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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical (26 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935654411
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935654414
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 0.7 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 459,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Karura VINE VOICE on 17 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having worked my way through the recipes of the Just Bento Cookbook, I thought it was about time I added another bento book to my collection. From the title, this book seemed to promise recipes that would be quick and easy - just the thing for making a quick and delicious packed lunch.

Indeed, there is a good variety of recipes in the book, many of them along the lines of 1-pot stir fries with rice, that are tasty and take, if not quite the ten minutes promised in the title, at least no more than twenty minutes to prepare and assemble. Even so, the book is far from perfect. A lot of the recipes are impossible to reproduce because they require highly specialised ingredients that even those with a local Asian food store may find hard to source - see, for example, swordfish or fiddlehead ferns. I did my best to substitute for similar, available items where possible, but this just led to a lot of sub par dishes that probably didn't resemble what they were supposed to be.

If you're just starting out with bento, then this probably isn't the book to get - I would instead point you to the fabulous Just Bento Cookbook, which has a lot more in the way of introductory tips, plus a wider variety of delicious yet achievable recipes. Nonetheless, there are some good recipes in this book, so if you're looking to expand an existing collection of English-language bento recipes, this is a worthy addition to your bookshelf.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ella Bellew on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great recipies, easily adaptable for variety and very tasty! I wish there were more vegetarian recipes, however I have substituted the meat with other ingredients which work really well.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Orinoco Womble on 18 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
I had heard good things about this book, so as a newbie to the world of bento I thought it would be a good place to start. I was looking for healthy, one-serving bento meals. The Amazon blurb tells us that the author is a "nutritionist and TV chef"--yet there is absolutely no nutritional information in the book, not even an approximate calorie count. Which is odd, if the author is really a nutritionist, she should have at least the calories at her fingertips.

It's a beautiful book to look at, but some of the recipes are a bit nebulous (how much is "one serving" of ramen?) unless you have some cooking experience. Lots of lovely photographs, but few recipes for the size of the pages, and very little in the way of concrete information. Fortunately I have been cooking for many many years, so I can tweak and guesstimate, but for a young person or a new cook, it wouldn't be quite so useful. Over half the pages in the book are given to photographs, with no recipe. It's a paperback, and I don't think it will stand up to much rough handling.

To be honest, I expected a bit more information. Even the appendices are scant. I think more thought was given to the photo layout and quick-prep aspect than anything else.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 34 reviews
99 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Decent addition for an English bento book collection 15 Aug. 2012
By Merve Kaya - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I saw that a good looking new English bento book was released, and from a Japanese author, I had to have it right away. This is only the second English bento book I have. If you are interested in bento making and can't read Japanese, I say get this book RIGHT NOW. You should have no hesitations whatsoever.

If you can read Japanese, you probably wouldn't be looking at this book anyway, but just in case: I highly advise you to skip on this book because there is nothing new in it that you won't find from much better books. A few recommendations are つくりおきおかずで朝つめるだけ!and おべんとうつくりの正解.

That being said, let's get to the actual review of it as a cookbook:

I found the recipes authentic yet very simple. There are decidedly Japanese bentos (ex. Rolled omelet and boiled hijiki bento) and very non-Japanese bentos (ex. French toast salad bento) included in the book to satisfy every palate. However, quite a few of the recipes include Japanese items that may not be easily found in your regular grocery store. I believe this is because the book is just a translation from its Japanese counterpart. Things like seven-spice powder, yukari, konjac, wakame, hijiki; I definitely do not have in any grocery stores near me. I would not even know what some of these items were if it wasn't for my Japanese bento books. But at least half of the recipes use only common ingredients (assuming you have access to things like mirin, sake, rice vinegar, miso). If you have an Asian store near you, no problem. I personally make bentos every day of the workweek and prefer to use ingredients I can obtain easily.

One thing that should be noted is that this book is based on bentos that have the sides on top of the rice. That is the case for every bento in the book that has rice, and the ingredients and toppings are selected to be appropriate for that purpose.

Compared to my other bento books I found this book rather thin, empty, and void of content in general. I read the entire book in less than half an hour. (Yes I did read an entire cookbook, to get an idea of all of the recipes) I do like the presentation and organization of the book, though. Most probably it looks so empty because all of the recipes are as concise as they can possibly be, but the book just left me wishing there was more in it. For example, in the Just Bento Cookbook, most recipes come with variations and in depth explanations of what works, what doesn't work, and why. But it still did have some nice ideas I hadn't thought of before, such as the easy ham katsu, and quail egg topping.

If you are an absolute beginner in bento-making, I don't think you can jump in and begin making these recipes right away. The explanation of recipes are very short. Even for simple things like tamagoyaki or teriyaki, I think one needs a thorough introduction when they first begin making them. So for a beginner, I would recommend The Just Bento Cookbook as a first step, and this book as a second step.
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Nice! 1 July 2012
By C.T. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since this didn't have a search inside feature, I didn't know what to expect. I was very pleasantly and happily surprised with this book. It contains quick to prep, single portion sized recipes to be served atop rice, pasta, bread or noodles with very nice pictures of the finished product. Recipes such as mushroom-stuffed hamburger, pork cutlet and ramen salad bento are just a few listed. There's even a small section on freezable mini desserts like brownies and sesame dumplings.

