Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Vertical (June 26, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 0.3 x 7 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #171,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #70 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Asian Cooking > Japanese #672 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Quick & Easy #2075 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International
When I saw that a good looking new English bento book was released, and from a Japanese author, I had to have it right away. This is only the second English bento book I have. If you are interested in bento making and can't read Japanese, I say get this book RIGHT NOW. You should have no hesitations whatsoever.If you can read Japanese, you probably wouldn't be looking at this book anyway, but just in case: I highly advise you to skip on this book because there is nothing new in it that you won't find from much better books. A few recommendations are つくりおきおかずで朝つめるだけ！and おべんとうつくりの正解.That being said, let's get to the actual review of it as a cookbook:I found the recipes authentic yet very simple. There are decidedly Japanese bentos (ex. Rolled omelet and boiled hijiki bento) and very non-Japanese bentos (ex. French toast salad bento) included in the book to satisfy every palate. However, quite a few of the recipes include Japanese items that may not be easily found in your regular grocery store. I believe this is because the book is just a translation from its Japanese counterpart. Things like seven-spice powder, yukari, konjac, wakame, hijiki; I definitely do not have in any grocery stores near me. I would not even know what some of these items were if it wasn't for my Japanese bento books. But at least half of the recipes use only common ingredients (assuming you have access to things like mirin, sake, rice vinegar, miso). If you have an Asian store near you, no problem. I personally make bentos every day of the workweek and prefer to use ingredients I can obtain easily.One thing that should be noted is that this book is based on bentos that have the sides on top of the rice.
If you don't know what bento lunches are, they are packed box lunches made to be attractive and healthy with a good variety of foods. Frequently packed in boxes specifically made for bentos, they can also be packed in other boxes like plastic refrigerator food storage boxes. That's just a very quick definition, because they can be complex and are absolutely an art form.10 Minute Bento was originally written in Japanese by Megumi Fuji and translated to English. It's paperback and printed in full color with lots of photographs of the finished food and great serving ideas. Instead of cute characters, these are bento lunches that are attractive without being carefully planned out to create images.You'll start with steamed rice, then add in the main course and vegetables. The recipes are written with cooking for one in mind. The recipes can be doubled if you're cooking for more than one. Instructions are clearly written and understandable, and measurements are by weight. The rice steamed ahead of time and the meat topping and vegetable sides are the 10 minute part of the cooking, that includes prep time.If you're doubling the recipe it may take longer for cutting and prepping. The portions are smaller than a lot of people are used to, but perfect for healthy lunches on the go.For people who rarely eat or cook Japanese food, there are some recipes that will be familiar enough to be comfortable. These are just a few of my favorite examples. There are several more.
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