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23 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Introduction to Bento
This book provides a decent introduction to Bento and provides recipes for several Bento staples as well as some decoration tips.

The focus is clearly on the recipes. Those who are interested in the decorative side of bento would probably better served elsewhere. One of the other reviews also misses food safety information. That reviewer certainly has a point,...
Published 22 months ago by Cora Buhlert

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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a good second draft but not yet ready for a published book
If I had my drothers, I would take this book, rework it and turn it into a fine example of bento cooking. But alas, no one asked me.

I love bento, I cook myself a boxed lunch even on days when I don't even leave the house. There aren't many English language bento cookbooks on the market at the moment, so I always devour any new book as soon as it comes out...
Published 23 months ago by Raven


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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a good second draft but not yet ready for a published book, August 19, 2012
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This review is from: Hello, Bento! - A Collection of Simple Japanese Bento Recipes (Kindle Edition)
If I had my drothers, I would take this book, rework it and turn it into a fine example of bento cooking. But alas, no one asked me.

I love bento, I cook myself a boxed lunch even on days when I don't even leave the house. There aren't many English language bento cookbooks on the market at the moment, so I always devour any new book as soon as it comes out. Although not Japanese, I do have a fair bit of experience cooking Japanese food (both Traditional and Western style) and I found much of this book hard to follow.

This book includes a lovely selection of bento staples. Everything from Onigiri to tonkatsu, and even an unexpected recipe for taco salad is jammed into this little production.

As for the things that need work:

There are no safety instructions. Storing perishable foods like meat, eggs, cheese, all day long, at room temperature is possible if you know what you are doing. But there are things you need to know. This book fails to cover them, and I cringe to think what could happen. Moreover salt plays a major role in keeping food from spoiling in a bento box, however this book shies away from it out of Western prejudice, and offers no substitute for preventing spoilage.

I tried a few of the recipes and found the portion sizes to be rather unusual and the instructions difficult to follow. You need to be already familiar with the techniques and even then, it's not always enough. For example things like shaping the onigiri or the quick pickle recipe don't make sense if you are a new comer to these techniques. This is pretty much standard throughout the book.

Some of the ingredients are not easily available to people who do not live near a Japanese Grocery store. Although, Amazon.com is starting to get things likeYakisoba Stir Fry Sauce, 12.7-Ounce (Pack of 3) these days.

I noticed many errors in the text, which suggests there are probably a lot more than my dyslexic brain can see. The photos show up well in my cloud reader, but look very unappealing in black and white on my Kindle 3.

To me, this book could be really great with some (lots) more editing and a critical eye. Maybe some test cooks that are new to the whole idea of cooking bento style food, to show where the instructions fall short.

This book could easily be twice as long and far more expensive if the publisher took a little more time with it, but as it stands, it reads very much like a self published rush job.

A better book for a beginner bento maker would be The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go. Basically the same kinds of food, but the instructions are clearer with more instructive photos.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Introduction to Bento, August 26, 2012
This review is from: Hello, Bento! - A Collection of Simple Japanese Bento Recipes (Kindle Edition)
This book provides a decent introduction to Bento and provides recipes for several Bento staples as well as some decoration tips.

The focus is clearly on the recipes. Those who are interested in the decorative side of bento would probably better served elsewhere. One of the other reviews also misses food safety information. That reviewer certainly has a point, since there are no hints about food safety. However, exercising normal caution should help here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bento, August 24, 2013
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Great recipes are easy to make and are tasty. However, it does take time to get use to the routine. May have to make some things a day ahead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, Basic Bento Book, December 12, 2013
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This is a very nice, basic bento book. There are better ones out there, but I did get a new recipe or two from this one. The recipes are clear and easy to follow and the photos help to visualize what you will be making. I would have liked to have seen some more bento arrangement ideas, and an index at the back would be a nice addition as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recipes more than history, August 4, 2013
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This review is from: Hello, Bento! - A Collection of Simple Japanese Bento Recipes (Kindle Edition)
A great beginning book for suggestions of traditional bento box recipes. Be aware that rice dishes must be cooled before placing in the bento box. Full color picture of each recipe is included at the beginning of the recipe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a cool book!, July 13, 2013
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This review is from: Hello, Bento! - A Collection of Simple Japanese Bento Recipes (Kindle Edition)
I wish they had fewer deep fried recipes, but for the most part this is a great book. I enjoy making japanese food and this is fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and easy, December 28, 2012
This review is from: Hello, Bento! - A Collection of Simple Japanese Bento Recipes (Kindle Edition)
Easy recipes for beginners. Most ingredients can be found in larger chain stores in the ethnic aisle. I would recommend this book to others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good selection of recipes but the book needs safety information, August 19, 2012
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This review is from: Hello, Bento! - A Collection of Simple Japanese Bento Recipes (Kindle Edition)
I selected this cookbook as my kids love Japanese foods and in particular Bento-style foods. I loved reading this cookbook as the recipes sound delicious and the book is filled with a good variety of color photos illustrating the recipes.

Unfortunately the book lacks adequate safety instructions on how to keep the food safe to eat. I would recommend eating these recipes at home as to do otherwise would be potentially unsafe. This kind of defeats the purpose of preparing a Bento lunch but it pays to follow USDA food safety rules.

Recommend with caveats given.

Penmouse
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Photos do not match...., September 28, 2012
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C. Ashwood (Miami Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hello, Bento! - A Collection of Simple Japanese Bento Recipes (Kindle Edition)
This is a pretty good little book, but it needs a caution:

Those great looking photos often do not match up to what you are given as ingredients. Being a decent cook myself, I was able to roll with it, using the recipe more for inspiration than for directions. BUT--- many people who purchase cookbooks (especially low cost introductory type cookbooks) are looking for step-by-step instructions, and may be disappointed that the results do not look like the picture.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple, February 13, 2013
This review is from: Hello, Bento! - A Collection of Simple Japanese Bento Recipes (Kindle Edition)
Great recipes! I enjoyed the simplicity of the book and traditional recipes offered. Nothing too complex but very inspiring. Can't wait to start cooking
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