Mini fruit fit for bento boxes

Mini fruit fit for bento boxes

I am not sure if it's because I'm always on the lookout for things to go into bento boxes, or just a coincidence, but I have been seing more mini-fruits that are just right to tuck into the corner of a bento box lately. The photo above shows a couple of these: small yet still sweet figs, about 1 inch / 2 cm in diameter at their fattest point, and something that was being sold as mini kiwis (Debra of hapa bento saw them being sold as kiwi berries). They look like tiny kiwis when cut open, and taste like kiwis, but lack the hairy skins; they have smooth, totally edible skins. I've seen two kinds - ones that are a reddish-green on the outside and about the shape of an American football or rugby ball, and ones that are elongated, about the length of my thumb. They are very cute, though a bit expensive - but then you only need a few for a bento box.

Opposing cut or chigai-giri: The easiest ever decorative cutting technique for bananas, cucumbers and more


A couple of people asked about the twist-cut banana slices that were tucked into a corner of the scotch egg bento. This is actually a very simple decorative cutting technique that can be done in a couple of minutes, even if you are a beginner. I learned how to do this cut back in my first year of middle school (7th grade in U.S. school terms, or when I was 12-13) in home economics class. It's usually called chigai giri (違い切り) or 'opposing cut' in Japanese. I also call it the 'twist cut', since the business end of the cut looks twisted to me.

There's more than one way to do this cut, but here's the way I learned how to do it. It still works best for me.

Apple Bunnies and More: Decorative Apple Cutting Techniques


Apples are such great fruit - available almost any time of the year, inexpensive, and handy. While simple apple slices or even a whole apple are welcome additions to a bento box, if you just spend a few minutes cutting the pieces in decorative ways, they can really perk up your bentoscape, as Tracy showed us in the last post.

We sort of grow up in Japan knowing how to do some fairly simple apple cutting techniques. (Or at least, I remember my mother and aunties doing this sort of thing when I was little.) Here are some that you could use, from the basic to the more complicated.

Quick tip: Frozen fruit cups


This is such a simple thing to do, and there's no better time to do it than in the summer when so many fruits are in season. Cut up any soft ripe fruit, and put them into silicon cupcake liners or wrap in plastic film. Then stash each cup or bundle in a freezer safe plastic container. You can then take out a cup or two and tuck them into your bento box. They act as an edible cooler for your bento. The container here has a cut up nectarine (divided into two silicon liners) and 2 small bananas (divided into 4).