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Kawaii Bento Boxes: Cute and Convenient Japanese Meals on the Go Paperback – 1 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Japan Publications Trading Company (1 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4889962603
  • ISBN-13: 978-4889962604
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 21 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 512,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Guy Chapman on 18 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I have spent alot of time in Japan and was looking to recreate the gorgeous food from there in the UK. I can easily make Sushi and Sashimi however, I was lost on many ideas for bento boxes and my Japanese friends didn't help as they gave me obscure ideas. This book is aimed for the younger generation but has given me many ideas of what I can use and how to make a variety of boxes. Even my mum, who does not like Japanese food, has been taken with it and is not looking forward to a 'treasure bag'
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 6 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just what I was looking for. My child suffers from allergies and I wanted to be able to bring healthy packed lunches when going out, rather than eat the usual chicken nuggets, chips and beans which are on every child's restaurant menu.

The bentos are so cute and easy to make. There are hundreds of ideas, from complete boxes to little individual dishes sorted out by colour so you can pick and choose. My 3 year old definitely eats more when food is presented in this way. It does take more time than making a sandwich, but do you do feel proud of your work afterwards! It's nice to be creative once in a while. I even take pictures of my good ones and my friends are always impressed. Each meal probably takes about 20-25 minutes to make. I am a stay-at-home mum so that is not a problem most of the time.

I don't follow each idea slavishly, rather, I use the book for inspiration and adapt as necessary. I use the ideas for everyday meals as well, not just packed lunches.

Overall an excellent bento book for kids' meals, but only if you have time and like the Japanese way of eating (rice based meals). Not suitable if you have to rush out the door at 7.00am with kids in tow, unless you get up early.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sophie on 9 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is really great to get ideas from when making bento. The directory of foods based on colors is really nice and convenient. But don't expect the time needed for each bento is correct, unless you are very skilled and quick cook. I'm quite new at bento, but I do know how to cook most things, but I often spend about double time, at least an hour when I make a bento. I also find that many recipes lack fibre, as most of them use white rice, white bread and wheat noodles, but that part can always be replaced with something with more whole-grains.

The best thing about this book is definitely the beautiful pictures which inspires me to make my bentos both delicious to look at and to eat ^^
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mashandbeans on 22 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Arrived quickly and in good condition. Not as helpful as i'd hoped although it is well laid out
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 40 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Use daily for my daughters' bento! 7 Jun. 2010
By Christy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I live in Japan so I can get all the ingredients listed which makes this book extremely convenient for me. My daughter pretty much took onigiri (rice balls) or some form of rice for lunch her entire first year in youchien (preschool). Now she's asking me for stuff she sees her friends bringing to school so I wanted to get a bento cook book in English. I am so happy I got this one! First of all, my two daughters look at this book daily to point out things they want to try or to determine the following day's menu. They've even put tabs of paper in each page that has something they want to eat (which means there is a tab on nearly every page). Granted a lot of this is Japanese style food and may be way to out of the ordinary for the average American. My daughter is an extremely picky eater and has stepped out of her comfort zone and eaten things she wouldn't normally since using this cookbook.
A word of caution, each recipe lists how long it will take to make but I find them to be off. It doesn't include time it takes to cook rice and other important steps. Also, if you are a novice like me it takes a lot longer to make some of the details. Second, it uses ingredients that aren't exactly common in America. Quail eggs are at all the stores here, but I can't think of ever seeing them in America.
I have included pictures of 5 different bentos I made last week with notes on the pictures. This will give you an idea of some of the recipes in the book. Also, I mix and match recipes based on what I have fresh in the kitchen. If you are thinking about moving away from the standard American lunch then I would definitely look into Kawaii Bento Boxes, everyone in this house loves it!
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
A very good charaben and bento book, with some reservations 8 Oct. 2009
By cynical_reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been looking and looking for a good book in English that matches the quality of information in Japanese books about bento lunches and charaben (cute decorated bentos). This one comes the closest. No wonder really, since it is a translation of a popular Japanese bento book! The photos are really clear, and the directions are easy to follow. Anyone can start making their own bentos, decorative or not, from this book. I just took off one star because it does use a number of ingredients that may be unfamiliar to non-Japanese readers, and doesn't really describe them. (That's where bento blogs step in.) It's still practical to use for an American bento enthusiast.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Surprise !!! 15 Aug. 2009
By Chao_Sweetie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received this book and I am very excited about it. I know some other Bento Books have been lacking when it comes to recipes, but this one is loaded with good ones. The recipes are a little quick and are pretty self explanatory. This is a good starter book for ideas, but some people who have never heard of some of the ingredients used will be lost. (That is what google is for) Overall, Its a great book with clear pictures and descriptions. The last few pages are color coded to the color food you want in your bento. If you want more yellow in your lunch, the recipe for curried cauliflower, more red.. shrimp in chili sauce.. etc etc.. Which is a good asset to avoid having a monochromatic bento lunch. I would also buy Hana Sushi for better sushi ideas.
33 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Okay, not great. 6 April 2010
By Kate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying that I love the format of this book. There are tons of photos and nothing looks too "perfect" (some of the cucumbers looked a little rancid- lol) so you can see what it will really look like if you make it.

That being said, I probably won't make anything in it. The reason I pack bento lunches for my children is for their health and the sake of the environment- which I believe is common in the USA as cute bento lunches aren't a cultural norm like they are in other countries. The meals in this book looked cute but a lot of the items in the pictures were frozen, processed foods (like these french fries with faces). Also, there are a lot of really unhealthy meats shown which I would just never use in a bento. I can not see my children eating some of the foods cold in a bento- like the omelets- though they might like them hot.

It gets 3 stars because the photos are pretty inspirational and for the section on how to cut some fruits and veggies to make good garnishes. That was cute.

Bottom line: If you are looking for inspiration, this is great. If you want recipes, try another book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
OMG KAWAII! 8 Nov. 2009
By Sophie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just recieved this book and my head is swimming with ideas! The photographs are very inspirational, and the step by step instructions are somewhat simplified, which leaves room for more photos and recipes! I don't need to know how to boil rice or dice an onion, I already know that stuff, so for those who are very "new" to cooking, the book may be a bit confusing. I am not one for following recipes exactly, so this book is perfect for someone like me who just uses the pictures and basic ingredients to create something all my own. The ingredients used are definately not all things you can find in your basic corner store, but that's also why I love this book. I'm not planning on bringing leftover mac and cheese to work everyday...I want new ingredients and ideas! I would recommend this book to any experienced cook looking to make their bento boxes a little more fun, but not to anyone who doesn't know their way around the kitchen (or the Japanese kitchen). Kawaii!
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