This was originally posted in my main blog on 2/23/09 http://tias-place.blogspot.com/2009/02/bento-gear-first-official-bento.html you can go there to see photos
My Bento gear arrived on Friday from Ichiban Kan, http://www.ichibankanusa.com/
I ordered the Natural Lunch Two tier & the two tier oval boxes both in greeen
I also got the flower & bear rice moulds, bear & bunny egg moulds, Happy Fruit mayo cups, The Penguin mayo cup, & the 3 piece mini containers.
Upon opening my box I was a bit dismayed! Since I had spent the last month reading & looking at pictures of fabulous bentos that looked Bursting with food....these boxes seemed WAY TO TINY!
As I sat and pondered I realized, since we tend to eat on a Flat plate that most of our food is spread out. A bento would force you to squish things into a more compact space. hmmmm
I thought some more, The American view for food protions is horribly screwd, just this winter our local arbys started asking what size value meal we wanted, I usually get medium for everything...when my order came out is was double what I had been getting, I realized the small was the portion I needed. At Mcdonalds A Happy Meal is the correct adult size portion as well.
With all of that in mind I set out yesterday to make my First Bento, in my nifty new box. I also made A nifty Furoshiki and Bento Belt from this Tutorial on Just Bento http://justbento.com/forum/how-make-furoshiki-and-matching-bento-belt
I had a packet of smoked salmon in the fridge so I decided to use that up by making a california-ish roll, Smoked salmon, carrot, & grilled red pepper strips, Ginger Wasabi Sauce, black sesame seeds, All wrapped up in rice & Nori, YUMMM. 2 sections of that became the one end of the top tier.
Next came a hard boiled egg, shaped into a bunny. A note here...Grade A Large eggs dont work so well in the egg moulds. I will have to start getting the smaller ones. Bunny was sliced in half and sprinkled with sea salt & cracked black pepper.
This took my box to just over the half way point in the top tier being filled. What on earth could I put in the next spot?
When making the rice for my calofornias rolls I decided to try out the rice moulds....they fit perfectly in the last spot! I pan fryed the out side in olive oil & sesame oil for a bit of flavor. To give them a lift in the box I made carrot sticks & they are tucked underneath, there is a side car of Hummus to dip them in too. Broccoli florets that have been blanched filled in the gaps.
The bottom tier was the easiest. The mini containers take up a little over half of the space, so I filled that with Plain yougurt, honey on top & added some red seedless grapes to fill up the end.
I am really curious to see if this will fill me up at lunch & keep me full untill I get home.
If it doesnt I have a backup to keep me from getting to crabby in the middle of the afternoon, An apple.