I cant cook. help!

Bento & lunch-packing talk that doesn't fit elsewhere

I cant cook. help!

Postby Lushrocker » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:43 pm

Okay I live in england. ((So it's really hard enough getting fun things to even PUT in a bento.))
And I cant cook much...Ive been practicing tamagoyaki...but i keep getting it wrong. >.<
Anyway.
Im 19 and I cant really cook japanese food at all, let alone make a bento with it.
I find it impossible to get ingredients.
I saw a post here once when they were drawing a maryll into the cheese, that was cute. ^^ tips like that would be helpful. x.x
Perhaps some english food tips..
I can make those little octopus'..
I dont really have anything exotic like fod dye pens..

Could anyone help me wit a bento thats made out of easy to make things..
Like bacon or somehting, i can make that. xD ((Yeah im useless)) I can make those egg things too..
And i only have tupperware, too...so anyone i can discuss with would really help. x.x
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Re: I cant cook. help!

Postby gfbentomom » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:08 pm

You can cut slices of cheese into cute shapes with cookie cutters.

Bento doesn't have to be Japanese food. Many people combine foods from their culture with some elements from Japanese bentos.

How about a breakfast themed bento with mini pancakes spread with jam or such and bacon, maybe some eggs and fruit.
Come visit me at Flickr for bentos that are always gluten-free for mom and kiddo, sometimes casein-free and now always lowcarb for mom.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21012380@N08/
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Re: I cant cook. help!

Postby Pangolin » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:41 am

GFBentoMom is right - we all use a variety of foods in our bento, and most of us are far from cooking all Japanese all the time!

Bento can be packed in anything, including tupperware, rubbermaid containers, or reusable take-out containers from a restaurant. I have heard before that the UK is a hard place to find bento gear, but it's not really all that popular here in the US (although it seems to be slowly catching on...yay!). Many of us started out buying our specialty bento supplies online from a variety of sources. However, there are a lot of things you can just do with a cookie cutter, scissors, and a sharp knife too!

I've seen people make entire bento out of items from grocery-store salad and olive bar offerings. Cutting up fresh fruits and veggies don't require cooking, and can make for a really tasty bento with the right dipping sauces and condiments. Rolled up deli-sliced meats and cheese seem to be popular in American bento, and often just the variety of colors and small items factors make the bento cute enough. Most of us here are more into speed bento than we are kyaraben, although a few cute elements, like putting a face on onigiri can brighten up a unexciting packed meal.

As for cooking, maybe it's something you should try. Get a decent cookbook, that has descriptions of what things are and how the techniques are accomplished, and then give it a try. Cooking isn't really that big of a mystery once you get started. Two books I'd suggest to get started are: The Joy Of Cooking (US Amazon link) / The Joy Of Cooking (UK Amazon link)
and Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook (US Amazon link) / Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook (UK Amazon link). Give it a try and see what you can do!
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Re: I cant cook. help!

Postby smoke » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:00 pm

When I think of a non-Japanese bento, I tend to think of "tea party" foods like finger sandwiches and tiny cupcakes.

One of my favorite standbys is an arranged salad. Slices of tomato, carrots, and cheese are laid on top of the lettuce in a pleasing manner. Sliced fruit is also good.

And since my hubby couldn't be trusted to treat a proper bento box well, he usually uses a higher-grade plastic container that has nice proportions. I also have some individual oven-safe dishes with portable lid.


Ah, I found my old flickr account. IIRC, those are 2-3 meal days.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/48040456@N ... otostream/
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Re: I cant cook. help!

Postby scraggyheed » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:27 am

Hi Lushrocker
I'm in England too.
My fella knows I like bento and he got me a decent bento book from Amazon.co.uk this Christmas
It's called The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh. It's got some simple ideas in there to get you started and has a section on non Japanese style bentos that might give you some inspiration.
There are other books and I have some of them but this one is fresh in my mind having just got it.
I've been busy over the last year and haven't had time to concentrate or enjoy my bentos recently so this book has come at just the right time.
:)
Andrea xx
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Re: I cant cook. help!

Postby moopy83 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:04 pm

Im in England too, and i cant cook that well. I have been bento-ing for a couple of weeks now and am getting better slowly XD I agree with the others. Finger foods are good and a mini breakfast idea sounds adorable! I might have to try it myself :D I have the Just bento cook book as well. Its very good and the recipes are very clear. Also, if you live in/near London, the Japan centre has some very good japanese foodie things :)
Hope you find something perfect
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