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Instructions* Click image to start slideshow.
Let's prepare the ingredients for Bento. Cut the cucumber vertically in half. Slice the cucumber into half moons. Put the cucumber in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and toss to coat evenly.
Scrape off the skin of the potato with a knife. Slice the potato into quarter moons.
Make a cross-shaped cut on the carrot. Be careful not to cut your hands. Thinly slice the carrot into quarter moons.
Cut the spinach in half, separating the leaf part from the stem part. Cut the pumpkin slice into 4 pieces.
Let's make the apple into a rabbit shape. Remove the core of the apple. Cut a shallow V-shape into the skin of the apple. Peel the rabbit ears but leave the bases attached. Remove the skin in between the rabbit ears. Cut off both ends of the apple so it fits the bento box.
Prepare a bowl of salted water and let the apple soak in it. This will prevent the apple from browning.
Let's make the sausage into an octopus shape. Cut the sausage in half. Make 4 even cuts half way through the sausage to create 8 tentacles. Be careful not to cut your hands.
Cut the chicken in half. Put the chicken in a bowl and add kimchi base. Toss to coat.
Let's cook the vegetables. Prepare a pot of water with added salt. Put in the potato and carrot, cover, and turn on the burner. When the water boils, cook the stem part of the spinach first.
Then, add the leaf part.
Let the water boil again, remove spinach and let it cool in ice water.
Drain the spinach, and place it on a plate. Pour soy sauce over the spinach and lightly squeeze.
Cook the potato and carrot for about 10 more minutes until softened. When the potato and carrot become soft, remove and drain well with a wire sieve.
Put the vegetables in a bowl. Mash the potato about half way through when it is still hot. Add a little vinegar and sugar. Sprinkle some black pepper, and stir evenly.
Drain the cucumber of their liquid with paper towel. Add the cucumber, sweet corn and mayonnaise to the mixture.
Stir to mix.
Let's make spinach tamagoyaki. Coat the frying pan with vegetable oil. Crack the egg into a bowl, and beat it well. Check if the surface is hot enough, and pour the egg in the pan.
Swirl the pan to spread the egg evenly. Cook the egg until half done, and place the spinach on the surface.
Roll up the fried egg sheet with chopsticks and place it on the cutting board.
Re-oil the pan, and fry the Vienna sausage. When the tentacles spread outwards, remove the sausage.
Cut the spinach tamagoyaki to fit the height of bento box.
Let's fry the pumpkin and chicken. Place the pumpkin in oiled frying pan and turn on the burner.
Add potato starch to the chicken and toss to coat.
When the pumpkin starts to sizzle, gently place the chicken in the oil. Rotate the pumpkin and chicken in the oil to fry evenly.
When the pumpkin and chicken become golden brown, remove, and place them on a wire rack.
Dip the pumpkin into honey, and place it in a cup divider.
Sprinkle some toasted black sesame seeds.
Let's make onigiri. Wrap a ball of lukewarm steamed rice with plastic wrap. Gently shape it into a triangle.
Coat the onigiri with Noritama Furikake.
Wrap the onigiri with a sheet of toasted nori. Place it on the bento box divider.
Like before, coat another onigiri with Yukari Furikake, wrap it with a sheet of toasted nori.
Place the Yukari onigiri, rabbit-shaped apple and octopus-shaped sausage on the bento box divider.
Add sesame seed eyes to the octopus sausages.
Let's pack the bento box with all the ingredients. Arrange the spinach tamagoyaki, honey glazed pumpkin, potato salad, cherry tomato and karaage fried chicken.
Put the divider on the bento box.
Cover the bento box and hold the lid with a rubber band.
The bottom container.
The top tray.
A trick to making nutritionally-balanced bento is using 5 color ingredients, red, yellow, green, black and white. Don't pack your bento box until the ingredients become cool. therwise, the bento can easily go bad because of moisture from the steam. A tip to making bento in the busy morning is preparing the ingredients the night before or using premade ingredients from the market.