Angel kyaraben

Made christmas bento. An angel and a Christmas wreath. A Christmas wreath is made from broccoli and potato salad.

Kyaraben workshop


Japanese vegetarian menu

(EN) The quintessence of Japanese cuisine is included in vegetable dishes or fish dishes. Because Japan was a country of vegetarian for 1000 years under the influence of Buddhism. Japanese Buddhist temple food is called "shojin ryori" and is vegan. And seafood has always been consumed because of island-country.
Since Meiji Period (1868-), Japanese people started to eat meats under the influence of the western culture. Therefore Japanese meat dishes that are well known in western countries, many of them are arranged or new dish suit for western eating habits.

This Japanese vegetarian menu I made, ingredients are all vegetables.

- Furofuki daikon (simmered Japanese radish served with miso sauce)
- Taro nimono (stewed taro simmered in a soy-and-sake-based sauce)
- Tofu paste staffed in shiitake seasoned with teriyaki sauce.
- Home made Japanese pickled cabbage
- Beans with grind black sesame.
- Sweet potato rice
- Tofu miso soup
- Spinach shiraae (spinach in a sesame and pounded tofu sauce)

The sesame oil was lightly used for grilling Teriyaki tohu stuffed in shiitake. However other dishes don't include oils.

(NL) De kern van de Japanse keuken wordt gevormd door groente- en visgerechten. Voor 1000 jaar was Japan vegetarisch onder de invloed van het Boedhisme. Japans Boedhistisch tempel eten wordt "Shojin Ryori" genoemd en is veganistisch. Vis en schaaldieren werden altijd al geconsumeerd omdat Japan uit eilanden bestaat. Sinds de Meiji periode (vanaf 1868), begonnen Japanners, onder de invloed van de westerse cultuur ook vlees te eten. Daarom hebben Japanse vleesgerechten die bekend zijn in westerse landen een nog niet zo lange geschiedenis. Sommige gerechten zijn enigszins aangepast aan westerse eetgewoonten.

(EN) Japanese vegetarian cooking workshop
At this workshop you learn authentic Japanese vegetarian dish or vegan dish. At the Japanese vegan cooking workshop, we only use vegetable bouillons. Not only for vegetarians but also good for the people who has allergy or has interest to healthy foods. More info  http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/japansekookworkshop.html

(NL) Japans vegetarische kookworkshop
In deze workshop leer je authentieke Japanse vegetarische of veganistische gerechten maken. Voor veganisten voor wie alleen groenten zijn toegestaan, gebruiken we groentebouillons. Voor vegetariërs die wel vis eten, kan ook visbouillon gebruikt worden. Deze workshop is niet alleen voor vegetariërs, maar ook voor mensen die bepaalde voedselallergieën hebben of gewoon interesse hebben in gezond eten.
Meer info http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/japansekookworkshop.html


Jouya nabe

Jouya nabe (常夜鍋) is a Japanese pot dish featuring sliced pork and spinach boiled in konbu bouillon. Adding tofu and enoki are also possible. Served with a dipping sauce that consists with ponzu and soy sauce.

Jouya nabe literally means "Every night pot" because we never get tired of eating this pot dish even if eating every night. Jouya nabe is a popular dish for a winter dinner, and also popular for a supper of Japanese examinees.

The condiments are usually chopped green onions and grated daikon. The eating style is similar to Shabu Shabu. Therefore do not cook ingredients long time. Cooked pork and spinach are dipped in ponzu soy sauce before eating.

Ponzu is a Japanese citrus. To make dipping sauce, squeezed lemon juice mixed with soy sauce is also possible in stead of using ponzu.

Japanse kookworkshop


Daigaku Imo (candied sweet potato in Japanese style).

Daigaku imo is one of a traditional desserts in Japan. 'Daigaku imo' literally means 'university potato'. Daigaku means university. Imo means potato. It was a favorite food for Japanese university students in early 20th century. Daigaku imo was reasonable price for them.

To make Daigaku imo, prepare sweet potato, sugar, water, black sesame seeds, and soy sauce. Cut the potato without peeling. Deep fry potatoes until lightly brown. Move potato to the flying pan. Add sugar and water. Heat them until the suger clear and sticky. Add black sesame and a bit soy sauce. Soy Sauce is an essense, and don't add too much.

Japanse kookworkshop http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/japansekookworkshop.html


Sinterklaas kyaraben

Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet kyaraben in Rilakkuma version. 

Sinterklaas is a traditional figure based on Saint Nicholas. Sinterklaas is celebrated annually with the giving of gifts on the night before Saint Nicholas Day (5 December) in the Netherlands and on the morning of 6 December. He is one of the sources of the popular Christmas icon of Santa Claus. 
Sinterklaas is an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard. He wears a long red cape or chasuble over a traditional white bishop's alb and sometimes red stola, dons a red mitre and ruby ring, and holds a gold-coloured crosier, a long ceremonial shepherd's staff with a fancy curled top. He traditionally rides a white horse. In the Netherlands, the horse is called Amerigo. Sinterklaas carries a big book that tells whether each child has been good or naughty in the past year. 
 Zwarte Piet is a companion of Sinterklaas, usually portrayed by a man in blackface, dressed up like a 17th-century page in colourful attire, often sporting a lace collar and a feathered cap. 

More info, refer wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas



Oden (おでん) is a Japanese dish consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konbu and fish cakes stewed in a dashi broth. Ingredients vary according to region and between each household. Japanese mustard is often used as a condiment. Oden is one of a popular home cooked dish, and is a popular menu in convenience stores. In Akihabara, an unusual product 'Oden kan' (canned Oden) is available at vending machines.

The photo is my home made oden that mainly includes,

Several fish cakes
Fried tofu

To make Oden in NL, we can get most ingredients from Toko.


Karē don (A bowl of rice with Japanese curry on top)

You may know Japanese curry rice. But Karē don (カレー丼. A bowl of rice with Japanese curry on top.) is a bit different from typical Japanese curry.

This dish is mainly served in Soba restaurant. They make curry sauce, thickened and flavored with mentsuyu (soup for soba or udon. Fish bouillon and soy sauce based) and served on top of a bowl of rice.

This dish was invented by the owner of soba restaurant in 1909 to take customers back from Youshoku restaurants. This curry rice bowl may be more Japanese flavor than typical Japanese curry.

Basic ingredients

Bring to boil mentsuyu (soup for soba or udon) with adding meats and spring onions. Add curry powder and thicken the broth with starch.

Kookworkshop Japans koken


Dinner for guests.

Homemade dinner for our guests.

- Beef with tofu seasoned with soy sauce, sake, mirin and dashi.
- Miso-based teriyaki tuna.
- Cucumber seasoned with ginger, konbu dashi and lemmon.
- Hijiki (Japanese seaweed) with carrot and lotus roots.
- Paprika with sesame miso mayonnaise.
- Rice.
- Onion and autumn mushroom miso soup.
- Apple and orange.

How to get ingredients:
- Sake, mirin, dashi, konbu, Japanese rice and miso :Toko (Asian shop) or natural food shop.
- Hijiki: natural food shop.
- Lotus roots: Toko.
- Other vegetables, tofu, tuna and beef: Albert Heijn (typical supermarket nearby)

Kookworkshop Japans koken


Rilakkuma burger (kyarapan)

Kyaraben (character bento) is one of a famous Japanese lunch box style, and is known nowadays in the world. Since kyaraben booming, several derivation of kyaraben are appeared in Japan.
Karapan, a short form of "character pan" is also getting popular. Pan means bread in Japanese that is based on Portuguese word Pão. As you can see the photo, kyarapan is making character by breads instead of rice in kyaraben. Cooks bake character shaped bread by themselves. And it's also possible to use the bread bought from a shop.

