I picked this week’s Great Bento Idea just because it’s beautiful and different. It’s edible bento art!
Normally, you may associate ‘bento art’ with cute charaben with smiley faces and such, appealing to kids and fans of kawaii stuff. But as designer Reiko Reid of Brooklyn Bento demonstrates, a bento box can be an edible canvas. This bento is inspired by Swiss/German artist Paul Klee’s famous painting Senecio. As Reiko explains on her blog:
The process wasn’t difficult. I placed the colored rice and shaped with Saran Wrap, and adjusted the lines with toothpicks. The eyes are sliced almonds and red peppers and additional lines are made from nori. Around the face I used sauteed tofu with curry on top of thin layer of rice.
Besides being beautiful to look at, this bento also looks balanced and delicious - a feature that I consider to be critical for any bento. (You’ll never see a purely decorative but unbalanced or unappetizing bento featured here.) And I love the autumnal colors of the dry curry, which forms a great background to the abstract face.
Finely textured food like colored rice, dry curry, furikake and soboro are great to work with when you want to create a flat bentoscape like this. It will take you some time of course, but once in a while it can be great fun to do. You may not be up to re-creating an abstract masterpiece, but how about trying some simple patterns to start?
See the Related Links below this article for how to make various kinds of soboro, dry curry, naturally colored rice and more. (Email and RSS subscribers, you’ll need click through to the site to see the links.)
Look out for another Great Bento Idea post next week!
(If you want your idea to catch my eye by the way, the best way is to join the Just Bento or Just Bento Bento Gear groups on Flickr and post them there. Don’t forget to post a link to your blog in the description if you have one.)
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.