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*


Summer Theme Lunch Bento

I've been making summer theme bento! I picked some and put them together below.
Mostly vegan but I use eggs or seafood some time:)

1. Sea-turtle bento: Made tofu soboro and put on a layer of rice so that it looks like sand. Created turtle with tofu and carrot.
2. Watermelon bento: Created watermelon with cherry tomato and cucumber.
3. Pineapple bento: Cut yellow mini pepper and sugar peas for pineapple, Cut seaweed and applied to create pineapple design,
4.Seal bento: Mixed rice and black sesame to color rice for its nose(?). 
5 Octopus Bento: Cut pickled red mini pepper. 
Summer Theme Lunch Bento Collection

My favorite is watermelon bento:)
I like the color and the simpleness.
I used to make a little complicated character bento (kyaraben), but have shifted to simple and easy but still cute bento recently..

Which one is your favorite? :)


Vegan Bento Recipe: Tofu Soboro

Vegan Sunflower Bento with Tofu Soboro

One of my favorite tofu recipes for bento is Tofu Soboro.
Soboro is usually made with ground meat and seasoned with soy sauce, sake and sugar.
The mixture of these seasonings creates great flavor that goes very well with rice!!
I like substitute the recipe with tofu for my meatless bento.
It's also great with pasta, salad and fried rice.

Tofu Soboro Furikake
1/2pack Firm tofu (about 220g)
2tbs Soy Sauce
1tbs Sake
2tsp  Sugar
1.Crumble tofu into a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates.
2.Add soy sauce, sake and sugar and cook until tofu absorb the sauce.

Vegan Apple Bento with Tofu Soboro

Vegetarian 2 Colors Bento and Tofu Soboro Rice Ball Bento


Cute Vegan Bento Box

I'm posting some pictures of my bento from last week.
Last Sunday, I prepared some food below for my bento for the week.
I froze leftover food from the previous week so  I used that for the last week bento too.

I cut rainbow carrots, pickled radishes with a variety of cookie cutters so that I can decorate my bento.


Bento Photos

More bento from last week.

Smoked mussel
Okara shu-mai
Rice with farro and couscous sushi salad

Okara vege burger
Rice with green onion miso
Vegetables marinated with Moroccan preserved lemon


Smile Face Lunch Bento Box

I usually assemble bento every morning.
I really don't have much time to play with my food in the morning.
When I want to make cute bento when in hurry, this smile face bento is my go-to kyaraben.
Use the shape of the bento box to make a face.
For the hair, it could be anything.....
I used Japanese hearb, Oba leave this time. Lettuce would be good too, but oba leave has a good flavor and great with rice. I like the shape of this herb too.

Here is other ideas for hair.

Seaweed salad, Curry and Hijiki&Quinoa salad.


Pickled Radish Pig Character bento

Pickled Radish Pig Character bento
One of the bentos from last week.
Made a pig with pickled radish:)

Braised octopus in white wine
Okara "meat" balls
Broccoli marinated with Moroccan preserved lemon


Bento Preparation

I mentioned it before, but I prepare my bento food on Sunday for a week. (bento making tips)

I went to a Japanese grocery store yesterday and got Okara  (leftover soy pulp from tofu making)
It's really cheap and rich in protein, calcium and fiber. I often used it as a substitute of meat,

-Okara shu-mai  (vegetarian)
-Okara vege burger (vegan)
-Okara "meat" ball  (vegan)

I pickled veges and am ready for another week of bento making!


Easter Tofu Bunny Bento

A popular mommy blogger, Funky Frugal Mommy posted about my Easter Bento!!
I created bunny with tofu stuffed mushroom and place it on curry scrambled tofu tofu bed,

I like using tofu for my bento. Great source of protein and it absorb flavors well.

The key is to drain tofu well to make a good tofu dish!
Please see my post How to Press and Drain Tofu for the tips.

Tofu Stuffed Mushroom 

Please visit her blog for tofu stuffed mushroom recipe. (→Click Here)

Scrambled Curry Tofu: 
1/2 pkg House Foods tofu Frim, drained  
1/4 –1/2tsp Curry powder (optional) 3/4 tsp soy sauce salt to taste

Crumble tofu into a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the curry powder and soy sauce and stir.  Cook until tofu is completely crumbled.
To assemble the Charaben Bunny Bento:
Add the rice to a bento box. Top with the scrambled tofu.  Place the bunny face inside the bento box where you’d like to create the bunny.  Place two slices of radish above the bunny’s face.  This will be its ears. Garnish with your choice of spring vegetables.  Repeat to make second bento