Mr and Mrs Panda

A bit of an improvement of the last Panda bento I made!

Hadn’t made tamagoyaki in a very long time and fancied it so made some to pack with the onigiri. The onigiri are filled with umeboshi, and I completed the bento with some vegetables.

I love this  Russian doll bento box, should use it a bit more often as it comes with it’s own bento bag and has a matching set of chopsticks (you can see the bag in this post). So cute! The only downside is that it is quite small, more geared towards a child than an adult.

Meanwhile, I am busy preparing the cake I am making for the Wonky Supper Club later this week. The design of it will be vegetable & fruit inspired and today I started to create some of it. I will share some photos later this week, either here or or on Instagram

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Not an egg roll

Bento with egg

Didn’t know what to call this bento today.

That’s the thing with blogging, not only coming up with ideas to pack for my lunch that are “blogworthy” (looking a bit pretty in a box) but also writing a blog post about it and coming up with a title. Sometimes I have a title or blog post in my head before even making the lunch but often it’s the other way around.

Anyway, my bento today doesn’t have an egg roll in it but it when I was rolling up the green beans in omelet strips it did make me think of egg rolls somehow. Not sure how my brain was working this morning… The egg roll that I was thinking off this morning are the savoury, deep fried ones, stuffed with bean sprouts or vegetables but I just googled egg roll and according to wiki, here in the UK an egg roll can also refer to fried egg in a bread roll. Isn’t language funny?

Aside from the “beans-in-omelet-roll”, I also packed another egg. This one is hard boiled, and you might not be able to see it properly but I “squared” it in my nifty egg cube shaper before cutting it in half to fit into my bento box. I don’t often have fruit in my bento, usually pack/eat it separately but am eating lots of black grapes at the moment and they fitted in nicely. The compartment with rice looks a bit small, but I compressed the rice quite tightly and managed to squeeze in quite a lot.

Although not very pretty, this is one of my favourite bento boxes because it’s so practical.  It has lots of lovely compartments – which makes it easy to pack lots of different items – and they can be taken out to use the box in different ways. And of course the handy chop sticks in the lid.

I posted a long time ago about all my different bento boxes (I have loads – see this post...) and if you are interested in bento boxes, I also wrote a few blog posts about specific boxes in my collection. If you select “bento box review” in the categories you can read more or click here and here.

Happy bentoing!

 

P.s. I just looked back at my post of October 2014 with my bento box collection and I have been quite good! Good in the sense of using most of them regularly and not adding too many new boxes. I did get a few large bento boxes  that are more suitable for a sit down lunch or dinner than for packing lunch, and also one or two other ones. Am currently dithering about whether to get a Monbento one or not. They look pretty (I love the limited edition food battle or floral one) and practical  and have good reviews but am just not sure how much added value they would bring to my collection (size and shape wise) …

Hmm… to be continued 🙂

 

Bento Boxes overview

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This will be the last in my series of Bento Boxes overview (previous posts can be read here, herehere and here…..(or just select category Bento box review).

I will just quickly review each box shown here and link back to a few lunches I made in them 🙂 (once again, clicking on the photo should link to the relevant blog post)

TumTum box (from TumTum):  a very sturdy box, BPA free, dishwasher safe etc. I think this is an ideal box for children, because of it’s colours and design, flexibility to be used for different kinds of food and it’s sturdiness.

I used it to make the Hungry Caterpillar bento:

hungry caterpillar

I also made this lunch in it:

TumTum bento

 

Shikiri Bento (from Bento & Co): Very practical box. Dishwasher proof. Comes with chop sticks in the lid and has 2 removable compartments plus a divider. I love this box because it’s so flexible, sometimes I use it with the compartments, or sometimes with just one. It is also quite a large box.

easter dosirak or bento with eggs

Mimosa-bento

BlumBlum pot: a bit of an unusual shape, it’s  more suitable for soup lunches, or you could use it for yoghurt and fruit. The pots are micro and dishwasher safe, come with a spork (spoon/fork) and carrier strap, and fit into each other. I used this for bringing an Ochazuke lunch to work

ochazuke bento

Russian Doll Bento (Japan centre): this Matryoshka doll bento box is so cute! It came with inner lids, a cool pack and matching chop sticks. It’s partly microwave safe and it’s dishwasher safe. The only downside is, that it is quite small…