Following is the easy way to make Rilakkuma burger.

Get ingredients from Albert Heijn.

Place ingredients.

Make face by black olive and cheese on a bun, and place on a burger.

Kyaraben workshop; http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/bentoworkshop.html


Takoyaki is a baked ball of wheat flour of three to five centimeters in diameter, into which a small piece of octopus is put, a dish originated in Osaka, Japan. Filled with diced octopus (tako), tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger (benishouga), and spring onion.Then finished with Japanese braun sauce, mayonnaise, green laver (aonori) and dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi). Takoyaki is sold in many places such as traditional festival, street, supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan.



special tools for takoyaki

In Japan bestaat een soort poffertjes genaamd Takoyaki, waarvan octopus (=tako) een van de essentiële ingrediënten is. De smaak ervan is volkomen anders dan die van Nederlandse poffertjes.
Meer info : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takoyaki
Takoyaki workshop in Nederland: http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/japansekookworkshop.html



Menchi-katsu (メンチカツ) is a ground meat cutlet, and is one of a Yousyoku (Japanese cuisine that is influenced from Western cooking). Menchi and katsu are phonologically modified versions of the words "mince" and "cutlet".

Served with Japanese Worcestershire sauce or tonkatsu sauce, and sliced cabbage. Also Menchi-katsu is applied for a filling of sandwiches.

reference: wikipedia
Japansekook workshop


Tulip chicken.

One of a style of Japanese fried chickens that is called "tulip".
Japanese kids likes this tulip chicken.

Cut the tip of chicken wing tip. Then pushing up the meat from the tip bottom, and wrap it on the top to make a tulip shape.

The flavor of chickens are sometimes karaage, but sometimes western style.
The point of this Japanese dish is "tulip shape".

Tulip bento is also possible as you see.


Oranje kampioen curry.

Mooi en lekker WK gerecht. Oranje kampioen curry maar de stijl is Japanse curry. Info over Japanse curry, kijk op wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_curry

World cup dish again. Dutch foodball curry but the style is Japanese curry.
About Japanese curry, refer wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_curry

This type of dish called Kyara-gohan (character meal or dish) in Japan. Kyara means character, and Gohan means basically rice but also means meals. This cooking style is an application of kyaraben (character bento).

About kyaraben refer http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/bentoworkshop.html


Hup Holland broodje bento.

By the way, bento is not only for rice but also we sometimes use bread or fried noodles for staple food. Because basically bento means portable lunch in Japan. Therefore even "broodje kaas" can be included in Bento under Japanese recognition.

Football breads: bought in Albert Heijn.
Others: bought in Albert Heijn.
Oranje lunch box: Blokker


Oranje bento

World cup time!  It's better to make this bento while Dutch team is staying in Brazil.

Dutch people loves orange color so much. It is easy to find something in orange.
About this bento, soccer ball is made from sushi, and others are something in orange like Orange Paprika, Orange tomato, Carrot Wuppie and Carrot omelet. Aanval means "attack" in Dutch.
I'm not a football expert so I don't comment something about football. Just make bento and enjoy to watch games. Also it's interesting to watch Dutch supporters as you can see following youtube.


Saba no miso-ni (Mackerel simmered in miso)

You can find this mackerel dish in the latest Hayao Miyazaki's film "The Wind Rises". Main character Jiro Horikoshi always eats mackerel in the traditional Japanese diner.
This mackerel dish is called "Saba no miso-ni (鯖の味噌煮 or 鯖味噌)", a mackerel simmered in miso.

Saba no miso-ni is very common dish in Japan. Japanese grandmothers or mothers make this traditional home cooked meal. Also one of a standard menu in traditional Japanese diners (大衆食堂, Taishuu Syokudou) as you can see in The wind Rises.

First of all, get fresh mackerel in the fish market. Dutch mackerel is high quality and very nice to cook this Japanese traditional meal. Remove well the guts and the dark red parts.

The ratio of amounts for miso sauce is,

For 1 fresh mackerel:
- Dashi   Teaspoon 1/2
- Sake Tablespoon 4
- Miso Tablespoon 4
- Sugar Tablespoon 2
- 5 to 8 slice of fresh gingers

Simmer mackerel in a pot or frying pan with this miso sauce over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. With putting a lid on a pot/frying pan. During simmering, add a bit of water sometimes when the sauce get dry.

The Wind Rises Japanese Trailer Full Version
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wind_Rises


kyaraben (Character Bento) afhalen.

U kunt lekkere bento of kyaraben (character bento) afhalen, gemaakt door Japanse. Meer info http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/menu.html

You can take away kyaraben. more info  http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/menu.html


Yakisoba pan (Japanese stir-fried noodle bun)

Yakisoba is most familiarly served on a plate either as a main dish or a side dish. About Yakisoba, please refer former article. http://japaneseholland.blogspot.nl/2008/08/yakisoba-japanese-fried-noodle.html

Another popular way to prepare and serve yakisoba in Japan is to pile the noodles into a bun sliced down the middle in the style of a hot dog, and garnish the top with dried green laver and pickled ginger. Called Yakisoba-pan, pan meaning bread, it is commonly available at school stores in Japan (Mainly in high school) or konbini (convenience stores).

Because yakisoba pan is one of a standard menu in Japanese high schools, yakisoba pan is often appeared on many Japanese dramas, manga and anime like Gin Tama and Keion.

And "Go buy me Yakisoba pan! (Yakisoba pan katte koi yo!)" is one of a typical words in Japanese school drama or manga/anime that the student in boss grade gives order to his followers. You can also find this typical words in Gintama ep 101 by Okita.

Even Hatsune Miku and Kagamine Rin sing a song about Yakisoba pan that is titled "Great Yakisoba pan (Sugoize Yakisoba pan)".

【ニコニコ動画】【鏡音リン・初音ミク】すごいぜ やきそばパン【オリジナル】
Yakisoba pan (wikipedia)


One Piece - Tony Tony Chopper Bento.

This is an example of my kyaraben (character bento) workshop. I will teach this in the event or at home.
About One Piece check wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Piece
About the workshop check http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/bentoworkshop.html


Domo bento (for workshop)

An example of Domo Kyaraben (character bento)  for my workshop.
Een voorbeeld van Domo Kyaraben (character bento) voor mijn workshop.
More info:  Bento en Kyaraben workshop

Domo (どーも くん Dōmo-kun) is the official mascot of Japan's public broadcaster NHK(Japan Broadcasting Corporation).


Hamtaro Bento.

Made Hamtaro kyaraben (character bento). Hamtaro (JP: Tottoko Hamutaro) is a Japanese manga, children's book and anime series. The series revolves around a hamster named Hamtaro. He goes on adventures with a clan of fellow hamster friends known as The Ham-Hams (JP: Ham-chan-zu). Anime series was broadcast in many countries including the Netherlands.

About this my Hamtaro bento.

- Body - rice
- Hands and foot - Ham (not hamster's meat. Normal ham)
- Peanut (I didn't have a sunflower seed)
- Eyes - konbu

Hamtaro is een Japanse manga en anime. Het verhaal gaat over de kleine goudhamster die genaamd Hamtaro. De Nederlands title is "Hamtaro - Kleine Hamsters, Grote Avonturen". In Nederland werd de anime serie uitgezonden door Fox kids.
Bento en Kyaraben workshop: http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/bentoworkshop.html

Hamtaro JP:

Hamtaro NL:


Makunouchi Bento

I made this bento so called Makunouchi bento.

All dishes for packing to bento box. Took a time to make everything.

