Christmas Santa Decorative Bento

Christmas Santa Decorative Bento

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Have Santa over for lunch or your next bento meal. Decorative bento, or deko-ben, are bento boxes using various tools and techniques to add some colourful flair and cuteness to you normal lunches. For the Christmas season, why not try making your bento a little more festive. Make Santa, Christmas trees, and other cute shapes for a bento worthy of being a present itself. 


150g cooked japanese white or brown rice
1 sheet nori seaweed
fresh salad leaves
ankake meatballs
frankfurter sausages
crab sticks
japanese fried chicken
fresh fruit/vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces, broccoli and carrots are suggested


  1. First, let’s make the onigiri. Carefully dampen your onigiri mould before scooping up some cooked rice and pressing closed with the lid. Pop off the lid and carefully tip out your onigiri. The shape should be a triangle shape as this will be used to make your little Santa. 
  2. To decorate the onigiri, use a nori seaweed punch to create some fun faces with nori seaweed. If your rice is still quite warm, you may want to hold off before putting your nori faces on the onigiri, just to stop them getting chewy. Then carefully use a cut off end of a frankfurter sausage as Santa's nose. Unravel the crab stick into a flat sheet. Cover the top point of the onigiri with it to make Santa's hat. 
  3. Cut out some star shapes or any other shapes that you would like to use to decorate your bento as ornaments. Carrot slices are preferred due to their ease of using with bento cutters. Next, make any of the meat dishes you want to put into your bento. These can include Japanese fried chicken, ankake meatballs, or small sausages scored with a criss-cross pattern to add a decorative finish.

  4. Now let’s assemble the bento. First, put in your onigiri. Place or adjust any decorations on them. Then, add any meat dishes to your bento. You can use fresh salad leaves as dividers to help keep your meats and any sauces from seeping into the Santa onigiri. Finish off with any fruits and vegetables. We suggest maybe using some broccoli and decorating it with some of the cut out carrots to make your own edible Christmas tree. Now you can enjoy a cute and decorative bento for lunch.

Consigli e maggiori informazioni

• If our beginner’s bento has you inspired there are lots of cookery books with inventive bento ideas, some great for everyday bento and others for when you really want that ‘wow’ factor. Remember deco-ben are supposed to show off your decoration skills as well as your culinary prowess.