rice: Rice makes up a big part of your bento box as rice is usually the main carb for the meal. Instead of just adding plain rice to your box, you can add fun design touches to your rice such as mixing in furikake (rice seasoning). You can also make your rice colored by mixing in ingredients such as salmon flakes, curry powder, or grated carrots.
Vegetable and Fruit Shapers: Instead of just chopping up your vegetables and fruits, you can take it to the next level by cutting them into pretty shapes like flowers, hearts, or stars. You can find a variety of different shapers online. All you need to do is cut your vegetables and fruits into rounds, and then press your shapers over them. For vegetables that don’t cut easily, you can boil them for a couple of minutes in water to help soften them up.
Egg Molds: You can find cute egg molds online or at Japanese Dollar stores. Egg molds are a cute way to spice up a normal boiled egg. In order to use egg molds, first take a small or medium sized egg and boil it in water. Once the egg has been cooked through, peel the egg in cold water to help remove the shells cleanly. Egg molds are best used when the eggs are warm since they are more flexible and easier to shape so warm your cooled down egg back up by dunking your peeled egg into hot water for a couple of seconds. Once warmed up, just put your egg into the egg molder and clasp tightly for 10 minutes.
Bento Nori Cutter: If you want to take your bento the next level and add fun designs or faces to your food, you can decorate with seaweed. Cut out your desired shapes from a sheet of dried nori laver and put over your food. If you find cutting out individual shapes to be difficult, you can use a bento nori cutter to punch out desired shapes for your designs and arrange them over your food to your liking.
Decorating a bento box is definitely more effort than packing a simple sandwich for lunch. However, if you are preparing a bento box for someone you love, or even for yourself, it’s always worth it to put in a little more effort to make lunch more fun. Hopefully this essential guide to decorating bento boxes helped inspire you to make your bento box.