Bento Oh Bento

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I resisted buying this oh so cute bento book; giving in only after I convinced myself that the recipes looked simple and delicious.  This time I'm thankful for my lack of will power.  This book is simply eye candy; authored by Susan, a fellow Hawaii resident.   She shares a lot of bento cuteness on her blog Hawai'i's Bento Box Cookbook, Bentos and More for Kids. Once you visit her blog; you will never look at food the same way !

Inspired by her book; I attempted to make a bento for one of our family's "It's a Beautiful Day" eat out night.  This ritual was born out of a ploy on my part to get out of making dinner on Friday nights..and it worked!  If the weather is nice (and oh, did you know we live in Hawaii??), we head out to the town center in our community; buy take out dinners; sit at one of the tables surrounding the center stage, enjoying the outdoors; entertained by hula dancers or a singing group, and a perhaps play in the Friday night bingo game.  It's a relaxing way to end the week.

I don't have much bento making supplies so this is my first bento box ... filled with sesame chicken, fried dumpling, a tomato (and a very tasty one at that), kamaboko (fish cake), and a faceless bear (poor thing).

The sesame chicken was ono-licious : local speak for 'oh so delicious'.  The recipe is from the book which I'll share in a moment.

Bento making is FUN.   I put together another one for last Friday; this time with kaarage shrimp as the main course.  Sorry no pics ... for the rice I made these cuties from the book

A picture from Hawai'i's Bento Box Cookbook
The face was a bit difficult; using kitchen shears to cut small round shapes for the eyes.   Avid bento makers use nori punches for faces and such...but these punches are a bit pricey..BUT DAMN CUTE. Will my lack of will power help make the 'right choice' for me?

After a bit of research on the web, I did find that paper punches work well too ... may not be cheaper but a lot easier to find ... so I'm be off on a punch hunt !

I did buy more bento making stuffs at a local Japanese store this past weekend ... oh, oh, I feel a 'collection' starting..and after I decluttered my kitchen ... the cycle never ends.

cute picks

cylinder shaped musubi molds to make the Bento Boys
Sesame Chicken : A recipe from the Hawai'i's Bento Box Cookbook
Serves 5

4 T mochiko flour
4 T cornstarch
4 T sugar
2 eggs
2 T shoyu (soy sauce)
2 T oyster sauce
2 tsp black sesame seeds
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

Combine the mochiko flour, cornstarch, sugar, eggs, shoyu, oyster sauce, and black sesame seeds in a large bowl; stir until mixed well.  Add chicken and marinate overnight.  Before frying, mix the chicken in the marinade well.  Drop the chicken one at a time into hot oil and deep fry until browned and cooked through.


"It's a Beautiful Day"


  1. hhahahaha it is all downhill now! I have a whole draw just for bento supplies and it doesn't include the boxes!
    Yes, paper punches work with nori and if you use a chopstick, dip the end in water you can pick up the teeny eyes and places them easily.
    If you are in need of some bento goods, give me a shout, I am sure I can hunt them down for you.

  2. Hi Sandra....I don't know why but food in a bento box seem much tastier than on a plate .. ^*^

  3. Hi Jo...I bought another cutter today! Yup, it's downhill for me! Thank you so much for the chopstick/water tip...and most of all for offering to help with finding bento goods ... You are awesome ! Sending you big hugs --->>>>