It is finally time that I write a review for the Just Bento Cookbook which came out around Christmas in 2010 in America. I wanted to try some of the recipes and use it for ideas for display before writing anything about it.
So far I have made the "hamburgers", which are actually flattened meatballs, chicken kara age, cucumber and cabbage pickles, different soboros, tofu nuggets and broccoli (I used broclaflower) with grainy mustard. All of these my picky child liked. With the hamburgers I actually glaze them in a fry pan with the sauce first thing in the morning straight from the freezer. The soboro is lovely if you cook it leaving some of the liquid in the pan because it mixes so nicely with the rice. I still have so many things to try in this cookbook! This is perfect for someone who simply doesn't have the inclination, talent or time to make all those super cute bentos that are out there.
Personally, I sometimes wonder about the taste of some of the cute bentos I have seen. Does American cheese really taste good on rice? I have the additional issue with the fact that my daughter does not like nori, which really limits the decorative things I can do with the bento, since that is a staple of cute faces and onigiri. Whether you like the cute bentos or prefer a more sedate lunch, this cookbook has excellent recipes for everyone. If my daughter will eat it, there is a good chance that others will like it too.