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Easy Japanese Cooking: Bento Love Paperback – August 11, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in Tokyo in 1972, Kentaro Kobayashi studied art in school, and after Musashino Art School, he started working as an illustrator. His mother--cooking personality and award-winning cookbook author, Katsuyo Kobayashi--is known by millions in Japan for her TV show, Today's Cooking, and not only challenged, but also proved victorious against Iron Chef Chinese Chen Kenichi in 1994, handily vanquishing him in the "Potato Battle" episode of IronChef, one of the few female chefs to ever win in Kitchen Stadium.

No surprise that Kentaro turned his attention to cooking. Like his mom, he is known for creating fun, easy-to-make recipes--albeit with a more Western flavor--and also has appeared on television, magazines, and radio, becoming popular with the motto "Nice and easy, practical food with style." He is known to have revolutionized Japanese conceptions of good eating. His best-selling cookbooks are all about transforming convenience-store products
into attractive hot meals.

He frequently incorporates his artistic training working as a chef and illustrator for magazines and book stores, creating logos, and has co-authored works with his mother. To date, Kentaro has authored or co-authored more than 15 cookbooks.
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Product Details

  • Series: Easy Japanese Cooking
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical; Original edition (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193428758X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934287583
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #772,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Japanese cuisine, while not as ubiquitous as Chinese restaurant fare, is nonetheless highly prized by those with a gourmet taste for Asian dishes. What is especially appreciated with Kentaro Kobayashi's "Easy Japanese Cooking: Bento Love" is that this collection of elegant entrees take as its inspiration traditional Japanese box lunches called 'bento', and includes the author's childhood favorites such as Salt-Grilled Chicken Steak Bento; Spicy Sweet Beef and Shiitake Stir-fry Bento; and Crispy Dumpling Bento. But this gourmet quality Japanese alternative to ordinary American hamburgers and hot dogs does not stop there, but includes such selections as Fish and Chips Bento; Cheeseburger Bento; and Veggie-Filled Meatballs Bento. Profusely and beautifully illustrated in full color throughout, "Easy Japanese Cooking: Bento Love" is a unique and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections.
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Really like this book! Recipes tried so far are good both hot (for dinner) and cold (for bento boxes). Only down-side is amounts seem for single serving, which is good for a bachelor, but not for a family. Fortunately, multiplying recipes isn't too hard.
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I came home from Japan with this book waiting for me. I have tried several recipes, both as dinners for my family of 6 (ages 7-93) and for lunches for the school kids and working adults. Every dish has been easy and turned out like the picture! 5 stars from every member of the family. I hope the next cook books by this Author are as good. We are hooked on these fresh, well balanced meals. I have purchased two books as gifts for friends.
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Format: Paperback
Kentaro Kobayashi is a well known TV cooking personality in Japan, and has published many cookbooks there. This is a translation of one of his books. His speciality is easy home cooking that even a guy can tackle, and this book reflects that. Portions are generous, and the bentos are practical - attractive sure, but not pretty. Never mind though, the recipes I have tried so far are really good! A great book for Japanese cooking enthusiasts and bento lovers.
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This is not a book for how to cook the well known Japanese dishes but how to cook the material you have or can be found easily in the way Japanese people do. You get to learn how to use soy sauce, miso, mirin etc. After that, it leaves the room for your creativity. Everything in this book is for bento, so the type of food is limited to such purpose, that means no soup, no ramen.
Any of the food in the book can be cooked for the dinner and keep it in the fridge for the bento the next day, so it can be a time saver.
This may not be the first choice if you are looking for how to fix dishes use cheese, tomato, chicken broth, meat based western dishes but if you already know all that, this makes a nice change.
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Format: Paperback
This book was a good purchase; it is clearly organized, contains good advice, easy for Americans to learn about Japanese cooking, bento and how to prepare small amounts of food for a lunch. Many are designed for a those who love large portions of meat, as many Americans do - which is great for my husband who I make bento for everyday. Also the side dishes are super easy and useful, I think I use that section the most. I use 4 bento books, most are in English (one Japanese) and I reference them all in creating fun bento for my family. This is definitely a jewel to add to any bento recipe collection.
Highly recommend! =)
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I had originally borrowed a copy of this book from the local library, but then enjoyed it so much that I decided to locate and purchase a copy for my very own. The author provides many tasty recipes, along with accompanying photos of the arrangement & presentation of the food in a bento box. The recipes are appealing to both adults & kids, and as such, these meals are wonderful to take to work or to school. The writing style is intelligent, fun & relaxed. Explanations of useful techniques and suggested combinations of foods to prepare a bento box meal are included. This is a beautiful, enjoyable and useful little cookbook!
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As another reviewer noted, these are manly bentos. Most feature hefty portions of meat. The author also states these are bentos for hearty appetites. If you have looked at other bento books and worried your teenagers or husband will not be satisfied, check out this one.

I really wish this had a "search inside" feature but I bought this book anyway and was not disappointed. Each of the bentos features a few dishes that are fairly quick and easy to prepare on a busy morning (especially if you think ahead and prepare some sides to keep in the fridge to use throughout the week).

I like a lot of variety in my bentos. Even though most of these include only 1 or 2 "sides" with the "main dish" I can easily include an extra vegetable, pickles or any of the sides listed in this or other books. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to start making bentos or to add to your bento library. My only complaint? I wish there were twice as many pages & recipes.
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