No bento can truly be complete without accessories. Sure, you can neatly pack your lunch into your bento box, but something magical occurs when you open your lunch and see a decorative arrangement of tasty treats. When it comes to food, presentation can be a pain, or a pleasure. Make it a pleasure by accessorizing your bento with cute and practical ‘bento bling!’
So what’s that stuff in the photo? Let’s take a look, from top left:
Rice mold and furikake stencil
Furikake, in simple English terms, is rice seasoning. It comes in several spice combinations and can be applied with stencil to make cute faces!
Nori is the green seaweed-paper you find on sushi. Nori punches work just like hole punches to cut various shapes from a nori sheet which are then used for embellishing the bento. This is a common way to decorate food with faces. One might also experiment with decorative scrapbook punches. Make sure you designate which are for food only!
These sturdy metal cutters slice shapes in fruit and veggies just like a cookie cutter. They can be used on softer foods like bread, cheese, and meat, but will best serve you when used on firm fleshed fruits and veggies. Ideally what you are cutting should be slightly larger than the cutter and sliced to 1/4 inch or less. Don’t try to force veggies through the center!
Mini sauce bottles
For your soy sauce, or whatever else you like! Some come with tiny funnels to assist with filling. Other soft sided bottles can be filled by squeezing and sucking up liquids.
These add a decorative touch, but can be used like mini forks. ^^
Deco ham and cheese cutters
Same concept as the vegetable cutters, but made of plastic. These cutters are NOT meant for veggies, as the plastic won’t hold up. Use these cutters to make shapes in bread, and slices of lunch meat, and cheese.
Silicon divider cups
Efficient dividers for foods that you may otherwise be a little messy. Great for compartmentalizing!
Don’t settle for the boring round rice ball, get creative with shapes like hearts and stars! Fill mold with cooked rice and press with top of mold. You can use plastic wrap if you just can’t seem to keep the rice from sticking.
The neatest thing ever. Eggs are rather malleable when they’re warm, and egg molds take advantage of this. Hard boiled eggs should be peeled warm, inserted into the mold and immediately plunged into ice water.
Horizontal food dividers. Nothing tricky to these.
Deco cutter and stamp kit
Same concept as the other cutters. These will also leave an indentation ‘stamp’ that can then be further highlighted.
Gel cold pack
Keep your bento cold!
A cute lunch bag for your bento! Keeps your chopsticks and lunchbox together.
Be sure to get some cute utensils to go with your cute lunch!
An elasticized or silicon strap used to hold the lid on your bento box should it not have any clasps.
Another carrying pouch
Some more chopsticks
All of these accessories in their various forms can be found all over the place. Search Amazon.com for ‘bento accessories’ or go nuts at bentousa.com.