How to Make Kawaii Japanese-style Lunchboxes
Lunch boxes in Japan are a little different from those in other countries. The bento box, a Japanese-style lunchbox is a single-portion boxed meal usually composed of a carb (rice or noodles), a protein (meat or fish), and an assortment of pickled or cooked vegetables. When making lunchboxes for children, the use of characters and other Kawaii items is used to make children happy and to encourage them to voluntarily eat foods they dislike.
In Japan, there are many goods that can be used to make cute bento. The best way to make a cute bento is to use those goods.
Some use green or other picks to make the color of the bento better, but I recommend picks with characters on top. You can use these picks to stick three meatballs together, or you can use them to stick fruit or other desserts.
Rice Ball Mold
You can use this to make miniature cat rice balls. The set includes a cat onigiri mold that can be made by simply shaking the handle, as well as face and paw cut-outs. It can be used not only with nori (seaweed) but also with ham and cheese, and you can drizzle soy sauce on it to make a cat with three colors of fur, or wrap nori around it to make a black cat!
Ham Cheese Cutter
There are 12 different types of molds in the box, but they come with a storage case to prevent them from getting lost. It is also useful for making relatively simple motifs such as houses and bears, and is a good way to get started with character bento box using ham and cheese.
Ideas for Changing the Shape
You can easily make a cute bento by simply changing the way you cut the ingredients in your bento. This is a great way to make a cute bento without spending a lot of money.
Heart shape Tamagoyaki (Japanese Rolled Omelette)
You can make a heart shape just by cutting the cross section diagonally! There are two types of tamagoyaki: one is made with dashi broth and the other with sugar. Take whichever recipe you prefer, depending on your tastes!]
Cut the sausage into various shapes
Cutting small sausages into various shapes is a very major method. The most famous way is to make it into an octopus, but you can also make it into a variety of other animals such as a crab or a rabbit.
Wonderful character bento!
Some people who have mastered the art of character bento make such cute and colorful character bento that it feels like too pretty to eat them. Here are a few of them. I recommend you all go to Instagram and search for “#kyaraben!”
The sausage ghost is a great idea. And yakisoba wrapped around a thinly cooked egg would be absolutely delicious!
Chip Ster Kyaraben
This is a Character Bento of Chip Star, the Japanese version of Pringles. The green part is made of lettuce and the yellow part looks like an egg.
The Simpsons Kyaraben
The yellow part seems to be made by using turmeric rice. The pick is pretty too!