Russian inspired bento box girl gathering quail eggs

Nagabako (Bento & Co): again a very practical box. I love that it came with chop sticks and a chopstick rest (in the lid). It also has a bento band, and can be used as an one-tier or two-tier box. Partly microwave/dishwasher safe

bento or dosirak with meatballs

prawn patty bento dumpling filling

 

And lastly, another flower lid bento box. I forgot the name of this one but bought it at Bento & Co.

It’s a small one tier box with an inner lid, and I used it to make one of my favourite bento: Little girl Bento:

bento of a little girl and an boy out of egg

I also made a ‘deconstructed gimbap” in it

lazy gimbap deconstructed kimbap

 

Pfff, well, I hope you liked seeing some of my previous made lunches. More information on where to buy Bento boxes can be found on my page here, and do let me know if you have any questions 🙂

 

More bento boxes review

 

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Yes, there are more!

Following in my series of Bento box reviews (previous posts can be read here, herehere and here….. see some more of my bento boxes, which I will discuss in this post a little bit more in detail…

I don’t really have a name for this type of boxes, although they all have a lid that is similar to the Lock & Lock range and similar qualities (practical, dishwasher proof, leak tight etc).

Some of these boxes were bought in the supermarket or general department store, I don’t know all the brands, aside from two of them.

The squarish box in the back is the Salad container from Sistema. Sistema has a range of lunch type containers, salad containers, sandwich boxes, soup bowls etc. All of them are very well made, and have either compartments, or containers or clip and close type lids, but unfortunately not all of them are leak proof and/or microwave safe. This differs from container so bear this in mind if you would buy one (they can be found in most supermarkets).

The pink box with the insert and cutlery is from Paperchase, a stationary shop which can be found in most UK High Streets, and which has a range of lunch related items. I like this box a lot, it’s cute and practical, but just a little bit small, so sometimes I pack some extra snacks with it.

Again, see the photo’s below for some examples when these boxes have been used for lunch. If you click on the photo, it should lead to the relevant blogpost:

Bento-vanEquinox-dosirak-bento

lady bird bento made from tomato and nori with a nori egg dice

chicken and egg bento

In case you’re interested…, you can see my whole (current) Bento box collection here, and I still have a few more boxes to show in another post…

The lock & lock sets bento box review

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Following in my series of Bento box reviews (previous posts can be read here, here and here ….. see above my collection of Lock & Lock Bento boxes.

Lock & Lock is a Korean brand and although they aren’t very cute,  I just love their Bento sets because of their practicality!

They are all: microwave proof; dishwasher proof; leak/air tight and can also be used to freeze food. I often precook rice and freeze portions of it in the smallest containers, ready to be defrosted in the morning 🙂

All sets come with a bento bag with a cute Konglish slogan to Enjoy your well-being life! (see also here), and either with chopsticks or cutlery. I buy mine via Amazon (haven’t seen them elsewhere) and depending on the size/style they will costs around £15-£25. There are different versions, but most will come with 2 or 3 containers, often one of them will have some sub-compartments.

I use these Lock & Lock bento sets very often, but the lunches I tend to pack in them can be a bit boring, ie just rice, protein and veggies. So I haven’t shown these very often on my blog, however, below are some examples where I DID use them (and the square boxes do give some scope for creativity 🙂

(if you click on the photo, this should lead to the relevant post for more info)

bento with cats made of onigiri

Basic dosirak bento

Bear bento with egg sheet and bibimbap minced beef

Boy-loves-girl

tea egg bento

In case you’re interested…, you can see my whole (current) Bento box collection here, and I will still have a few more boxes to discuss in more detail in future posts….

Lunches made in large Bento boxes

 

Following on my previous posts, where I discuss some of the boxes in my (rather large) bento box collection (which you can see here, here and here), today’s post is showing two more boxes.

