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The Manga Cookbook: Japanese Bento Boxes, Main Dishes and More! Paperback – December 12, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Manga Cookbook: Japanese Bento Boxes, Main Dishes and More!
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  • The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go
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  • Effortless Bento: 300 Japanese Box Lunch Recipes
Total price: $40.99
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Youngsters can participate in manga cooking with The Manga Cookbook from The Manga University Culinary Institute, which offers 27 basic recipes by Yoko Ishihara introduced with color photographs. Additional black and white step-by-step comic book illustrations by Chihiro Hattori show how to make rabbit-shaped apple slices, rice hamburgers, pickled vegetables and teriyaki chicken.

Readers are guided through the cookbook by three cartoon characters: a young girl, Miyuki, who calls herself the kitchen sensei; Hiroshi, her boyfriend who likes to eat; and the feline-like mascot, Coo, identified as the book's culinary mastermind. In addition to recipes, more information about many of the dishes and ingredients are presented through Miyuki's notes. --San Francisco Chronicle

After many of the recipes is additional information, often quite fascinating, about the dishes and ingredients. You will learn plenty of Japanese culinary terms as well as elements of Japanese culture. --Richard Auffrey, The Passionate Foodie,

A "Top 10 Popular Paperbacks" selection for 2011 --American Library Association

About the Author

YOKO ISHIHARA is a certified nutritionist and chef, having earned her degree from Japan's prestigious Kagawa Nutrition University. Ishihara-sensei contributed the recipes and notes to this book, and as a mother of three, knows nearly as much about manga as she does about cooking.

CHIHIRO HATTORI is best known as the artist whose delightful illustrations in Manga University's Kanji de Manga series have taught thousands of students how to read and write Japanese. An avid cook, she created some of the cute bento designs in this book, and has been known to sneak an Usagi Ringo or two into the lunch her husband carries to work.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Japanime Co. Ltd. (December 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4921205078
  • ISBN-13: 978-4921205072
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am active on LJ's bento community and was happy to find this book. It is GREAT if you are into bento. There isn't much out there in English for bento (I have several Japanese bento cookbooks), and this has very clear, easy to understand instructions for all kinds of Japanese recipes, and includes a whole bento section on how to pack a box and suggestions of what to include. Step by step instructions for making a train bento, and garden bento, also instructions for making several decorative foods to go in bento.

It's organized really well, with recipes and illustrations, then a page of text that tells about the recipe or food item - history, culture, stuff like that. For example, I finally learned about those traditional bento of scrambled egg, ground meat and sliced snow peas over rice. They're called Soboro, and there are some examples of making pretty bento with that. The recipes look easy enough that my 12-year-old said she wanted to try some.

All in all, I wish I'd found this book a year ago when I started being interested in bento, but it's not just for newbies. I am seeing recipes in here that I really want to try, including some cute bento ideas that I haven't seen or thought of. Lots and lots of recipes, it's a thicker book than I expected.

If you are a big Manga fan, you might expect the book to be read back to front/right to left, Manga-style, but it's not. It's American manga, which is fine with me. Very easy to read. Much more helpful and "how to" than the (very cute) "Face Food" book.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book on a whim at Anime Expo. I've read recipes before on making Japanese food, and generally thought, well, that's nice, but it's a lot of effort. After getting halfway through this book in one day, I went shopping and tonight I have umeboshi onigiri made with sushi rice in my fridge, a bento for my lunch tomorrow and have finished a dinner of karaage. This book is PERFECT for the beginner, especially those introduced to the delights of Japanese food through manga or anime. It makes everything simple enough to dive right in and enjoy the delights of Japanese food in your home. The authors have made a real effort to adjust things to American kitchens and measurements. It's even an entertaining read. I can't wait to get through the second half of the book and see what I'm making later this week!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic. I just received my copy a few days ago and have already made several of the recipes with no problem at all. The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. The book is full of pictures (color and b&w), extended notes on the customs and history surrounding the recipes and has lots of suggestions for switching up your recipes. I think this book is perfect for anyone just getting into Japanese cooking or bento and would be great for beginners as well as seasoned chefs. I was surprised at how much useful information they stuffed into this book! A great value for your money!
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Format: Paperback
The Manga Cookbook is a lovely little collection of Japanese recipes, illustrated with manga-style drawings and accompanied by notes about Japanese culture. The dishes run the gamut from simple steamed rice to complicated multistep affairs, and following the Japanese tradition, the authors pay attention to appearance as well as taste.

The book begins with a few simple decorative tricks, converting an apple to a rabbit, a hardboiled egg to a bird, and a hot dog to an octopus. Next up is steamed rice and onigiri (rice balls), with the obligatory shout-out to Fruits Basket, in which onigiri are a small but important plot element. Other common manga foods include chicken yakitori (kebabs), okonomiyaki (vegetable pancakes), and three-color dango (pastel dumplings on a stick). Several pages are devoted to the construction and decoration of bento box lunches. And no manga book would be complete without Naruto--specifically, Naruto rolls, spirals of ham, cheese, and nori (seaweed) that recall the decorations on the famed boy ninja's jacket.

The recipes are presented by three supercute manga characters: perky Miyuki; her boyfriend, Hiroshi; and their cat mascot, Coo. Each section begins with a full-page cartoon followed by a list of ingredients and step-by-step illustrations of the dish being prepared. Many are followed by cultural notes. Unfortunately, the last 26 pages are just blank notebook pages with the heading "Cook's Notes," which is a lot of empty space in a book that is just 160 pages long.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) chose The Manga Cookbook as one of their Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers, and it's easy to see why.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book as an incredible amount of good info for beginners! Love it!! So glad my daughter chose it, because I never would have guessed a "Manga" cookbook would refer to awesome Bento!

I bought several Bento items for my daughter for Christmas, including Totoro-themed Bento Boxes, sauce containers, bento bags, recipe books,etc.. She's having a lot of fun creating lunches for her Bento box. And her dad is also reaping the benefit. :) I'll share all the items we bought as we launched wholesale into the Bento adventure. We've cooked many interesting meals - no misses yet! And everyone's had fun with their Bento boxes. Even my husband is enjoying his, which was a surprise.

Since we were starting Bento from scratch, we bought some Bento cookbooks, even though we have some Japanese cookbooks already:

The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go
http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1568363931?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

Yummy Kawaii Bento: Preparing Adorable Meals for Adorable Kids
http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1634504240?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

Effortless Bento: 300 Japanese Box Lunch Recipes
http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1939130379?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

The Manga Cookbook
http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/4921205078?redirect=true&ref_=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0

and several Bento items to accommodate lunches with and without soup, etc.

Her main bento box (she never microwaves it, and she washes it by hand). It came with chopsticks, but she also wanted the Totoro utensil set listed below which fits in her bag nicely with this box.
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