I have been trying to get back into making bentos again. I wasn't having much luck, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get myself back into it. Then, I had a friend who's family is stationed in Japan send me a new bento box. Well, apparently, that was the motivation I needed.
I have been scouring cookbooks lately, especially Japanese ones. I found a couple of new bento cookbooks that I would love to have. They are supposed to be really good on helping create cute (kawaii) bentos. I have even gone back and watched the "Good Eats" episodes on sushi and Japanese pantry items.
This bento isn't really cute, but it was a good first start. I made some really good rice (meshi), which I will say, I had forgotten how long of a process it is (about 30-45 minutes). I mixed the rice with cream cheese and cooked salmon to make rice balls (onigiri). I made smaller rice balls, and put smoked salmon on top. I was trying to replicate the nigiri style with raw salmon (but since I didn't have that I used smoked). Then I sliced up some avocado. I really like the color contrast going on against the black box background. This isn't a very "full" bento and it is lacking vegetables (so is our house), but since I am not eating a lot lately it was actually too much food. I ate one half of the box, which was a bit more than I was expecting.
I am hoping that this is a good start to making bentos again. I pulled out all of my supplies and boxes and I am feeling really excited about making them. I even found a weekly meal planning sheet that is specifically designed to help build a bento for lunch.