Both of these are very pretty, but a bit large for daily use. The red box on the left was a gift from friends who brought it back from Singapore! It  has a lovely decoration of a little girl in a kimono, playing with a ball (you can see her better in one of the bentos shown below).

The black box is the Bento & Co box (yes, you can guess where I bought it…) It is very practical in that it has a lot of elements, the bottom container has 9 small containers, and the top container has 3 compartments. There is also room for chopsticks in the inner lid. But it is really very large…

Well, you all know that I am a big eater (after all, I mention it often enough on my blog) but these boxes are even too big for me to use for a lunch, so you won’t have seen them very often.

But below you can see some examples when I did use them (the photo should link to the relevant blog post):

 Liebe Bento

bento liebster award heart strawberrries heart onigiri heart shapes

 Picnic bento

Picnic bento and sushi sandwich

  Wimbledon Bento

bento lunch Wimbledon theme nori cut out

Flower bento box review

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Am still suffering from a cold and haven’t really packed a bento but just made some soup.

So instead I will show/discuss/review a few of my bento boxes, and show (link back to) some lunches I made in them.

The boxes in the photo above are what I call “my flower” bento boxes, because most of them seem to have a flower design on them. The exception is of course the round bunny bowl box, but somehow I always think of that one as a “flower box as well”. I don’t use this bunny bowl very often for lunch at work as it’s slightly too small, but I often use at home as a rice or miso soup bowl (you can use the lid as a bowl as well), they are the perfect size for that.

I also always think of these boxes as very typical Japanese bento boxes. Not sure why, but the style, decoration and “layout” of bottom container + top container with inner lid plus an outer lid, seems to be a style that you see often for Bento boxes. I guess it also helps that I bought these boxes at Japanese shops.

Some lunches I made in them (the photo should link to the relevant blog post)

Baabaasheep

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 Animal Farm

Animal Farm.jpg

 Easter bunnies

Easter-Bento

Bunny bowl

bento with egg fried rice and bunny decoration in a bunny bowl

The bunny container and the red flower container were bought at Bento & Co, I just love this (online) shop, they have so much choice and the (online) staff is always very helpful if you have any questions. You also get a discount for future use if you buy a box, use it for a bento and send them a photo of it (which they often place on their website/facebook). You can imagine that I have done that a few times 🙂

The box with the pink lid in the back is the one that I bought recently at Japan Matsuri in London (I wrote about that here) and the smaller box on the right is one that I bought at the Japan Bookshop in London (around the corner of the Japan Centre). They have a small collection of bento boxes, chop sticks and table ware.

All these boxes came with bento bands to keep lid/containers together, and it is recommended to wash them by hand, especially because of the design on the lid. Some of the containers can be used in the microwave (without the inner lids) but I can’t always remember which ones, so I tend not to do this at all (I normally keep the instructions of each box, but I’m often too much in a hurry -or too lazy- to look it up, so better safe than sorry).

I now realise that I have another flower bento box which is not shown in this photo. It is however in another photo, about which I will write another blog post another time.  And this post shows my whole bento box collection

Not a packed bento lunch today… but (small) bento boxes (review)

Small bento boxes

Instead of showing a bento lunch, I am showing you some of my bento boxes in more detail. You can see my whole (current) collection in this post, and as promised, I will write a few posts describing the why/what/where’s of the bento boxes featured.

I actually didn’t make a lunch today….I was really struggling to get out of bed today and just quickly grabbed a few items. I will pop out to a shop to buy some sashimi, and all together it will still make a nice lunch, but hardly one to feature on my blog 🙂

(Update: I went and bought some very nice salmon/veg pots from Itsu, so decided to upload a photo of my lunch after all… 2 Itsu to go pots, some reheated rice with salmon furikake, miso soup and seaweed crisps 🙂 )

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But back to the bento boxes in  the photo…these are boxes that I actually don’t use that often, mainly because they are a bit small….I am a big eater and have found that a lot of Japanese Bento boxes are on the smallish side for me. That doesn’t mean I don’t use them at all, but sometimes just for smaller snacks.

  • pink box, can’t remember where I bought, but it was very cheap and it does feel a bit like cheap as well. No instructions on whether microwave proof. I do put it in the dishwasher though and it has survived (so far)
  • Yellow, two tier Korean Pororo set. Bought at Korean supermarket. No instructions on dishwasher/microwave use. Came with a bento belt. Very cute and fairly leak proof but just a bit small.
  • Wooden bento box. Bought on Amazon. Never used! I know! I’m actually a bit afraid of using it as this is the only untreated wooden box I have and not sure whether food will stain/smell etc. But I would really like to use it. It has only 1 compartment and a deep lid plus inner lid (all wood), so I have already been thinking that you could turn it into a two tier box and thus increase capacity. Definitely not micro/dishwasher safe though!
  • Glit & Brillia Blue Bento box (Japan Centre, around £5). Microsafe. Practical in that the smaller compartment fits into the larger compartment after you have finished your lunch. Came with bento belt. I love this box, just wish it was slightly larger… I do think that this one, plus the last one are both very good and inexpensive boxes to start with, but be aware of the size….
  • Vive style pink lunch box with compartment (Japan Centre, around £5). Microsafe and very practical with the compartments. It’s larger than the Glit & Brillia box (if you take out all the compartments). I haven’t used this box yet, because I only bought it a few weeks ago…..

Lastly, some photo’s (and links to previous posts) where I used some of the boxes above 🙂

 

For the post about my Octonauts bento: see here

For the post about my Noodle bento: see here

For the post about my World Book Day bento: see here

Please note that I have not been asked/paid to review these boxes, the above is my own opinion.

My bento box collection ….

Joanna from Every Week is Green and Grace from Refining our Tastes asked me to show a photo with all my bento boxes….(I have already blogged a post about my bento accessories, which you can read all about here)

I was hesitant at first as I’m actually a bit ashamed how many I have, some of which I don’t use that often at all! But here are all of them:

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My bento box collection!

Wow, did you count them?

The “problem” with posting my bento boxes is that I now have the “evidence” right out there, on my blog, so I can’t sneakily go out and buy a new bento box, saying, oh, no, I had that one already for ages…. 😉

I actually have now “invented” some rules for myself to avoid buying new ones. I’m only allowed to buy a new bento box when:

  • it’s diswasher safe and/or microwave proof
  • a shape or size that isn’t yet in my current collection
  • or too cute to resist!

Yep, self inflicted rules are always a bit flexible 🙂

When I put out all my bento boxes to make a photo, I also made some photo’s of “groups” of bento boxes, so in the next few weeks I will try to put up a weekly post reviewing some of the boxes I have, where I bought them etc and linking back to some lunches I made using those boxes.

And now I’m off out shopping…

Wimbledon Bento!

There is a lot of sport ongoing at the moment and I have already made a football inspired Bento, but this time I thought I would try and tackle Wimbledon!

Fabricating some tennis players is a bit too challenging, but I wanted to try out a nori cutting technique I once found somewhere on the internet. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the instructions at the moment, but basically it said to print a picture of what you want to cut & use that as a template. The template is laid on top of your norisheet & with a very sharp precision knife, you cut out all the details, starting from the middle.

I found a clear clipart picture of a tennis racket, so used that for my  Wimbledon Bento:

bento lunch Wimbledon theme nori cut out

I used my lovely red ball girl Bento box, I thought that was quite fitting although I am pretty sure that her dress wouldn’t fit the Wimbledon dress code for ball girls *-^…

The nori racket is lying on an egg sheet filled with rice, and the tennis ball is also made from egg sheet. I have included some quail egg people, they are the spectators! Some radishes and of course Wimbledon is not complete without strawberries. They (and some raspberries) are in a little heart shaped cupcake mould that I just received from a friend (thanks, as you can see they are in good use).

I am happy that I didn’t choose a too complicated picture for my nori cutting as it was quite time consuming. But fun to make 🙂