Japanese mothers carry for years, the competition for their child(ren) the best lunch to give to the school. And now, they also have competition from us, because more and more people are crafting the so-called bento boxes together for your son and his daughter. We went to a specialist to ask how we can best tackle it.
Are you all proud of yourself if you morning find the time to make a packed lunch to put together? Will your mouth completely shut, when you, the art will see that Japanese mothers give to their offspring. One of those mothers who has her child every day surprises with an original lunch is Silvia Gunadi, the manageress of the original kinderwinkel Kupuki and organiser of bento workshops in Berchem.
The bento box is the Japanese (and usually a pack of more creative) version of our brooddoos. Lubrication we ourselves and our children every day a pack of sandwiches with cheese, chocolate or ham, then a lunchbox in the East every day is completely different. The content consists of each day from three parts: carbohydrates (pasta, bread or rice), proteins (meat, fish or egg) and vegetables and fruit. Typically, the lunchtrommel is divided into several compartments, so that the different food, beautiful place to stay.
There are different types of bento boxes, explains Silvia Gunadi. “But I do kawaii bento or kyaraben, lovely lunch bags.” Today is the workshop in the sign of the upcoming midherfstfestival, an East Asian feast at which the maangodin is celebrated. “I’ve never two times the same bento box. I let me every day to be inspired by what I see or what my daughter is doing at school. Also in this bento, I’ve never made, so I hope that everything goes well.”
Bread or rice?
We fly there immediately with a broodbento. Silvia does then might be a great compromise in regards to views, in terms of content, her little daughter little say: “They should all learn to eat.” And so invest, we simply a few sandwiches with cheese. You may then protrude, so that the bread itself is an attractive shape, but you can also invest in a nice form cut extra slice of cheese. Some stars and flowers from the cheese and thin slices of raw foods push, with a face cut out of nori, the brooddoos volproppen with vegetables in different colours and the lid may already be on our first packed lunch. We are ready for a bigger challenge: a bento box with rice.
“You can any sticky rice, such as sushi, risotto or dessert rice”, says Silvia. We knead the cooked rice with wet hands and using a piece of plastic film in the form of your choice. (Try it even, but not without you your hands have nat made: then ends the rice anywhere, but not in your lunchbox.) For the rabbit say, a sphere (the head) and four sausages (the ears and legs). All securing do we do with pieces of spaghetti: “that is safer than a toothpick, because it is edible and becomes soft after a while in the rice.”
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Then we make the rabbit with some strategically cut pieces of ham and nori, and we fill the box with a silicone mould full of fried sausages and other meats. Also the vegetables can not be missing. Finishing we do with a moon, made of a piece of cob, a slice of processed cheese and some nori. The red in her cheeks we make with a scoop of ketchup.
The day after seeing the bento boxes, in spite of a hasty sprint towards the train station, a train ride of an hour and a walk in the direction of editors – still amazingly good. Also on the other criteria, they meet the day after still: they are tasty and they make everyone at the same table during the lunch break jealous.
Conclusion: a bento box is – if you like we like to play with your food – very nice to do and not difficult. However it does require some preparation and time. Now yes, especially if you already a few times have done, that last. The most ingenious creations of Silvia cost her half an hour, but for an everyday version, she has a quarter of an hour necessary. “And I think bento boxes are so nice that I time happy to give.”
Silvia’s tips for the perfect bento:
- Please don’t hold strictly to the Japanese tradition, but you use products of our own soil and let yourself be inspired by what you have around you.
- Keep it healthy and balanced: do not use enough fruits and vegetables. (But if your child fruit in school, it is not necessary also in the bento stitches.)
- Practice makes perfect! If you this a few times, you will get there faster and better at it.
- Note on the hygiene. Use plastic film to small balls of rice in place of your hands and whenever possible, use chopsticks, so the food does not need touching.
- Insert your bento box full enough so that there is nothing of the place begins to change as your son or daughter to the playground on rent.
- Little time? With a couple of nice prikkertjes you make a boring sandwich immediately a suit tastier.
- Don’t be too enthusiastic with rice. “I gave it to my daughter only occasionally after they five had become. Otherwise the teacher made the mess afterwards always have to clean up.”
Itself also bento boxes, learn to make? Silvia regularly organises workshops above her shop in Berchem. (EK)