Halloween lunch bento

Halloween Bento and Japanese Meal Ideas

The kawaii phenomenon has become an important factor in defining Japanese culture and has spread all across the globe. Kawaii means lovable, cute or adorable in Japanese.  The cuteness factor is not hard to fall in love with, its simply irresistible at times. Kawaii has come to influence Japanese pop culture, toys, entertainment, clothing and even food!

Kyaraben monster

Monster rice ball.

A popular Japanese food item is bento, a single-portion packed meal and is probably synonymous to the country.  Bentos usually contain curry, okonomiyaki (savory pancakes of fish, meat and/or vegetables), tempura (battered, deep-fried seafood or vegetables), teppanyaki (grilled meats), tonkatsu (fried and breaded pork cutlets), or yakitoi (chicken grilled in skewers). They are all usually served with pickled vegetables, rice, and noodles.

Bento can be elaborately created using edible ingredients to look like popular characters in Japanese anime, manga, or anything imaginable! These too good to be eaten bento meals are called kyaraben or “character bento” and was originally intended to entice children’s appetites and make vegetables and other ingredients more interesting for them to try. Kyaraben has become so popular that national competitions are held where enthusiasts compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.

You can extend your creativity to other kinds of Japanese meals or even any type of food. Let your imagination run wild and make Halloween more fun with Halloween themed meals. Check out some of these creative Halloween bento and Japanese meal ideas:

Halloween hotdog mummies

Rice ball ghouls

Zombie omurice