The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go

The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go

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by Makiko Itoh, Makiko Doi
     
 

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Bento fever has recently swept across the West, fuelled not just by an interest in cute, decorative food, but by the desire for an economical, healthy approach to eating in these times of recession. A leading light in the popularization of bento has been Makiko Itoh, whose blog, Just Bento, has nearly 160,000 subscribers in the U.S. alone, all of whom love her

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Overview

Bento fever has recently swept across the West, fuelled not just by an interest in cute, decorative food, but by the desire for an economical, healthy approach to eating in these times of recession. A leading light in the popularization of bento has been Makiko Itoh, whose blog, Just Bento, has nearly 160,000 subscribers in the U.S. alone, all of whom love her delicious recipes and practical bento-making tips.

Now, for the first time, Itoh's expertise has been packaged in book form. The Just Bento Cookbook contains 25 attractive bento menus and more than 150 recipes, all of which have been specially created for this book and are divided into two main sections, Japanese and Not-so-Japanese. The Japanese section includes classic bento menus such as Salted Salmon Bento and Chicken Karaage Bento, while the Not-so-Japanese section shows how Western food can be adapted to the bento concept, with delicious menus such as Summer Vegetable Gratin Bento and Everyone Loves a Pie Bento.

In addition to the recipes, Itoh includes sections on bento-making equipment, bento staples to make and stock, basic cooking techniques, and a glossary. A planning-chart section is included, showing readers how they might organize their weekly bento making.

In a market full of bento books that emphasize the cute and the decorative, this book stands out for its emphasis on the health and economic benefits of the bento, and for the very practical guidelines on how to ensure that a daily bento lunch is something that can easily be incorporated into anyone's lifestyle. This is the perfect book for the bento beginner, but will also provide a wealth of new bento recipe ideas and tips for Just Bento aficionados.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Itoh, who blogs at justhungry.com and justbento.com, guides readers to build a beautiful bento lunch that is also nutritious and filling for both adults and children. She begins with recipes for traditional Japanese-style bento lunches, rice accompanied by various salads, meats/seafood, and sometimes a pickled treat. The next section of the book has some inventive and more-Americanized meals—such as a meze lunch complete with baba ghanoush and koftas—which look just as pretty in their boxed homes as the Japanese dishes. A particularly simple bento for the American kitchen is the Deconstructed Salade Niçoise Bento, which involves pantry staples such as tuna, olives, and potatoes. Itoh includes a simple glossary of Japanese ingredients and sections on bento staples (think frozen precooked rice and dashi stock), types of bento boxes, and websites for supplies.Verdict A chapter on easy bento lunches—with only one or two dishes per box and an emphasis on leftovers—is the only thing this book is missing. Recommended for fans of bento lunches and anyone trying to get out of a lunch rut!—Claire Moitra, MLS, Providence

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568363936
Publisher:
Kodansha USA Publishing
Publication date:
12/09/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
162,758
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.50(d)

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