A few details about my bento cookbook

Update: The book is out written, and published, and selling well too! Read about it here.

I announced over on Just Hungry that I am working on a bento cookbook tentatively titled The Just Bento Cookbook, which will be published in 2010 by Kodansha International. Here are some more details about it. Please note that it’s still early days in the life of the book, so things are subject to change.

  • Yes, it will be all in English, and 100% originally written by me, not a translation of a Japanese book.
  • To keep the price of the book affordable without sacrificing quality, we decided to go with a softcover book vs. hardcover. Format wise it will be like most popular Japanese bento books, with a softcover and jacket. There’ll be lots of photographs within, taken by a professional. (I’m going to Japan for the photoshoot early next year!)
  • I have avoided duplicating the recipes that are on this site or on Just Hungry as much as possible, though there are a few basic ‘foundation’ type recipes. I’m also cramming in as much how-tos and tips as space will allow.
  • It will have both Japanese and not-Japanese, bento-friendly recipes. For the Japanese recipes particularly, I am very conscious of sticking as much as possible to ingredients that are relatively easy to get outside of Japan. (Remember this survey? This is what that was all about.) The whole premise behind Just Bento is that it’s possible to recreate Japanese flavors with limited access to ingredients that are taken for granted in Japan, and the same principles will apply to the book.
  • Most of the bentos can be assembled in under 20 to 30 minutes, with some reliance on premade staples - just like the bentos here!
  • There will be a focus on healthy, balanced, attractive yet unfussy bentos - just like here!
  • It will have recipes for omnivores and vegetarians alike.
  • ETA: The book will be printed in Japan, by the International division of the largest publishing company in Japan, Kodansha Limited (Wikipedia entry; Japanese site). Kodansha International has worldwide distribution. I can’t guarantee your local bookstore will carry it of course! But it will most likely be sold on various online bookstores.

Anyway, as I said over on Just Hungry, I am facing a big deadline for the book in a few weeks. So new posts here are going to be a bit sparse for a while, since I want to make the book as good as it can be. In the meantime, please register and participate in the forum if you haven’t already. I’ll also be featuring some good things from the archives.

So…um, wish me luck! I need it…(mild panic mode ^_^;)

Call for guest posts

I’m putting out a tentative call for guest posts. If you would like to have a guest post featured here on Just Bento during my semi-absence, please read the guest posting guidelines first. Due to time constraints I will only be able to accept posts that are ‘ready-to-publish’, so please take note of the formatting, format, subject matter, etc. requirements. Thanks! Update: The call for guest posts is closed for the time being. Look out for another call in a few months!

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

44 comments

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Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Sounds fantastic - Good Luck!
I'm sure the Just Bento/Just Hungry community will be able to keep ourselves occupied in the forums between posts :)
Kyla

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Really cool! I am looking forward to it! Do you know if it will be possible to buy it in Germany (online shop sending it to Germany??).

~Nadine

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

So exciting! Good luck; tight deadlines are scary, but I'm sure it will be worth it. I look forward to the results, and can't wait to have a Just Bento book!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Congratulations, Maki! I look forward to reading it - you've singlehandedly made much of Japanese cooking accessible to me (growing up, my mom always made it sound so difficult that I was thoroughly intimidated) so I know it'll be fabulous!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

**Waves pom poms and cheers**

GO GO GO! It will be a great book, I'm sure! This is really wonderful news Maki. :)

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

I am so happy to see that you are coming out with a cookbook and I will absolutely buy it when it is ready. I even buy Japanese bento cookbooks even though I can't read Japanese so it is wonderful to find new bento books coming out in English. Bravo for you! I will feature you on my blog once it comes out since I do a section (well I am starting to at least on cute bento (and all bento really since I am obsessed!).

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Congrats! I'm sure it will be awesome and a great addition to my bento cookbook collection!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Thank you, Maki, so much! I am looking forward to buying your book. There will be international shipping available, right?

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

@Maki: Thank you very much for working so hard on a book. It willl get a special place on my book shelf
@Nadine: Books published by Kodansha International are usually available at amazon.de :-)

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Hi Maki, I've been following your blogs for a while and really enjoyed the recipes you posted in both Just Bento & Just Hungry. Can't wait for your book to be published in 2010! All the best!!

WOW, Really?

Congratz on the book stuff. I am really excited about this for you. I have been following Just Bento for about (almost?) 2 years so this is really great. I can have access to your great ideas all the time!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Nadine, Mizzbee13, one reason why I'm happy to sign with Kodansha International is that they are a very globally minded company, with worldwide distribution. So people should be able to get the book almost everywhere - of course, if booksellers think it will sell ^_^;

thanks for all your kind words everyone!

Wheee!

Maki, you've shared so many great recipes and techniques on your blogs, I can barely wait until I can have your cookbook on my bookshelf. It's going on my Amazon Wishlist as soon as it's ready.

While I will look forward to new recipes, I am glad to read that you will include some of your basic recipes and techniques. Your organized approach and freezer staples have helped me a lot. Don't forget to include How-tos on freezing rice and making onigiri with plastic wrap!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Without you I would not have bento and my life would be sadder. The book sounds brilliant. Any chance of it being spiral bound for messy cooks like myself?

Yay!

I decided to try bento making like a day before the NYT article. How weird is that? Anyway, I also was just thinking, gee, I wish the Just Bento site had a cookbook, and NOW THERE IS (or will be). It's like I'm totally psychic!! ^_^ Looking forward to this, and trying my first bento attempt tonight. Good luck with the cookbook and I'm can't wait to buy it.

