I was recently asked how I use the huge Shokado bento box that I haul around with me to display when talking about bento history. So this post features two picnics using that box. It is a really large bento box and lots of fun to pack! I love the four squares though it can be a challenge to get food to fit perfectly.
From the information that I have been able to piece together this kind of box is traditionally filled with small dishes in each of the four compartments. The small dishes have elegant food placed in the center.
My favorite way to use this bento box is for family picnics. It is large enough to pack food for myself, my husband and my little girl. I also use it for taking snacks and munchies to parties.
The top bento is obviously a holiday theme :) One compartment has vegetarian sausage rolls, one was filled with veggie gyoza, a piece of decorated apple and tiny onigiri. A third compartment had a tin of cucumber dip with a cucumber xmas tree, some fresh veggies and bagel crisps. The last contained apple slices, cheese cubes, mixed nuts and three tiny sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles on top.
The second bento was for an evening at a friend's house. We ate it in the middle of the living room floor so in my book it still counts as a picnic bento. The top compartment had a fan shaped onigiri with black sesame seeds and pickled ginger with some rice crackers and carrots in the back. The left was filled with veggie gyoza and pork shumai (my friends were meatatarians). On the right was a large nest of yakiudon, some steamed broccoli, a couple of gyoza and lots of black olives. Last was the compartment of sweets with a tin of lychee, sweet rice crackers and 3 jellies.