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!



How to make the face?

For Crayon Shin-chan’s face, use rice mixed with Mentsuyu. Cut dried seaweed (nori ) to form the eyebrows, eyes, hair and cheeks, and use a piece of boiled carrot for the mouth. Place the eyebrows on some cut-out cheese to make them stand out. Use ketchup for the cheeks.

Top right corner,

Stir-fried chicken breast with chili sauce, sweet-and-salty stewed pork with konnyaku (konjac root), sweet potato with butter and soy sauce, Japanese rolled omelette and broccoli.

For the details of the character,

For this character (Buri Buri Zaemon), the face is made out of nori. Place the cut nori on sliced cheese.

Today’s tip

Usually kids do not warm their bento before lunch, so choose ingredients that will taste good even when the bento gets cold.


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.