Before eating Japanese bento, you should know what this single-portion packed lunch is all about. Bento has become an iconic symbol of Japanese culture, and it’s a convenient way to eat a healthy lunch. So what is a bento box, and why is it popular?
Bento is a Single-Portion-Packed Meal.
The Japanese have long enjoyed the concept of single-portion full meals. Mainland China is called biandang, while in Taiwan, it is known as pian-tong. Korea is also known as a dosirak. Despite the simplicity of the concept, there are many cultural associations with the bento. Some researchers have also looked at the bento as a symbol of Japanese society, while others have outlined deeper ideological meanings.
There are various ways to prepare a bento, but the most popular method is steamed rice. Make sure you buy good rice or use your rice cooker if you’re using one. Try to find short-grain rice, which has a moist and sticky texture. You can find this rice in an Asian grocery store. Try different types of rice and cooking methods to find the right one for your bento.
While the word “bento” has several different meanings in Japanese, the simplest one is convenience. Bentos are designed for single-portion meals, and the concept behind them has long been dedicated to fresh, high-quality ingredients. In addition to this, the idea has been evolving as a pan-Asian cuisine. However, some people find it challenging to prepare their Bentos and thus prefer to eat or buy something ready-made.
It’s a Symbol of Japanese Culture.
During the Edo period, bento was usually eaten during the morning and afternoon when the curtain was drawn. This custom of eating bento was carried to school through ritual and symbolism. However, the custom was discarded after World War I as a social problem. The growing number of migrants to the cities, a poor crop yield, and wider income gaps made a habit of bringing bento to school a social problem. During this time, people began to believe that the practice was not healthy and was harming the health of their children.
Today, bento boxes are part of Japanese culture and are available in various designs. These range from mass-produced catering boxes to handcrafted artisanal boxes. These boxes provide affordable and convenient midday meals for Japanese people. The word “bento” comes from the Chinese slang term ‘biandang,’ which means convenient. In its early form, bento was used for social gatherings and ceremonies, and over time different types evolved to serve other purposes.
The tradition of eating bento dates back to the Edo period (1603-1867). The early lunchboxes were simple koshibento, with the ingredients dependent on social class and occupation. Waist Bentos were commonly eaten by travelers, while layered Bentos were reserved for special events. In the twentieth century, plastic and aluminum were used for bento preparation, leading to various modern versions, such as the convenience store-style konbini-bento, the train station bento, the ekiben, or take-out bento.
It’s a Convenient Way to Have a Healthy Lunch.
If you’re trying to keep your lunches simple but want to include a variety of foods, consider packing a Bento box. The containers have sealed compartments, making them perfect for single servings. Then place your favorite items in the compartments. This will save you time, money, and landfill space.
First and foremost, Bento lunch boxes make healthy lunch packing a breeze. They save time and money while encouraging a healthier lifestyle. Typically, you’ll find a main dish and side dishes inside a beautifully designed bento box. In addition, there’s no need to worry about buying plastic wrap or paper bags anymore – these boxes are made to be reusable. And they’re easy to wash!
If you’re not the cooking type, bento boxes are a great way to save money. The boxes can be used as storage for leftovers, and you can even turn fried chicken into the shredded chicken for a chicken salad bento box. Sliced tomatoes are perfect for nachos. Most bento boxes can be purchased for under $15, and brown-bagging is an excellent alternative to many other options. You can even opt to have groceries delivered by a personal shopper.