Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Goth Bento?

As I continue on with Batfit 2012 (quietly, and not much on this blog) I've started to make a lot of progress in my healthy lifestyle. I would love to continue this at college, but the problem of easy and portable but still healthy food continues to loom on the horizon. As I continue to stalk Lolita blogs, I've discovered a cool way to keep food easy to carry and easy to fill with amazing and healthy food. That way is the Bento box.

Source: Flickr

According to my best friend ever, Wikipedia, Bento has been used by the Japanese for almost one thousand years. While traditionally filled with rice, meat or fish, and a vegetable, this method of serving food can be tailored to many a diet. If you're familiar with the Japanese film Kamikaze Girls, you might remember how Momoko carries a heart-shaped Bento filled with sugary sweets because she wanted "to fill [herself] only with sweet things." Since a diet of only sugary sweets are a little out of the question for healthy eating, I looked elsewhere for inspiration. Blogs such as Happy Little Bento and Just Bento provide a long list of recipes and styling which moves beyond just Japanese cuisine to any kind of food--so long as it fits in a box.

Still, I'm not big on the cutesy characters and flowery pink Bento boxes. To make this Goth-friendly, you have to do a bit of tinkering. The first step is to find yourself a Goth-appropriate Bento box. Many places sell Bento boxes with all sorts of patterns, and due to Otaku culture's love of skulls and other such iconography you'll find some that are suitably spooky. Add some coordinating utensils and you're good to go!

Source: Ebay

Now, the big question is what to fill it with. Chances are, your current dietary staples will fit just fine. Smaller fruits and vegetables like grapes, berries, clementine slices, broccoli, carrots, celery, red peppers, etc. will it just fine in the divided compartments, or you can make a (fruit) salad. Small portions of your favorite kinds of meats or other proteins can be a great addition. Bento making might be a little time consuming for the morning, but making it the night before can be kind of fun. The only thing I would not recommend putting into Bento is any kind of liquid or almost-liquid food product, such as soups, stews, yogurts, or etc. However, sauces and dressings can be carried in little containers or squirt bottles (very well cleaned out hand-sanitizer bottles work very well for this purpose.)

With Bento, playing with your food is encouraged. Creating what is called Kyaraben, or character bento, is a fun craft. Essentially, Kyaraben is the art of making your food look like animals, characters, plants, or other designs. If you ever get bored with looking at the same thing every day, Kyaraben is a great way to add spice back to your life. If you want to have even more fun, consider adding components such as colored rice or using cookie cutters (especially Halloween ones!) on all sorts of food items, from carrot shards to mini brownies.

So, readers, would you ever consider carrying Bento?


  1. HA! These are great! I've seen cute Hello Kitty ones and stuff but not gothy ones. Hell yeah, I'd carry a bento box around with me. :)

  2. I've always wanted to start making Bento for myself, but I'm too lazy! Definitely going to have to make an effort to though, thanks for reminding me :) They look so much fun to eat.

  3. those look awesome, i could not use them though. first i cant eat anything that looks like a face / has a face (blame my mom's behaviour in my childhood!)
    and i often use sauces, soups, etc to take with me at work :-(

  4. Bento boxes are an excellent and practical alternative to Western lunch boxes for taking food to work. Their compartments means a lot less wrapping things in tin-foil or cling-film, which means less rubbish to throw in the bin and is better on the environment. I have one and I love my bento box <3 Raven gave me mine as a gift, and it is black with a minimalistic design of a few plum blossoms in red. I just want to find my retractible chopsticks to put in it.

    I've seen that skull set on eBay before and been tempted by it, but I think the skull and crossbones are a) a bit too "kids Halloween pattern" to bring to my 'serious Responsible Adult job' and b) the 'serious Responsible Adult' job is not something I want to bring my gothy personal life into. It might a set I'd use for a picnic bento - i.e one where I'm possibly bringing a few more items of food than normal and where I'm not eating out at work, but down the park or similar.

    My solution to soup is to bring sachets of miso soup and make the soup up in a large mug using the boiling water machine at work and bringing some chopped vegetables such as sliced scallions to add to the bento.

  5. I was recently in France and I went to a Japanese take-out restaurant to find out what French-style Japanese food would be like. I got a Bento box (called, en francaise, "Bento Box" just like in English) and was amazed by how much meat they put in it. It came with meatballs, an egg roll full of meat, rice that was full of diced ham, some noodles with a thick layer of meat on them and some meat slices to dip in a sauce. Probably a lot more French than Japanese!