Kumamon (くまモン) is a mascot from the Kumamoto prefecture located on the island of Kyushu. He is relatively young and was created only four years ago to draw tourists to the region. Be it in crane games, on drinking bottles or commercials, while travelling through the different regions of Japan we often encountered him. First, I didn’t like him that much but over time he became so familiar that I even got him as keychain from the shop on the ferry from Osaka to Kitakyushu. Yeah, merchandising works!
Kyushu is well known for their natural wooden bento boxes and I’ve been patiently waiting for ages to get one. They are expensive when you buy them online and the same when you get them in Japan. I tried several places but there weren’t so many stores who sold them because even in Japan they’re quite special because artisans make them. I always loved the woven ones but the plain wooden ones are even more elegant.
I spotted this exemplar in a friendly shop in Fukuoka, after I had tried to convince the lady from the department store nearby to give me the last one of their really fancy artisan boxes for less, and immediately liked it. I got it for a reasonable price and I think it’s from China. It may not be the ultimate traditional Japanese box but I haven’t seen one like this befor so I’m totally happy with it.
Kumamon is filled with rice and tuna-mayo so basically it’s a tuna-mayo onigiri. I love tuna-mayo and my bf does too so I made this one for him. Then there’s green beans wrapped in bacon, sausages, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and half an egg. If you wonder how I did the Kumamon face I can post a tutorial but it’s pretty simple. You just need a red bell pepper or tomato for the cheeks and some fishcake. Many people use cheese but that’s so not according to my taste and if you use white fishcake (Kamaboko) instead, the white of the eyes will be much more shiny than with yellowish cheese!
That was my Kumamon Bento! I don’t usually do Kyaraben (character bento) but this one is really easy because you don’t need special ingredients or techniques and it didn’t take me too long to finish it.
What do you think? Do you like my wooden bento box?
I have two more wooden boxes but I’ll show them to you in a later entry.
Take care and have an awesome and productive week guys!