Cute Bento Recipes

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How To Make Cute Bento | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

I’ve been making bento lunch for my children for the past 2 years as they started elementary school.  However I never made cute character bento because I thought they would be too difficult.  Thanks to the wonderful bento cookbook, Bento Delights: Adorable + Stylish Lunches on the Go, written by my friend Syntia of Cooking Gallery, making this cute bento was very easy and fun!

To share this fun experience with you, I’m also giving away five (5) Bento Delights to Just One Cookbook readers and first two winners will also get a $20 voucher to shop at Bento&Co online store courtesy of Cooking Gallery.

Bento Delights Review | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Bento Delights: Adorable + Stylish Lunches on the Go is a great cookbook to help you make stylish and fun bentos, regardless whether you’re a beginner or an expert.  This 118-page full-color cookbook features 31 different bento recipes from character bentos to traditional bentos so you can be inspired with new bento ideas.

You can see the preview of the cookbook on Amazon, but here are some of the pages from the cookbook.

Contentscharabentraditionalonigiri

As you see, the cookbook is very well-organized and there are big pictures of what a final bento looks like on each featured bento and step-by-step pictures will guide you visually.

The cookbook includes Bento Basics and Tools & Accessories if you are new to bento making, and there are many useful tips and tricks that you can use in your bento making right away!  The cookbook also includes an additional 100 recipes at the end so you will always have bento recipe ideas for your bento everyday!

How To Make Cute Bento | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

When I first started to make this sandwich bento, I tried to see if I can avoid spending money on bento making tools such as animal cookie cutter and nori punchers.  If you’re wondering what nori puncher is, it’s a little tool to create facial expression using a sheet of nori seaweed.  Having various nori punchers help create different fun faces.

I attempted to make my own handmade nori facial expression and hand cut animal shape…but to be honest they didn’t look nice at all despite my effort.  After I purchased a few bento tools, it was much easier and faster to make cute characters.  If you plan to make character bentos in the future, I think the following tools are worth investing.

Character Bento Tools | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

How To Make Cute Bento | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Check out this quick video on How To Make Cute Bento on my YouTube Channel!

Bento Delights Giveaway (WORLDWIDE)

I’m also giving away five (5) Bento Delights to Just One Cookbook readers and first two winners will also get a $20 voucher to shop at Bento&Co online store courtesy of Cooking Gallery.

If you want your chance to win a copy of Bento Delights, please CLICK HERE to enter.  It’s WORLDWIDE, anyone can enter to win!

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Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

How To Make Cute Bento
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 Bento
Ingredients
  • For Characters
  • 1 2”x2” cucumber peel
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 1 slice ham
  • 1 small round carrot
  • 1 sheet nori seaweed
  • For Sandwich
  • 1 Tbsp. strawberry jam
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 1 slice cucumber
  • 1 slice tomato
  • 1 Tbsp. egg salad
  • 1 Tbsp. Japanese mayonnaise
  • For Bento
  • Lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fruits (oranges, strawberries, and Apple Bunny/Rabbit
  • Veggies (cherry tomatoes and cucumbers)
  • Octopus shape sausages
  • What you will need:
  • Plastic straw
  • A bear shape cookie cutter
  • A bunny shape cookie cutter
  • A round cookie cutter
  • A square sandwich cutter
  • Small scissors
  • Nori punchers
  • Tweezers
    How To Make Cute Bento Ingredients
Instructions
  1. For Characters: Watch the youtube video to learn how to make character faces for froggy, chick, and bunny. The trick is to make all the parts first and then create the faces after.
  2. For Sandwich: Using a cookie cutter, cut out the bread to make mini sandwich.
    How To Make Cute Bento 1
  3. Spread the strawberry jam and egg salad on the sandwich bread.
    How To Make Cute Bento 2
  4. Spread mayonnaise on one of the sandwich bread and place ham, cheese, tomato and cucumber on top.
    How To Make Cute Bento 3
  5. For Bento: Place the lettuce and sandwiches carefully into the bento box. Place the character faces on the sandwich and secure with little pieces of uncooked spaghetti if you want to secure the character faces on the sandwich. Fill the empty space of the bento box with cherry tomatoes. You can also pack additional bento fillers such as octopus shape sausages, vegetables, and fruits.
    How To Make Cute Bento 4
Notes
Please read FOOD SAFETY TIPS.

