Easy Japanese Recipes

How To Make Cute Bento

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.


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!

Don’t want to miss a recipe?  Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox!  And stay in touch on FacebookGoogle+Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates.

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

How To Make Cute Bento
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 Bento
  • 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
  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

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.

Posted in: Bento, Reviews

Leave a Comment

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  • Medeja June 16, 2014, 6:25 pm

    They look so cute! Even I would like to have such lunch :D

  • Baby Sumo June 16, 2014, 6:41 pm

    Ooo Nami, you do make the cutest bentos. LOVE!

  • kwbentodiary June 16, 2014, 7:23 pm

    aww….so cute!! Beautifully done Nami ^_^

    Gosh…. I would love to win Cooking Gallery :) Need to hop to next post! Haha….

  • Lisa H. | from My Lemony Kitchen... June 16, 2014, 7:26 pm

    Fun to make and fun to eat :D

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef June 16, 2014, 9:05 pm

    How cute, Nami! I’m always in awe of your bento boxes for the kids. You’re a very good mama!

  • Raymund June 16, 2014, 10:47 pm

    They are so cute, I know my daughter would love to have this for her lunch box everyday

  • cristina June 16, 2014, 11:06 pm

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

  • Nanditanataraj June 16, 2014, 11:28 pm

    This is one cute bento indeed. Loved the presentation nami!

  • The Ninja Baker June 16, 2014, 11:40 pm



  • Elizabeth Ann Quirino @Mango_Queen June 16, 2014, 11:47 pm

    You make the cutest bentos and they are so appetizing, I really get hungry reading the post. Thanks for sharing this delightful food art. Have a wonderful time on your next adventure, Nami!

  • Linh June 16, 2014, 11:48 pm

    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.

    • Nami June 16, 2014, 11:53 pm

      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!

    • Cooking Gallery June 21, 2014, 7:51 pm

      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 :).

  • Derya Bas June 17, 2014, 1:45 am


    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

  • Siti June 17, 2014, 3:01 am

    Cute cute cute….and those bento toolss!!cute shapes and cute pastel colors.

    • Nami June 17, 2014, 4:16 am

      Thank you so much, Siti! :)

  • Kitchen Belleicious June 17, 2014, 5:13 am

    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

  • Monica June 17, 2014, 6:22 am

    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!

  • Millie l Add A Little June 17, 2014, 7:14 am

    These are all so cute!
    I love them!

  • Gourmet Getaways June 17, 2014, 7:19 am

    Cute indeed! I think I would stare and smile at these for hours before finally deciding to eat them! Nicely done, Nami!

    Gourmet Getaways

  • cquek June 17, 2014, 8:18 am

    gosh its so cute, i would keep it…

  • Julie B. June 17, 2014, 12:27 pm

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

    • Nami June 18, 2014, 7:17 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Julie! The book is great for everyone who makes bento or want to make bento. :)

  • John@Kitchen Riffs June 17, 2014, 12:58 pm

    Wow, cute is the word for these! What a fun bento – terrific job. Sounds like a great book, too. Really interesting post — thanks.

  • Kelly June 17, 2014, 1:40 pm

    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 :)

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce June 17, 2014, 3:18 pm

    Oh Nami, your Bentos are so cute… can’t stop looking at the chicken, great creations…!!!

  • Sissi June 17, 2014, 3:35 pm

    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!).

  • Sissi June 17, 2014, 3:40 pm

    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?).

  • Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking June 17, 2014, 5:58 pm

    Nami this is too cute and cool! Amazing video!!!!! I want to make this for my kids when they start school!

  • Michelle @ The Bakeanista June 17, 2014, 7:16 pm

    Way too cute!! I love all your bento boxes. Wished my mum did the same for me when I was in school too. :P

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 17, 2014, 8:04 pm

    Nami, these are the absolute cutest! Will you make my lunch everyday? ;)

  • Jeannie Tay June 17, 2014, 10:25 pm

    I would love to browse through that cookbook to get ideas on making bento…looks really attractive, would be nice to have it on the coffee table too!

  • Kay / Pure + Complex June 17, 2014, 10:47 pm

    I absolutely love this! These are too cute. I don’t have children, but I definitely have nieces and nephews and I know they would love this.

  • Amira June 17, 2014, 11:38 pm

    These are so so cute. I always wondered how they do such things in Korean drama :). The tools made the process a breeze for sure.

  • Cheryl@Baking Taitai June 18, 2014, 2:29 am

    Your children are so blessed to have mummy making such cute and delicious bento for them!

  • Hotly Spiced June 18, 2014, 3:40 am

    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

  • Choc Chip Uru June 18, 2014, 5:04 am

    These bentos are so cute, I would love to have them for lunch :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  • minnie@thelady8home June 18, 2014, 11:54 am

    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 :)

  • [email protected] June 18, 2014, 12:27 pm

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

  • Ilan June 18, 2014, 8:54 pm

    Wow, that really is a cute bento! HOW CAN YOU EAT SOMETHING SO KAWAII?? :)

  • Juliana June 19, 2014, 8:57 am

    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 :D

  • Rachel June 20, 2014, 2:52 am

    Love your blog so have nominated you for a Liebster Award! Read all about it here: http://eat-explore-enjoy.blogspot.de/2014/06/liebster-award.html

    • Nami June 26, 2014, 9:05 am

      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. :-))

  • Alessandra June 21, 2014, 4:27 am

    I love cute bentos! And all the tools to make it.


  • Cooking Gallery June 21, 2014, 7:53 pm

    What a lovely post and video! Thank you so much, Nami :D)!!

  • Lynna June 25, 2014, 11:53 pm

    Oh my gosh…this is just TOO CUTE!!!! *squeals*

  • Von June 30, 2014, 11:38 pm

    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 :D Your bento is so cute!