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Japanese Box Lunches


Preparing and Packing Bento

Asparagus and carrots wrapped in meat and cooked

Because bento are usually eaten some time after they have been prepared, cooked foods must be well done to prevent changes in the flavor or color. Items that go bad easily are not used, and excess liquid is eliminated before placing the food in a bento box.


Boiled broccoli and cauliflower

Another important consideration in packing bento is visual presentation. To ensure that the food will make a good overall impression when the eater opens the lid, the preparer should choose an attractively colored assortment of foods and arrange them in a way that looks appetizing.


A well-balanced bento consists of rice and side dishes in a 1:1 ratio. The ratio of fish or meat dishes to vegetables should be 1:2.


Mothers pack their children's bento boxes while trying to think of how to make the children smile when they open the box.