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Congratulations, that's so exciting! I hope it's a huge success - it certainly sounds like it will be an excellent publication! :D

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Congratulations! :) I'm new to your site but I really like it and am excited for your book to come out. :D

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Yay and Congratulations! Please add Seattle, WA to your book signing tour!

I'm making space on a kitchen shelf immediately.

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Congratulations! Good luck with your endeavour and I hope it will be available online for all your avid readers around the world to buy. I know I will.

YAY !

I am buying your cookbook as soon as it comes out! I owe you so much for your wonderful site that has given me such easy, fun, and unique recipes for my lunches. I am really excited after reading this post and I wish you luck. I am Impatiently waiting for this book now, I CAN'T WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Omedetou gozaimasu, Maki-san! Just Bento and Just Hungry have been great sources of inspiration, and your recipes are usually so accessible and easy I've relied on them to fill my empty stomach on so many occasions. Actually, my cooking skills have improved so much, any mention of eating out during my days at college is met with a cringe!
All the best with the book, I'm sure it'll be a best-seller!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

It sounds like your planning is going well. I really think most people work better under "semi panic" conditions. That condition will drive you to get done whatever you have to get done.

I am not familiar with all your creations but I do want to learn more and I look forward to your new cookbook. In the meantime I will do some homework and learn all that I can about your type of food preparation. casino en ligne

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Wow, Maki! Awesome! I can't wait! I'll totally support you by buying a copy! :D

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Lovely idea!
If you could include replacement vegetables (either a list or in the recipes you use) that would make a lot of us happy. In your copious free time, of course ;-)

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

I hope that they have both veggie and meat recipes, since the only thing that bothers me about so many bentos is that they have so many vegetables. I think I'm in the minority that really only likes two to three kinds of vegetables, and definitely not every day.

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

I've been hoping for a Just Bento cookbook since the day I found your blog - this is wonderful news!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Best wishes in getting your book together! I am impressed that Kodansha will be your publisher. I'm sure it'll turn out great!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

good luck!!!! I'll buy it for sure and I'll buy some extra copies to give to friends as a gift! wonderful!!! :-))

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Hmm great. Another one for my order in the bookstore :)

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

In which country will the book be published? Will it be availiable within the european union? switzerland? I'm located in Germany and really want to buy it once it's out.
Good luck with writing and re-editing - I'm currently working on a book as an editor and know how horrible it can get.. Hang in there and enjoy the show!

Questions about publishing/avaiilability/distribution

I've edited the post to clarify that. Basically, if you ask me 'will the book be available in my country' my answer would be "yes/probably". FWIW Kodansha is Haruki Murakami's publisher, so if you can get his books you may be able to get mine. (And yeah I'm so not worthy to be in the same company, etc etc.)

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

woww thats amazing! I cant wait for it to come out. Ive loved reading both your blogs so far so im sure the book will be just as amazing. I really love reading more about some of the unusual japanese foods. Such as lotus root :)

Good luck on writing the book!! Im cheering you on ^__^

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

GANBATTE! i'm very excited, both for you to tackle this creative challenge, and for the book that will come out of it!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

yay! i hope your publisher will sell it online so that overseas reader like me can buy a copy of it. ganbate!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Woah! When I first found this site I wondered, "Hm, is their a cookbook for this?" And now there is! Congratulations, you deserve it! Your recipes are awesome, and the my family has loved the ones I've tried. I already want to buy your book; I shall reserve a copy when possible, if I ever get an Amazon account. I think I'll buy a copy for my otaku cousin, friends, and all others I know interested in cooking. You rock!
:) :) :)

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

I miss your bentos but I am so happy for you and be, of course, one of your readers!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

I am so excited for your book! If there's a midnight release for it, you can bet I'll be at the bookstore waiting :D

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

That's great ! I will be one of your readers - if the book is sold online ;-)

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

Congratulations Maki, I can't wait to read it!

Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. I have read most of them and got a lot from them. To me, you are doing the great work. Carry on this. work at home In the end, I would like to thank you for making such a nice website.
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Re: A few details about my bento cookbook

I love your blog and your recipes, from Just Bento and from Just Hungry, and I bet I'll love the Just Bento book - is already pre-ordered via amazon. Can't wait to have it and to feast my eyes on the pictures and my taste buds on the meals made by your recipes.

Re:bento cookbook giveaway

Hope this is the right place to enter. Kinda hard to figure out your site even though I spend HOURS here and tell ALL my friends about your site!! I LOVE IT!! My 15 yr. old daughter won't eat her lunch unless it is 'pretty' now. I was raised in the Mid-West and allll my friends laugh at me when I 1st tell them about 'bento boxes' but, when I bring one to a picnic...they fall in LOVE!!

I would love to win the book so that I could con't to 'share' my love for all things Bento!! My 'last meal' would be something along the thai noodle or Korean BBQ beef line w/ a yummie fruit or chocolate dessert or two for good measure. I'm NOT into suffering. LOL Keep up the good work. You are my inspiration!! :)

Blessings,
Martha

Congratulations for your cookbook

Hello,
A few words to let you know that I have brought your book.
I am fully satified as it is a super book. I don't like to waste to much time to prepare my bento and your book is full of good ideas, beautiful photos and beautifully written.
There are many books on bento in France.
But you are one of the best that I have read.

Re: Congratulations for your cookbook

Merci Chantal ^_^