Title: Simply Bento: A Complete Course in Preparing Beautiful Box Lunch Ideas for Healthy Portable Portions
Author: Yuko Yagi and Noriko Yura
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Race Point Publishing
Date Started: September 14, 2018
Date Finished: September 16, 2018
Format: Adobe Digital Edition
*I would like to thank the publisher, author, and NetGalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Last summer I lived in Japan, and not in a bustling metropolis like Tokyo. I lived on the top of an isolated mountain and the only food available for most of my meals came from the convenience store down the block. Now, convenience stores in Japan are nothing like any other convenience stores I’ve ever seen, and are truly the most convenient of stores one could imagine. I ate uncountable bento (Japanese packed lunches) from this “konbini” and have been missing them terribly. Not only are bento delightfully delicious, but also aesthetically pleasing and more balanced than most meals I prepare for myself.
For the last year, I have attempted to both emulate the food I ate in these bento and find local restaurants that capture the flavors of these pre-packed lunches, but everything has fallen short. And that is why I was so thrilled to get a chance to read Simply Bento. This cookbook brings together all of the aspects of bento in an easy to follow manner, from preparing the food, to packing, and the arrangements within the boxes. All of the meals I have been yearning for are included within these pages and the recipes are shockingly easy! The authors even provide hints on how to save time by using leftovers from dinner, or prepping the night before, since bento is a labor of love and can take some time to prepare. But it is worth it, so worth it.
Simply Bento includes many classic recipes, such as karaage (Japanese fried chicken) and hambagu (Japanese hamburger steak), but also Americanized dishes like chicken nuggets bento and quesadilla bento. The side dishes are also marvelous, with a variety of salads and vegetable dishes. There is even a section for vegan bento. All told, there are over 140 recipes within these pages. This book had me longing to cook every single recipe and to order up all of the cute accessories to make heart-shaped boiled eggs and star cutout carrots. So fire up the rice cooker, and enjoy some bento!
Overall, 4/5 moose