Packing bento without using a compartment bento box may seem strange for many of you. But the truth is that you can actually pack your bento neatly and nicely without the help of compartments.
As the bento box with compartments are usually bulky and heavy, using bento box without compartment
Step 1: Plan for the portions
There are three main elements in bento: protein, staple, and vegetables. When preparing your bento, these elements can be seen as mains, rice, and sides.
3 Portions=vegetable: Protein: Staple=1:1:1
4 Portions= vegetable: Protein: Staple=2:1:1
I usually divide my bento into three or four portions. If it’s four portions, I would double the amount of vegetable/sides since I enjoy eating lots of vegetables and it also makes bento more colorful and balanced in nutrition.
Step 2: Plan for the presentation
Depends on the shape of your bento box and the food, you can plan for the presentation of the bento accordingly. Most bento can be generally categorized to these 12 presentation styles. You can also follow these patterns to arrange your bento next time.
There are also times when I place the main on the vegetables, such as chicken breast on salad or fried pork cutlet (katsu) on shredded cabbage. In this case, you can place the presentation creatively.
Step 3: Plan for the colors
After having an idea of the portion and presentation, I plan for the color and what specific dish I should make for each bento.
I categorize food into six colors: orange/brown, red, yellow, green, white, and purple/pink. Normally I would recommend having at least 4 colors to make your bento colorful.
Orange/brown and white usually come from the main/protein and staple/rice, so these are relatively easy to get. As for the rest, they come from various kinds of vegetables, and that make sure bento has a variety of vegetables and nutrients.
When placing the food, put together the ones with contrast colors to further highlight the food and make your bento look more appealing.
Now you’re ready to pack your bento. Come and see how I pack my bento: