Spice Up Your Life With a Taste of Japan

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


Sexy Bento

My sister sent me this↓ bento picture a couple years ago.. Sexy bento for her husband lol !

I thought this would be a great bento for Valentine's day!

You need,

White rice
Topping of your choice ( I used seasoned salmon)
Pasta (hair)
Nori seaweed (eyes)
Ketchup (lips, cheeks)
Pickled plum aka Ume (nipples) : My sister used ham instead

1. Make rice balls. 2 big ones and 1 smaller one. Put rice in plastic wrap and push down the middle a little and place the topping there as shown in the picture.

2. Boil pasta.  I wanted to fill the open space with tomato salad later, so I seasoned the pasta with salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make the pasta salad.
Add the pasta on a smaller rice ball to create hair.
3. Create face parts and add on the rice balls. For the cheeks and lips, just dip a chopstick in ketchup and apply to the face.


Valentine Tomato Salad

Looking for some ideas for Valentine's day dinner??
This heart shaped tomato salad is perfect not only for Valentine's day but also for birthdays or anniversaries!

You need,

2 tomatoes
Salad -remaining tomatoes
          -balsamic dressing)

1. Slice off the stem and cut a tomato in half. Thinly slice.
2. Transfer the tomato to a plate and slide to make a shape of half heart.
3. Cut the other tomato and repeat the same steps.
4. Add salad inside the heart.

Stuffed Red Peppers Strawberry

You need,
Stuffed red pepper
White sesame

Stuffed red pepper
1 Red pepper
110g Ground chicken (or pork)
1/2 Onion, chopped
1tbs Soy sauce
1tbs Mirin
1/2tbs Sesame oil
Salt and pepper
1tsp Flour

1. Mix all the ingredients but red pepper and set aside.

2. Take the slice of pepper.

2. Stuff the meat mixture in the pepper.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add the stuffed pepper. Meat side down. When meat is cooked, turn off the heat and put a lid to steam about 5-10 mins.
3. Peel a cucumber.  Cut with a knife to create hull.
4. Dip chopstick in mayonnaise and dot the red pepper where you will apply white sesame.
5. Put white sesame.


New Year Horse Bento

Happy New Year!!!!!!
We celebrated by eating sashimi, sushi and some of Japanese traditional New Year food.

Shrimp dish is one of the must-have items for Japanese New Year's food.
It symbolizes a wish for a long-life. To live until back bend like shrimp's. 
I made Golden Shrimp this time.
Have you seen a pair of golden fish on the roof edge of a Japanese castle?
Those are imaginary animals and considered to blow out water.
Japanese castles were made with woods, so they put the fish with a wish for an avoidance of fire.
Anyways, that is kinda good-luck thing, so this shrimp dish is made to look like those.

Golden Shrimp (Recipe in Japanese)

8 shrimps (raw, tail on, deveined )
2tbs Mayonnaise
1 Egg yolk
2in Green onions, chopped

1. Make a slit along the shrimp's belly to open. Lay on a toaster pan.
2. Mix mayonnaise, egg yolk and green onions and put on each shrimp belly.
3. Cook in a toaster about 3~4 mins.

Made bento with leftover food.....and a sausage horse! This year is the Year of the Horse:)

To make a horse, you need 2 mini sausages.
Cut one in half vertically and cut off V shapes from the ends as shown below. (hands and legs)
Cut the other sausage to make a head as shown.
Create ears and a tail with remnants of the sausage.

I made hair by mixing bonito flakes and a couple of drops of soy sauce.
Connect the parts together with fried pasta.
Create the face parts with a sliced cheese and a piece of nori seaweed.