Character themed bento boxes, or kyaraben, are very popular in Japan for parents to create for children. Check out these impressively detailed and completely edible lunchtime treats (from left to right):
Play too much Katamari Damacy and the real world may begin to take on the appearance of the game. That is, suddenly you find yourself looking at all the objects you could - and really, really want to - roll up into an increasingly large ball. Bento art maven Anna The Red (previously featured here) loves to place the game and, instead of trying to roll up all the trees in her neighborhood, made this awesome Katamari Damacy bento meal.
The Prince is made of potato salad wrapped in lettuc leaves with parsley stems for his arms and legs. The Katamari is a Japanese chicken curry-filled bowl of rice covered in miniature foods and characters from the game made of vegetables, meat, and eggs.
This spotlight is going to be awesome, because we all love bento here and the only things that we might love more are bento characters (charabens). Some of them are incredibly clever and they need so much skill! As you can probably tell from our Frozen Olaf bento Fridgecam, we try our best but we’re not quite there yet!
It seems like the perfect time to point you over to someone who really can do good bento, and actually has a whole blog devoted to it! Ming started making charabens for her son’s lunch and started the Bento, Monsters to document them a whole 3 years later.
I don’t even know where to start with the recipes… There are a crazy amount of fantastic ideas and creations (100’s every year!) on the blog and I’d love to highlight most of them, but I’m going to try my best to narrow them down to just a few.
Let’s start with Olaf… Ming has done loads of frozen stuff, but this one is really nice. It’s so simple and looks amazing. I think it’s the dish that really shows off that being a little bit creative can make a meal really exciting for kids!
Then there’s the rice dishes… My favourite has to be Ninja Bento! They’re soooo cool and have a full step-by-step photo guide too. If you saw our Mario Bros Fridgecam a few weeks ago you’ll like this one too!
We’ve been talking about food art and inspiration in Fridgecam recently, and there’s not many better places to get your fix than Bento, Monsters! Go look at the hundreds of other recipes that we couldn’t cover here :)
Our favourite recipe: So tough… But take a look at this cute Yakisoba recipe. It sounds really tasty too! Top reason to follow Ming: Who knew there was so much you could do with food? Other stuff to check out: If you just want to see great Charabens then follow Ming on Instagram