Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

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501 Bento Lunches: 501 Unique Recipes for Brilliant Bento is a cute little book (about 6 inches / 15cm square, or the size of a small bento box as you can see from the photo). As the title says, it contains 501 bento box meals within its compact covers. If you’ve been a bento fan for any length of time, you’ll probably recognize many of the bentos in the book from blogs and Flickr pages around the web. There’s a brief recipe (in most cases more of an assembly how-to rather than recipes for individual components) for each bento, plus an introductory chapter with a how-to section and more detailed recipes by Amorette Dye, a.k.a. Sakurako Kitsa, one of the better known charaben artists in the English speaking world.

The bentos featured in 501 Bento Lunches lean rather heavily towards the cute and colorful, though not all are charaben/kyaraben. Pros: While you could spend many hours of internet browsing to see all of these bentos online, it’s nice to have them all in one book. Cons: The photos are in full color, but unfortunately the quality does vary a bit, depending on the skill of the photographer. The font used for the recipes is tiny, and to my eyes hard to read. That coupled with the format of the book, which is like one of the pocket-sized art books that make great little gifts rather than a cookbook, it might be hard to use this as an actual cookbook in the kitchen. However, it can provide hours and hours of colorful inspiration for your future bento creations.

(Full disclosure: I was invited to contribute my bentos to this book, but declined.)

  • Format/Size: Paperback, 288 pages, about 6 inches/15cm square
  • Publisher: Graffito Books
  • Amazon.com link; Amazon UK link (On Amazon UK it’s still called ‘500 Bento Lunches’ - they must have added one before the book went to print.)

The giveaway part!

I’m giving away one copy of 501 Bento Lunches, courtesy of the publisher, Graffito Books - the copy you see in the photo, minus the chopsticks. If you’d like a chance at it, just leave a comment to this post. To make it interesting (because as with all the giveaways around here, I think just a bunch of “please enter me” comments are boring) tell us what your one favorite bento making tool is. Is it an egg mold? Cookie cutter? Favorite knife? If you can link to a photo, all the better!

Deadline: Your comment must be posted here on or before 23:59:59 of Tuesday, July 7th.

Eligibility: Anyone!

The giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced very shortly! Thank you to all for entering!

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

My favourite bento tool is my rice cooker. It's a very basic model, nothing fancy. But it cooks my rice nearly every morning and I couldn't imagine preparing bentos without it.

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

i think the pictures but tiny text is fail

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

Gee, I hope I'm still in time. I recently migrated to a new computer, so I haven't had a chance to keep up with my feeds (in both senses ;) )

My favourite tool, without a doubt are wooden chopsticks, and that applies for cooking in general as well. Very versatile and can withstand heat as well. I use it for whisking/mixing, moving pieces of food on a pan etc.

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

I've just started reading about bento boxes recently. I've picked up a couple of things, but haven't really put anything together yet. Hopefully I can learn some things when I finally get up the courage to start.

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

My favorite bento making tool is a hammer.

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

My fav bento tool has got to be these egg yolk molds. These don't change the shape of the egg but just the yolk part. They're awesome!

http://obentou25.com/shouhin/dreamrand.html

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

Yummy. I love bento and never thought of making it myself. What a great idea!!

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

I am new to bento-making, but used to eat the boxes all the time. As for a favorite tool, well I am not much for the artistic side of food, but I am trying to get better. So my favorite tool is a disher. It gives me perfect half-spheres of rice.

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

My favorite tool is Plastic Layer. Do i have a chance of get that book yet. regards. I am at 4:08 central time.

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

My favorite tool is plastic layer. I do almos everything with that. Do i have a chance of win the book. It is 4:13 PM central time.

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

I'd like to enter the contest too, please.

My favorite bento tools are my brain, my eyes and my opposable thumps. In that order. Since i don't want to post pictures of them (for self preservation reasons in at least one case), i'll show you my favorite non-homegrown tool.

This is my favorite set of silicon cups. See how the big green one pretends to be salad? I like my bento to look natural and of course prefer to use real salad. Alas real salad tends to get soggy with some ingredients and consequently fails to keep the different flavors apart. My salad silicon cups are perfect for those occasions (plus, they wont get nibbled away by my housemates at the most inconvenient time).
And the little orange ones have a very small base, so they are ideal to be tucked into narrow gaps, get placed one small something within and look like a pretty flower.

PS Of course, i'm tooting my own horn, but i was very touched by Neridas entry post. :)

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

I won't play since, i've already won a superb miffy bento that oi love but was interessed by learning in your post who the writer is. I know have to buy this book! My favourite tool is your website!

Re: Book review and giveaway: 501 Bento Box Lunches

Just to clarify, Amorette Dye / Sakurako Kitsa is just the author of the introductory chapter; the other recipes are from various bento bloggers.