Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review: Yum-Yum Bento Box

I had some extra Amazon cash, so I decided to pick up this book:

Yum-Yum Bento Box by Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa (click their naems to visit their blogs).
I'm a regular visitor to Pikko's site (Watanabe), but I hadn't visited Maki's before. 

This book is based toward kids, but even I don't mind a little kawaii in my lunch occasionally.

What I liked:
- nice introduction to bento at the beginning if you're new to the world
- very colorful and bright pictures and sturdy pages
- their "food pyramid": 4 parts veg, 3 parts protein, 2 parts carbs, 1 part fruit/dessert.  Yay for healthy!
- each bento has several recipes with it, and they're all easy to mix-and-match
- while this is a charaben book (character bento), none of the ideas are too complicated (usually involve some cutting and/or punching)-- all the ideas seem very feasible!

What I didn't like:
- there's no index.  I remembered seeing a bento that included macaroni and cheese, went to the back to look it up, but nope, no index.  And, when food is sometimes disguised, it makes flipping back through challenging.
- yes, that's all!

While I haven't put together any of the recipes/bento yet, I do have a few planned, so stay tuned!  I never was interested in charaben until I looked at this book, actually; while I enjoy looking at photos of others' charaben, I never had much of a desire to put cute faces on food... until now!  Too bad I don't have any face punches!

I also won Just Bento in a giveaway last month, so I plan to review that as well in the next few months or so.


  1. Oooh, very nice! Congrats on winning the Just Bento book! And nice review. I agree that even though these books are geared to feed kids, I wouldnt mind to have a smily face looking back at me at lunch time. :) Makes it fun. I thought that would be rather hard to do. Looking forward to what you create!

  2. I love the Just Bento book. It's so much better then some of the other bento cookbooks because it's easy to understand and has a lot of information. I try to follow the 5 color rule all the time. I love the pictures too!

  3. Oh, wait, I think the 5 Color rule is from the Kawaii Bento Boxes cookbook. oops. That's also a good cookbook to check out.