If you want to secure the character faces on the sandwich, secure with little pieces of uncooked spaghetti.

To buy this bento box, click here.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

monbento bentos & accessoriesI  used Monbento lunch box and you can purchase at monbento site and Amazon!

Disclosure: Just One Cookbook receives a commission for products purchased from Amazon links on this page.

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  1. cristina

    These bentos and tools are so cute! What a special thing to do for your children’s lunch or for children party food! 😉

    7
  2. Linh

    How can you secure those tiny parts of the animal character on cucumber or ham? I am afraid it would move around when you carry your bento.

    11
    • Hi Linh! I wrote in Note section, but going to move up to the last step. The cookbook recommends if you want to secure the character faces on the sandwich, secure with little pieces of uncooked spaghetti. Hope this helps!

      12
    • Hi Linh, you can secure those tiny details such as nori eyes and smiles with a dab of mayonnaise. This usually does the trick. As Nami has mentioned, you can also secure the cucumber frog, cheese chick and ham bunny with a piece of uncooked spaghetti noodle, to make sure they don’t move around during transport. As extra precaution, you can even individually wrap each mini sandwich with cling wrap. Hope this helps :).

      44
  3. Derya Bas

    Nami-san,

    I will marry with by Japanese boyfriend next year, I try to learn Japanese cuisine and obento. I want this present book to make kawaii obento for my boyfriend :) Onegaishimasu

    13
  4. SOOOOO CUTE! Always love when you show us your bento boxes for the kids. The other kids must be so jealous when they see your kids bring out their boxes:))) Love your tips and the links to the products are great for us who don’t know where to find some of those things! Thanks

    17
  5. Your bento is adorable! I never realized there were tools for it. Makes perfect sense now. I’d love to do something like this for my son…but what if he comes to expect it regularly?! : ) Great job, Nami!

    18
  6. Julie B.

    The preview pages from the bento book look adorable.
    I bet your children’s friends are so jealous of their bento lunches!

    22
  7. Oh my goodness, these bento are so adorable Nami! I love the tools and totally wish I had this for lunch every day :) You are such a great mom and I’m sure you kids look forward to having their lunch every day :)

    24
  8. What a gorgeous bento! I have heard about CG’s cookery book and am really in awe of how much work she must have put into it… You are very talented for character bentos too! I wouldn’t mind having one like this for myself either 😉 (To be frank, I have bought lots of bento cutting gadgets and never used them… time to change!).

    26
  9. By the way, I have had a Monbento box for two past years and I love it! (I have bought the fuchsia one :-) and some small containers). I love its pleasant silky touch…. (Did you know it was a French brand?).

    27
  10. This is a very cute lunch box and I can tell you now, my Alfie doesn’t get a glamorous lunch box like this at all. I’m really going to have to up the anti and do something a lot more cute and fancy xx

    35
  11. That cookbook looks amazing! I am going bookmark it and put it on my wishlist. At the same time, i hope you are coming out with a bento book of your own, besides a sushi book of course. You would become a sensation, especially for all sushi lovers who want to create sushi like a pro :)

    38
  12. A great kit helps but you are so creative and gifted, they are adorable Nami

    39
  13. Nami, these are adorable…so so cute!
    I can only imagine the smiles on your kids face when seeing the bento.
    Thanks for the review…hope you are having a wonderful week 😀

    41
    • Congrats on your award, and thank you for thinking of my blog. :) (p.s. I feel very honored and flattered to receive it. However, I will not post about or pass on these blog awards/games because my focus of the blog remains on the food and recipes. Thank you for understanding. :-))

      47
  14. So I’m not the only one who’s tried making character shapes without proper bento tools! haha (I failed pretty badly when it came to cutting eyes and mouths!). I’ve only ever made character bento once and it was so much time and effort! Well worth it in the end, but not something that I could make everyday. So glad Daiso recently opened near me, so I can finally purchase the tools I need 😀 Your bento is so cute!

    48