However in Japan this type of bento is usually made by restaurants or special catering. Formal bento with a traditional black-lacquered, is provided in restaurants, or for a company meeting, or for a ceremony (like funeral). This type of Bento is not for taking to school.

Makunouchi bento is a popular type of Japanese bento which consists of various dishes. The word makunouchi bento ("between-act bento"), dates back to the Edo Period (1603 to 1867), when they were served during the intermissions of Noh or Kabuki theater performances.

From the Meiji Period onward, Makunouchi has become a common convention for bentos sold at train stations. Today even convenience stores usually also sell a bento under the Makunouchi name. It often contains more items and costs more than other offerings.


Voorbeeld van Bento workshop

Dit is een voorbeeld van mijn bento workshop. Het doosje is bij de workshop prijs inbegrepen en de deelnemers kunnen het resultaat mee naar huis nemen.
Het verschil tussen een bento workshop en een kyaraben workshop is dat
bij een kyaraben workshop het belangrijkste is om het karakter en de sfeer bij elk karakter te maken/creëren.
Bij de bento workshop is het belangrijkste om de afzonderlijke bijgerechtjes te koken en op te maken in plaats van tijd te besteden aan de vorm van karakters.
Voor meer informatie check: http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/bentoworkshop.html

This is an example of my Bento workshop. This box is included in workshop fee, and participants can take same results with this image.
Differences between Bento workshop and Kyaraben workshop are,
At Kyaraben workshop, we take importance to making character form and atmosphere of each characters.
At Bento workshop, we take importance to cooking each side dishes in stead of taking time to make character forms.
More information check: http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/bentoworkshop.html


Sailor Moon Luna and Artemis bento

Made Luna and Artemis kyaraben (character bento) for Sailor Moon's 20th Anniversary. Sailor Moon is a Japanese multimedia franchise series which originated as a manga written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. Anime series made a huge success all over the world. And Sailor Moon returns in this summer with a new series "Sailor Moon Crystal"

2 cats in this bento are Luna and Artemis, buddies of Usagi (Serena, Sailor Moon) or Minako (Mina, Sailor Venus). Picks are imaged from items of Sailor Moon (Moon Stick and Spiral Heart Moon Rod).

Sailor Moon is een Japanse mediafranchise, die bedacht is door Naoko Takeuchi's manga. De franchise bestaat uit onder andere een mangaserie, animeserie, meerdere films, verscheidene musicals en een live-action televisieserie. In Nederland werd de Sailor Moon-anime serie uitgezonden door Yorin. In België werd de serie uitgezonden door VT4.

Ref: wikipedia
EN http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailor_Moon
NL http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailor_Moon

Bento en Kyaraben workhsop Nederland:


Calimero feat. Angry Birds Kyaraben (character bento)

I made Calimero kyaraben with Angry bird and other birds.
Calimero is well known both in Europe and also in Japan. Today 3D version is made and broadcasted. This black chick is getting popular again.

Calimero was created by Toni Pagot, an Italian artist, and was later licensed in Japan as an anime series. On 1970's, the long animation series of Calimero that was broadcasted everywhere in the world, this is made in Japan. More information, refer wikipedia.
EN; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calimero
NL; http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calimero

Calimero in Japan

Calimero in Nederland

Modern Calimero

Back to my Kyaraben, ingredients are as follows.
- Calimero: Sushi rice, nori seaweed, surimi, konbu seaweed, black olive
- Angry bird: cherry tomato, konbu, surimi, carrot.
- Others: egg, cherry tomato, Broccoli , lettuce, corn
- Side meals; Yakitori (Japanese grilled chicken), chicken ham. Well, may be the future of Calimero...

Kyaraben (character bento) workshop

Kyaraben, a shortened form of character bento, is a very popular bento style in Japan which features food decorated to look like Anime or Kawaii characters. At the workshop you learn how to make authentic Kyaraben and the result you can take home. More info http://tokyodoll.web.fc2.com/workshop/bentoworkshop.html