Haiji of Run With the Wind fame, has many talents: running, coercing others into running, building team spirit and being the perfect housewife. I mean, seriously, this guy cooks for all his teammates, which is nice, but he also goes the EXTRA mile by making a specialty bento box creation! These kinds of bento boxes rose to prominence when mothers wanted to show off their skills by making their child’s lunch extra fancy, thus inspiring jealousy and intrigue amongst the other children and THEIR mothers. And for good reason! Bento box designs of this quality aren’t something you just casually do. They take time, effort and serious planning. Which begs the question: where did Haiji find the time for this?
I recreated the bento and it took me roughly two and a half hours. That’s right, TWO AND A HALF HOURS! In the end, I had a full hour of footage to sort through to crop it down to the mere five minutes you see below. The key is all in the details with these bento designs. If you can’t get the nitty gritty design elements down, you’ll fall woefully short. That translates to cutting slivers of nori to make the shading between teeth and individually placing each mustache nori hair above the mouth. Something I totally FORGOT to do was the beard! You don’t notice it at first, but it’s one of those design elements you really need to make it a perfect bento recreation.
The side dishes alone take some care and effort to curate. I bought the burdock root salad and pickles, but hand carved the carrot and made the tamagoyaki. I had to pick up the right cut of salmon from my local Japanese grocery store, but if you go to your butcher you can likely get them to cut you a fillet that looks right. The bacon wrapped asparagus is simple to make, and tasty to boot, but I found the overall challenge was that I had TOO MUCH of everything compared to what was needed for a single bento box. I’d recommend choosing sides based on two things: 1) What you love to eat and 2) What you don’t mind eating a lot of, because it’s impossible to buy anything in small enough amounts so that you only get what you need for the one bento.
Luckily, despite those small snafus, I was really happy with my end design. If you want to try this bento recreation out yourself, I’d recommend taking your time and having patience. If you expect to do this right, it takes planning and care. For example, I made or bought the side dishes a few days before, and spent all my time and energy trying to make the face as perfect as possible. It helps to have a design to follow, like I did, and that can serve as a stencil for your food items.
Watch the video below to see the full process.
Ingredients and Tools for the Akihiro BentoIngredients:
-White sliced cheese
-Salmon fillets, grilled
-Asparagus Wrapped Bacon
-Cooked Egg Pancake
-Paper cup liners for foods
To Make the Akihiro Bento
1. See the video for the full process! It’s part planning and part art, so it’s hard to describe with written instructions exactly what you need to do. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this post! Check in next week for another recipe, and to check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a Twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My Tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Find me on Youtube for more video tutorials! Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! 😀