Review of Yaseru Obento Recipe, a great diet bento book

book-yaseruobento.jpgThere are several books dedicated to using bentos for weight loss. I have quite a few of them, and most have a lot of good ideas. I only got Yaseru Obento Recipe recently, but it’s already become my favorite bento-for-weight-loss book and one of my favorite bento books of any kind. It is in Japanese only, as are all good bento books unfortunately. But it’s so full of great photos and illustrations that I think you could get a lot out of it even if you don’t read Japanese.

Yaseru Obento Recipe just means “slimming bento recipes”. The subtitle is kirei de oishii baransu bento ga atto iu ma ni dekiagari! dakara nagatsuzuki shite reboundo nashi! That’s a bit long, but it means generally “beautiful and delicious balanced bentos that are made in a jiffy! So you can keep (making them) for a long time, and won’t have a relapse!” That sounds good to me, and the book does deliver on that promise.

Not only does it have a lot of delicious and great looking recipes, it has a lot of helpful ideas, from how to balance flavors, colors and nutrition in your bento to how to keep your bento safe to eat. The calorie target for each bento presented is 500 calories - the target for my bentos is 500-600 calories, so that fits me perfectly. Their formula to come up with the 500 calorie is broken down like this:

  • 250 calories for the main carb - rice or bread. The most used carbs for a Japanese bento are white rice and soft butter rolls, so their calculation is 1/2 of a typical bento box filled with rice, or 2 small rolls. (I aim for a little bit lower carb figure, around 200, and try to use brown rice whenever possible.)
  • 150 calories for the protein.
  • 100 calories for other things - vegetables, potatoes, fruit, etc. They also aim for at least 100g of vegetables in the bento, with the goal of eating at least 350g of vegetables in total throughout the day.

Yaseru Obento Recipe is available from YesAsia or from Amazon Japan. Highly recommended!

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Thank you for the review! I

Thank you for the review! I saw this one at Kinokuniya and initially turned my nose up at it for reasons I don’t quite remember now. Would you say there is a good selection of vegetable recipes?

There are lots of vegetable

There are lots of vegetable recipes - they really emphasize variety in the vegetables you use in your bento too.

Sample Japanese Recipe

Would you be willing to email me a sample recipe? I’m trying to learn japanese and I’m very interested in how the recipes are written. Thank you!

There are hundreds of recipe

There are hundreds of recipe and cooking sites in Japanese you can check out. Here are just a couple -

http://www.cookpad.com

http://www.kyounoryouri.jp

http://allabout.co.jp/gourmet/cookingabc/

That should keep you going for many many hours of Japanese practice :)

Thank you very much!

Thank you very much!

Do you think you could do a

Do you think you could do a recipe from this book? I can’t read Japanese but based on your review, I would love to learn some of the recipes in the book. :)

I never do a direct

I never do a direct copy/transcription of a published recipe, but quite a few of the recipes that appear on the site are influenced by this and other books. One example is the shirmp chirashizushi bento.

Re: Review of Yaseru Obento Recipe, a great diet bento book

I'm getting better at Japanese recipes, but I really do bemoan the fact that there are so many fantastic bento books out there...I just can't read them. :(

The pictures are great, but I'd love to be able to glean the knowledge and recipes from these sources as well. With the popularity of bento, do you forsee any rise in the quantity of bento books translated into English? There are some out there now (like your book, which I own), but many of the ones I have found are geared more towards children and making very elaborate and decorative cartoon characters and animal faces. Gorgeous to look at but just not a fit with my needs. Or are there particular books that use illustrations more than directions to walk readers through recipes?

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