Want to make your bentos even more awesome? Try these!

Good morning everyone,

It looks like we may see the sun again around Sunday...till then they are calling for overcast skies and cooler weather with daytime highs in the high 20s. It's better for running for me, but I like to see the sun every now and then..

Spend some time looking at photos of amazingly clever and cute bento boxed lunches, and you’ll probably start feeling inspired to make some aesthetic edibles of your own. Unfortunately, that’s often easier said than done.

The tricky thing about making cute bento, especially character bento, is figuring out what type of food corresponds to the shape and shade your artistic vision requires. It’d be so much easier if colors themselves were foods, right?

And that brings us to Ikuji Kamaboko, which has been in business in Toyama Prefecture since 1927 and is the maker of Toto Sheets.

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Like the company’s name implies, Ikuji Kamaboko specializes in kamaboko, Japanese fish sausage. But while ordinary kamaboko is sold in cylindrical shapes, the Toto Sheets are instead formed into thin slices roughly 17 centimeters in length by nine centimeters in width, and colored in eight dazzling hues.

The sheets are about 0.8 millimeters thick, which means that you can use cookie cutters to punch out whatever shape you need to get your bento looking just like you want it. Slicing with a knife is of course also an option, and the pliable nature of the kamaboko means that it won’t crack as you bend, roll, or even braid it.

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Individual sheets can be purchased through Ikuji Kamaboko’s online store for 111 yen each, or you can splurge on an eight-pack with one of each color for a discounted price of 741 yen.

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I've always made my bentos from the previous night's leftovers, but these look tempting. I usually only spend 5-10 minutes making my bento. I wonder how much longer I'd spend making my bentos with these. What to make first?

Have a great day!


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