Most of the ingredients should be available at a well-stocked grocery, although some items may only be available at an asian market (i.e. sake, bonito flakes, etc). The last page does contain a short list of common ingredients used in japanese cooking (with substitutions for some of them) and a list of online resources.

This is not a bento book that shows you how to make cute designs and characters, rather, it provides relatively simple and quick recipes to prepare for your bento meal. All in all, I am very pleased with this book and can't wait to start making some of the recipes.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Yum! Great recipes portioned for one 11 July 2012
By Shala Kerrigan - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you don't know what bento lunches are, they are packed box lunches made to be attractive and healthy with a good variety of foods. Frequently packed in boxes specifically made for bentos, they can also be packed in other boxes like plastic refrigerator food storage boxes. That's just a very quick definition, because they can be complex and are absolutely an art form.

10 Minute Bento was originally written in Japanese by Megumi Fuji and translated to English. It's paperback and printed in full color with lots of photographs of the finished food and great serving ideas. Instead of cute characters, these are bento lunches that are attractive without being carefully planned out to create images.

You'll start with steamed rice, then add in the main course and vegetables. The recipes are written with cooking for one in mind. The recipes can be doubled if you're cooking for more than one. Instructions are clearly written and understandable, and measurements are by weight. The rice steamed ahead of time and the meat topping and vegetable sides are the 10 minute part of the cooking, that includes prep time.If you're doubling the recipe it may take longer for cutting and prepping. The portions are smaller than a lot of people are used to, but perfect for healthy lunches on the go.

For people who rarely eat or cook Japanese food, there are some recipes that will be familiar enough to be comfortable. These are just a few of my favorite examples. There are several more.

Mushroom Stuffed Hamburgers
Sliced Pork Cutlet
French Toast- It's a cheesy, non-sweet toast to serve with a salad
Avocado and Cucumber Salad which gets it's protein from surumi (imitation crab meat)
For people who love Japanese food, there are lots of quick to cook recipes that will make them happy for lunch. Here are a few examples:
Miso Salmon and Veggies
Soba and Daikon Salad
Shrimp Edamame Stir-Fry
There are also pages with quick veggie sides ideas, and a lot of the recipes have vegetables in them as well. Some of these may become favorite ways to serve vegetables for their flavors.

At the end of the book is an overview of things you can pack bento lunches in for yourself or your loved ones, as well as a list of possible substitutions and explanations of some of the ingredients. I'm fortunate enough to have a few well stocked grocers in my area. While some of the recipes do call for hard to find ingredients, most of them call for things that can be found fairly easily.

I like making easy bento lunches for my family. It's healthier and less expensive then getting fast food. It's also tastes better and fresher. There are so many great recipes in here to add a lot of variety to lunches. Since the recipes are small, they are also a good option for people who are cooking for one.
[I received a complimentary copy of the book to review on my craft blog- Don't Eat the Paste. My reviews are always my honest opinion]
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Simple but great 7 Sept. 2012
By VA_barb - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received this book a few days ago and read it from cover to cover last night because it had some great stuff in it. Since being in Japan for 5 years a while back, I love Japanese food, and am recently infatuated with bentos. I have a couple other bento books that have some delicious recipes in them as well, but this one is my favorite so far, even though this morning was my first actual recipe I made from this book. I made the Miso Salmon on page 20. It turned out great! All of the recipes in the book are fairly simple (of course they have to be so they can be made in 10 minutes) and reuse basic ingredients (soy sauce, sake/white wine, etc.) in many of them, so you don't have to run out and spend a hundred bucks on a ton of ingredients just so you can make more than one recipe.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a simple but delicious book of bento recipes, though if you're totally new to bento making, you might want to do your own research online about the history of bentos, for tips on selecting different types of bentos, etc., because there is almost nothing 'extra' in this book outside of the recipes. That being said, it's still a great book overall and I look forward to making many more of the recipes. If you want great recipes plus the 'extras', including morning time management charts for making bentos, I would also recommend The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh.

The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good New Addition to My Bento Library 10 Oct. 2012
By JustIMHO - Published on
Format: Paperback
Taking into consideration some of the caveats in other reviews, I am lucky to live in a large city with easy access to at least three major Asian markets. In addition I read cookbooks, bento blogs and the cooking sections of the newspaper extensively and am familiar with many of the ingredients already. That being said I agree the recipes in this book may be challenging to a beginner or to someone not familiar with, or with access to, the less common ingredients.

One thing I really like about this book is that it shows you do not need to buy expensive bento boxes to have a successful bento. Bentos are pictured in containers ranging from beaufitul (expensive) wooden bento boxes to less expensive but no less beautiful plastic and lacquer boxes to take-out containers and (my favorite) a plastic whipped topping container (just like at home).

I especially like the brevity with which the recipes are written - when I am copying recipes this is the way I like to write them. Just the facts, ma'am.

I had started preparing bento for my work lunches but a change in schedule left me with less time in the morning and I have resorted to just sandwiches, chips and a piece of fruit lately. This book gives me hope that I can return to my prior bento habits with some quick to prepare bento meals.

Pre-planning is the key. If vegetables, meats and tofu are cut up the night before, cooking will be even faster in the morning.

My caveat is that the meals may not provide enough variety - easily remedied by adding a few additional raw or blanched vegetables, a boiled egg or a quick pickle for a little extra.

This book gives me hope that I might even convince the Man to try bento lunches, even if I have to give him sauteed spinach every day instead of the vegetables he does not like. I look forward to preparing bento from this lovely little book.
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