Spice Up Your Life With a Taste of Japan

Spice Up Your Life With a Taste of Japan

*Fun Bento Box**Cute and Natural Food From California*


Patriotic Bento Lunch Box

4th of July is just around the corner!
What are you planning to do on the holiday?
If you going on a picnic, how about taking these cute bears with you?😍

I created mini burgers with mini tomatoes, basil mozzarella cheese!
Yes, these bears are vegetarian😉

For dessert, I made  Blueberry Bran Muffins and packed with strawberries and cherries that I bought at a local farmers market.

Cornbread Bear Bento

Cornbread (2 full squares and a slice)
Thick Chili Filling of your choice
A slice of cheese
A piece of nori seaweed

  1. Prepare 2 squares of cornbread and slice them in half. Scoop out center area to create a small bowl. Stuff chili filling inside.
  2. Place the top half back on top.
  3. Cut out leftover cornbread slice to create ears and hands for bears.
  4. Apply them to the cornbread to make bears.
  5. Cut out from a slice of cheese and a piece of nori seaweed to create eyes.
  6. Optional: Slice mini tomatoes in half and make tomato, basil and cheese sandwiches!


3 colors Animal Bento

My 3 colors Animal Bento was featured in Japan Up! Magazine June issue!

3 colors Animal Bento

30g Beef Soboro*
30g Scrambled Egg (About 1-2 eggs. Cook with a pinch of salt and sugar)
30g Blanched  Spinach (drain well and sprinkle a little soy sauce)
Decorative pieces (radish, carrot, cucumber, a slice of cheese, a piece of seaweed)

*Beef Soboro

150g Ground Beef
1tbsp Soy Sauce
1tbsp Sugar
1tbsp Mirin
1tbsp Sake
1/2tsp Grated Ginger
-Heat a non-stick pan and cook beef, breaking up into small pieces.
-Add all the seasonings and cook until most of the liquid is gone.

How to assemble bento

  1. Prepare soboro, scrambled egg and blanched spinach.
  2. Place 50g of rice in each cup
  3. Put about 30g of the toppings in each cup
  4. Prepare face parts by cutting and slicing vegetables and cheese.


Picnic Bento

I visited my family in Japan a couple month ago. I was looking for a cute lunch box for picnic use and found this at Afternoon Tea shop in my hometown.!!

Afternoon Tea Online Shop
I like the color, size and quality of this. They change the design seasonally, so would love to purchase different one next time I go to Japan!

Packed cute teddy bear rice balls and panda chocolate sandwiches, egg sandwiches, fresh vegetables and fruits! 


Edible Flower Crown Bento

Purchased edible flower mix at Seedgeeks a while back.

Planted in spring and it has been blooming non stop lately!
It's really beautiful and inspired me to make this bento. (Curry and Rice)

I wrap with them with wet paper towel, place in a ziplock container and store them in fridge.
It lasted about a week!

More bento idea with edible flowers to come:)


Fun Animal Sandwich Bento

I use rice for 90% of my bento, but today's bento is bread!!
Just cut out slices of bread with cookie cutters and place them on beautiful color veges.
(Cookie cutters are from Daiso)
I used a bear shape one to make a frog.

What you need:
4 slices of bread
Tuna Salad (or filling of your choice)
Zucchini (for bunny backdrop)
Tomato (for heart backdrop)
Cheddar Cheese (for star backdrop)
Basil (for frog backdrop)
A piece of nori seaweed

  1. Slice off edges of 4 slices of bread . For 2 top slices cut out with cookie cutters as shown. (I used a bear shape cookie cutter to create a frog. Available at Daiso )
  2. Place 2 bottom slices in a bento box and add filling. (I used tuna salad)
  3.  Place vegetables and cheese in locations shown for character backdrop coloring.
  4. Add cut-out top slices.
  5. Use a thin strip of zucchini and cookie cutter to create hands for bunny.
  6. Create remaining fun face and body parts using yellow cheddar cheese, white cheese, seaweed, radish, etc. 


Unicorn Vegetarian Bento

Got beautiful rainbow chard at farmers market and inspired to make unicorn bento.
I've seen cute unicorn cakes on Pinterest and had been thinking about making unicorn theme something.

Just cut off stems and pickle with similar color ones for about one hour.
Then just thinly slice and use it for unicorn mane.

For the purple flowers that I put on the unicorn's head, I boiled purple cabbage with water and place sliced radishes in it to color it into purple.  The cabbage water is blue, but if you marinade about over one hour, the pink color of radish starts blending in blue water and create nice purple color.

Menu: black bean and tofu patty, boiled egg, carrot and sweet potato kinpira, sauteed sugar peas, blanched broccoli, zucchini and radish (flowers on head) -> I seasoned with salt to make it wilt and easy to shape them:)

I'm not sure if you can see it, but I put the video ↓ :)

The full step-by-step recipe will be on JapanUp! August issue;)
Will post here when I get the artwork from them!


Bento Side Dishes

Got a lot of beautiful, colorful and yummy vegetables at farmers market last Sunday.
Since not party plan for the memorial day, I made a lot of side dishes for my bento for this week.

1. Roasted beets with honey and lomon
2. Salmon patties
3. Japanese-style sesame rainbow chard
4.Marinated baby heirloom tomatoes
5. Peperoncino cabbage
6. Hoeny-Lemon braised sweet potato and carrot
7. Sauteed yellow mushroom and zucchini
8. Pickled radishes
9. Kinpira carrot and sweet potato
10. Cream braised radishes

Also I made vegetable soup with excess vegetables.
Oh, and chocolate cream with cauliflower;) It's my favorite healthy farm-fresh dessert!
(recipe here)


Fun Train Ride Bento

Easy and fun bento using a bear shape cookie cutter from Daiso!
I love Daiso so much.... I think I go there every week:)

I made Japanese omelet to create a train, but you can use whatever...
Just cut them into rectangle shapes.  ex, vegetables, cheese, tofu, etc..

***Fun Train Ride Bento***

What you need:
Cooked Rice
Japanese Omelet
Nori Seaweed 

1. Fill a bento box half with rice, half with protein and vegetables.
2. Cut a piece of nori seaweed into a thin trip and place on the rice as shown
3. Add short cuts of  nori seaweed as shown to create rails.
4. Create a Japanese omelet and slice to get 2 rectangle shapes. 
5. Cut out a sliced carrot with a bear shape cookie cutter.
6.Place the egg and carrot on the rice. Also placed sliced olives to create wheels.
7. Cut a piece of nori seaweed with a scissors or a seaweed puncher and create the pace parts. Also make small squares for windows.