Lettuce Lunch

Bento art

Lunchbox: Star Wars Bento!

Star wars bento lunchbox

Star Wars bento box! So with the latest Star Wars movie on the horizon, I thought it was time to bust out the old bento box and work some magic. Rather than theorise about possible events, we went with an iconic scene to represent the series instead – Luke and Darth Vader duelling it out with lightsabers!

This one was actually a lot of fun to make, with the hardest part probably being getting the text just right! I was using a stencil, but nori just does not want to play nice if you leave it out. As soon as it starts to curl, you’ve got problems! Managed to wrangle it into shape for the logo and was actually really happy with how it turned out! The lightsabers were cool too – they’re actually little canapé picks that were styled like lightsabers for children’s parties. Yoink! Perfect. As we did with the Halloween witch bento, let’s take a little walk through and see what everything is made out of. It’s all edible except for the lightsabers!

The vast blackness of space is provided to us thanks to a tin of well drained black beans. Darth Vader’s fashion is on point in an eggplant suit and nori cape billowing around him. The lightsabers meet over an explosion of red, orange and yellow capsicums, and Like is made of lasagna sheet skin, cheese hair, oyster mushroom tunic, carrot belt and olive boot tops. The stars are also cut from lasagna sheets, and the logo is a nori/cheese hybrid. Hope you guys love it, and are getting pumped for the new movie!

  • Black beans, nori, eggplant, cheese, lasagna sheets, capsicums, oyster mushrooms, carrot, olive

Lunchbox: Halloween bento!

Halloween bento lunchbox

Halloween time, and what better to celebrate than a super spooky, Halloween bento lunch box! Alright, I admit, the absolute most scary thing about this lunch box is how long it took me to make, but hey, it looks cool, totally worth it. I mean check it out, it’s great because it features not only an adorable mini jack-o-lantern but also a cheeky witch – what’s not to love!

Building this bento was certainly a process but seemed to go down really well with people! After the obligatory ‘wows!’, the next thing people do was saying ‘surely you can’t everything in there’. Believe it or not, it’s all edible! Let’s work through some of the non-obvious elements, sweeping from left to right;

First off, the spooky hill is made of a big chunk of eggplant! The path leading to the church (as well as the witch’s skin) is made from cooked lasagna sheets – so, pasta. The cloudy swirls over the moon and sky are red cabbage cut into patterns. The moon itself, as well as the lights, were slices of cheese. Our witch rides a Pocky broomstick (it’s a super tasty Japanese snack), with dry, crunchy noodles as the tail + sparkles behind her. Her hair is carrot, and her face and cape are nori. Capsicum makes up the buckle on her hat and there you go, a complete Halloween bento lunchbox!

PS: With Halloween was approaching we found them selling mini-pumpkins branded as baby Jack-o-lanterns. They came uncarved, so this was my first ever Jack-o-lantern carve! I was really happy with how it came out, and it was so easy to do. If you have the chance, give it a go!

  • Black rice, eggplant, cheese, salad leaves, enoki mushrooms, rosemary, red cabbage, nori, lasagna sheets, basil leaves, mini pumpkin, peas, asparagus, carrot, capsicum, Pocky stick, dry noodles

Lunchbox: Panda bento!

Panda bento lunchbox

So excited to share this with you guys! Presenting… the pando bento box! I was so proud of how this turned out. I mean, look at that little guy, munching away on his spring onion bamboo. Kawaii overload right here.

I suppose the real question here is; how did this come about! Well, I was trying to think of some cool things to surprise Amy with, lunchbox wise, and started getting into the idea of making a stylised bento box. I talked with my best friend and she suggested doing panda sushi. Best idea ever! Anyway the panda sushi went through a few iterations, like little sushi pieces that had the fillings and nori make them look sort of pandaeqsue when you laid them flat, face up. Cute! Eventually though, I decided that, while still absolutely adorable, I wasn’t happy with disembodied little panda heads floating about my lunchbox – I wanted full-size ones roaming around in their own little forest! And thus, the panda bento box was born 😀

Being my first ever bento, this presented challenges, but I feel we overcame them in the end. One big thing was balancing ‘this looks like something I want to eat’ with ‘this is visually somewhat representative of a panda’. Edibility factor plays a huge part is these things. I mean, I could have just drawn the features of the panda’s face on with a sharpie and it would have been much easier, but I feel Amy (or the poisons control centre) may not have appreciated it so much. So I had to learn nori cutting the hard way. Hint, it dries and curls up when you’re handling it and is a nightmare! But once that little hurdle was jumped over, the rest just fell into place.

I feel it was especially cool seeing how certain parts fitted into both categories of edibility vs aesthetic. Like the pickled ginger! I used it to make them blush and for some little background decoration, but they actually really lift the flavour of the sushi rice – pickled ginger and sushi are best friends, after all. The little miso watering hole provides the much needed salty element, and the rest of the box are just delicious, crunchy vegetables to chomp on as you make your way through the panda. Needless to say, Amy was thrilled, and i’d highly recommend giving bento making a go – super fun.

  • Sushi rice, nori, ginger, spring onion, edamame, enoki mushrooms, pak choi, kale, miso soup, carrots, pickled ginger