Bento Lunch Boxes

There’s something so cute and picnic-y about having lunch from bento boxes.   If the bento were larger, it may be as charming as eating leftovers out of Tupperware but since bento are usually cute and compact, let’s go with the picnic thing.

We have this great bento box line that is very affordable and comes in really great colors.

We sell a lot of these because, really, who can resist a cute bento box?  Now, it’s from Japan, so as is often the case for things from Japan, it’s got some crazy weird English on it that makes you say, HUH?  Luckily, it’s just on the packaging and not the bento themselves and it isn’t as bad as some others that I’ve seen but here it is – judge for yourself:

First of all, it’s branded “Glit & Brillia” which really makes me wonder where they came up with these names.  Are they partners?  Are they brothers or sisters?  Are they a law firm?  Are they even Japanese?  Not sure.  Then it says, “A Taste That Makes Sense Comes From A Production Process That Makes Sense,” which teeters on actually making sense…  I kinda get it.  But aside from all that, this is a good product and I commend Glit & her brother, Brillia for a job well done!

Back to the beauty of bento boxes!

I asked Yoko, my poor suffering assistant, to make a bento lunch using these boxes.  Since she is actually from Japan, I figured she would be my best choice.  Crafty cuteness is gleaned by osmosis in Japan in case you didn’t know.  So even though, she goes to Moe’s almost every day for lunch (she’s young), she came in one day with these great pics.  Here are her bento:

These bento are about 6″ wide, 5″ long and 2.5″ tall so although some people think they may be too small for an adult size meal, they actually hold a lot!  Plus, it’s always a good idea to think about portion control.  With this, you can actually control how much food you are consuming at lunch.  I mean, if you filled it with cheesecake, this would not work but I’m guessing you are all much more reasonable than that!

I use these all the time for my kids’ lunches.  Sandwiches fit well – if you use a roll, you may have to squish it a bit but it’s perfectly fine.  My littlest doesn’t like sandwiches so she gets pasta with a little bit of cheese sprinkled in.  They are really easy for little ones to snap open and close too.  I use the smaller snack packs for things like Goldfish, pretzels, fruit, etc.  And they like the bright colors.

I’m determined to try to make a proper bento meal with cut out Nori and all one of these days but I’m afraid the kids would probably not eat it.  My kids only like Japanese food when Baba (Grandma) cooks it.   But I won’t let that stop me.  I will make the best mediocre Japanese food my limited skills will allow!  Gambarimasu!

If anyone has some pictures of great bento food you like to make or even recipes of easy  bento food, share it with us!  My kids will thank you.



The Sauce Dish

People often ask us, “What is this plate for?  Is this a sushi plate?  Is this a ramen bowl?  What can I put on this?”  Well, the simplest answer is that you can use various plates and bowls for anything and yes, you can eat sushi on our plates.  Or you can have a hamburger on it.  Or fries.  Or turkey.  Or Penne Alla Vodka (Giada makes a good one).  Or paella.  Or bulgogi.  Or meatloaf.  Or schnitzel.  Or chana masala.   The point is that you don’t need to limit the use of our products for Japanese food.  Or even for food at all!

Let’s take, for instance, the small sauce dish.  Made originally to hold sauce, as the name suggests, but it is also perfect for fancying up little hor d’ouevres for your next party.  Martha, the original hostess with the mostess, has a great recipe for Chilled Tofu which are plated on little sauce dishes.  Perfect.

I’m not sure where Martha got these cute sauce dishes but we used to have similar ones so long ago in a green color.  Very cute but I believe they are now in the Museum of Miya Products, i.e., my mother-in-law’s kitchen.  So instead, you can be inspired by our other sauce dishes here:

These sauce dishes range in size from 3″ – 3.5″ diameter, making them a great size for cubes of tofu or mini crab cakes!  Try slivers of sashimi with sauce or deviled eggs.  Smoked salmon on crackers with capers.  Stuffed mushroom.  Bacon wrapped scallops or shrimp!  The possibilities are endless.

If you have been to a nice Japanese restaurant, small tsukemono (pickled vegetables) are often served on small dishes like these.  Chefs like to use these dishes to serve small bites of something with a delicate flavor but also for bold flavors that pack a punch.  Using these small dishes to showcase an hors d’oeuvre or a side dish is a wonderful way to remind your dinner guests to enjoy each morsel.

These dishes are also quite popular as wedding favors.  They are great little dishes to hold chocolate or candy wrapped in cellophane with a pretty ribbon.  Then the guests can take the dishes home.  Or use them to hold votive candles on the table as part of the tablescape.  Again, the guests can take them home.

Our customers tell us they also use them in guest bathrooms to hold pretty soap or votive candles.  They line up 3 of them on a shelf or on the counter with the candles as decoration.  They can also be placed on top of a coordinating rectangular plate to serve as a tray for the candles.

They are used in bathrooms or on dressers to hold rings and other pieces of jewelry.  Use them when in the kitchen to hold salt or spices while you are cooking.  You can even move them into the dining room so everyone can add their own spices.

Yes, they are called sauce dishes and they are most often used for soy sauce when you are enjoying your sushi.   But be creative!  Unleash your inner Martha!

If you have any recipes or ideas to share about using sauce dishes, let us know!