by Yuko Yuko and Noriko Noriko
Awesome cookbook! Clear instructions, practical advice, recipes for everyone
Simply Bento: Delicious Box Lunch Ideas for Healthy Portions to Go is a wonderfully complete bento cookbook with stunning photography and includes everything from a brief history of bento, descriptions of common ingredients, sauces, bento safety, etc., plus includes a wide variety of bento recipes. What I really like about this bento cookbook is that the authors try to make everything simple and practical for every day, knowing that most of us have limited time and energy to invest in daily lunches, but also knowing that we want to feed delicious healthy food to our families. They themselves use leftovers, precut vegetables, and prepare bento in ways that help them save time and money. Love that the photos really show you how you can layout these recipes to for absolutely gorgeous presentations.
The recipes are varied, cover a wide range of nationalities, and offer lots of healthy choices. I intend to use this book to provide bento lunches that mostly fit a lower carb/keto diet and also accommodate the multiple food allergies in my family.
Here’s a brief overview of what’s included in Simply Bento.
How to Make Bento: 7 Key Points
Covers important advice on bento safety, serving a balanced diet, packing what you like, planning ahead, choosing the right bento box, packing attractively, and making bento prep a routine.
Information on the differences between and advantages of different styles of bento boxes, and information on accessories such as utensils, baking cups and dividers, picks, food molds, and ice packs.
Japanese Pantry Essentials
Covers basic ingredients such as soy sauce, mirin, dried bonito flakes, etc., with information on what they are made of, how they are used, what they add to each dish, etc.
Includes recipes for different types of rice cooked in rice cookers or stovetop, plus broths, sauces, and dips including dashi, tamagoyaki, etc.
Classic Japanese Bento
Includes recipes for chicken teriyaki bento, beef roll-up bento, grilled mackerel bento, tsukune bento, beef shigureni bento, sukiyaki bento, salmon teriyaki bento, and pork shogayaki bento.
Includes recipes for tonkatsu sandwich bento, antipasto bento, mixed sandwiches bento, cucumber and cream cheese sandwich, and hamburger bento.
Sushi and Onigiri Bento
Includes recipes for sushi burrito bento, onigiri bento, sushi roll bento, spam musubi bento, inari sushi bento, and yaki onigiri.
Includes recipes for ramen bento, soba noodle salad bento, bukkake udon bento, shrimp avocado pasta salad bento, and cold somen noodle bento.
Popular Japanese Bento
Includes recipes for chicken karaage bento, hamburger steak bento, yakiniku bento, okonomiyaki bento, korokke bento, sweet and sour meatballs bento, and chicken nugget bento.
Includes recipes for cold shabu shabu salad bento, hot dog bento, quesadilla bento, pinwheel sandwiches bento, yakisoba bento, pizza bento, corn chowder bento, granola bento, spicy chicken wing bento, and breakfast muffin bento.
Rice and Grain Bowl Bento
Includes recipes for omurice bento, chicken soboro bento, oyakodon bento, gyudon bento, taco rice bento, and quinoa salad bento.
Includes recipes for grilled shrimp and steamed vegetables bento, cauliflower fried rice bento, fish meuniére bento, lettuce wrap bento, curry chicken salad bento, and beef and vegetable stir-fry bento.
Includes recipes for tofu steak salad bento, falafel bento, vegetable miso soup bento, spaghetti with lima beans and cabbage bento, hijiki gohan bento, and tofu poke bento.
Bento for Special Occasions
Includes recipes for Valentine’s Day bento, Halloween bento, Birthday bento, picnic or field trip bento, and first day of school bento.
Bento at Home
Includes recipes for tempura bento, temari sushi bento, roast beef bento, sashimi bento, and holiday bento.
Includes recipes divided into sections for rice and potatoes, vegetables, salads, seafood, mushrooms, eggs and meat, pickled, and sauces, dips, and more.
Highly recommended for beginning bento enthusiasts, bento fans looking for new, frugal, and efficient recipes, and anyone who wants to prepare healthier meals.
I liked what was offered in this book so much I bought the Kindle version and the hardcover version. I am reviewing the Kindle version of Simply Bento. I will amend this review with info on the hardcover version when I receive mine. (I initially received this book as a digital Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher through NetGalley. My opinions are my own.)
From the creators of the website Japanese Cooking 101, Simply Bento is a complete collection of over 140 delicious and healthy bento recipes for everyone in the family.
Ready to make lunch quick, easy, and tasty? Japanese bento boxes are single-portion packed lunches, perfect for anyone looking to save money and eat a balanced, satisfying meal for lunch every single day.
Simply Bento features 140+ healthy and delicious bento recipes—including mains and sides—that you can make every day of the week, using a combination of traditional and non-traditional ingredients. Learn about different types of bento boxes and accessories, how to assemble your box, and everyday items you will need in your pantry, as well as how to plan ahead so that your morning prep is a breeze.
Simply Bento shows you the finer points of bento-making, and there is something for everyone:
- Classic Japanese Bento
- Sandwich Bento
- Sushi and Onigiri Bento
- Noodle Bento
- Popular Japanese Bento
- 10-Minute Bento
- Rice and Grain Bowl Bento
- Low-Carb Bento
- Vegan Bento
- Bento for Special Occasions (including for the first day of school and Halloween!)
- Bento at Home
So, if you’re in the mood for Chicken Teriyaki, Ramen, Shrimp Avocado Pasta Salad, Cauliflower Fried Rice, Falafel, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Tempura, or Chicken Nuggets (for the kids), Simply Bento has the recipes—plus much more!