Bento decoration techniques
This is the master page for the Bento Decoration Techiques section.
Fundamentally I'm not very pro-decoration. My aim, and the aim of Just Bento, is not to present cute and highly decorative bentos - there are other sites that do that much better than I'd ever have the inclination to. I prefer to make my bentos look nice by putting in colorful vegetables and things like that. However it is true that adding a one or two decorative elements can make an otherwise rather ordinary bento come to life.
It's also important to me to make people aware that decorative techniques did not just start with the "cute bento" movement. In fact, decorative cutting techniques (kazarikiri 飾り切り) have been a part of a traditional Japanese chef's repertoire for ages. I remember my mom making hana ninjin (flower-cut carrot slices) for my bento when I was in kindergarten. (She did forget to cook the carrots...)
So, as time allows, I'll periodically present a decorative technique that you might find useful for jazzing up your bento boxes. Do keep in mind that the decorations are just that: extras, and they do add time to your bento making time. I would generally reserve these for special occasions.
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