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!P44_Kyaraben_630X495

Top left corner,

Tofu, chicken and hijiki seaweed hamburger steak.

How to make the face?

For Jibanyan’s face and the red parts of his ears, use pan-fried ketchup rice and mould it into shape. For the inside of the ears (the pink parts), mix pink furikake sprin- kles with rice. Overlap pink and red rice to create the ears.

Using cheese and nori for details,

Cut sliced cheese for the white part of the face. Use cheddar cheese slices for the yellow eyes. Cut dried seaweed to form pupils, nose and mouth. Finally, use ketchup to add colour to the nose and tongue.

Add more nutritions!

Japanese rolled omelettes, boiled broccoli, stewed potato and tuna.

Today’s tip

It is recommended that you mould the rice into shapes while it is still warm. However, wait until the rice cools off a bit before you decorate with cheese and nori.


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.