For those not familiar, “Bento” is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine and have made their way into popular US mainstream culture. A traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquer ware. Bento boxes are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops, railway stations, and department stores. However, Japanese homemakers often spend time and energy on a carefully prepared lunch box for their spouse, child, or themselves. In the coming weeks, I will devote recipe days, from time to time, to the “US” inspired Bento and include various cuisines from not only American, but of many other countries as well.
Today’s Bento is a little bit of everything that pleases every aspect of our American palates, perfect for lunches at home or on the go. Practice up on your chop stick usage–it’s highly impressive! 😉
1: Top left–Kalamata olives
2: Top right: Cinnamon spiced pecans
3: Bottom left: California roll with wasabe and ginger slices
4: Bottom right: Sweet Peppadew peppers stuffed with gorgonzola cheese…feta works well too.
The above combo can be found at your local delicatessen and put together in your bento in a flash! I stuffed the peppadew, but the rest came from my local deli. Mix and match anything that your little hearts desire. However, I have a multitude of combos to share, so please look for the “Bento days” at Once Upon a Spice!