Ready to jazz up your meal in the most adorable way? Put some fun in your lunch box with your own kyara-ben.

Known as the “character bento,” the kyara-ben is a great way to get artistic with lunch—not to mention the secret weapon of many creative parents with fussy kids to feed. With shapes ranging from cute, simple faces to incredible likenesses of popular characters, there’s no end to the possibilities!


For the Poke Ball, place cut nori (seaweed) over sliced cheese and use ketchup to add colour. (in the middle of lower part)

Boil an egg and use the yolk to colour Pikachu’s face. Design the ears, eyes, nose and mouth with cut nori. (lower part)

P45-2 copy

Teriyaki chicken, cucumbers mixed with ume-okaka-ae (pickled plum and bonito flake dressing), omelette and broccoli. (top left corner)

Mix mentsuyu (soup base) in rice to colour Eevee’s face. Put a glimmer in the eyes using cut cheese. (lower part)

Today’s tip

Make each character’s shape by wrapping rice in plastic wrap while the rice is still hot. Stick on cut nori and sliced cheese using mayonnaise so that they won’t slip off. Be careful—the nori will shrink if the rice is too hot, so wait until it has cooled a little.


Rie Kamiyama

Mother of two sons, aged 9 and 14 years old. Started making Kyara-ben six years ago when her son came back home without finishing the lunch she made him.