Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Momiji Bento

Spring Momiji Bento, originally uploaded by sherimiya ♥.
Spring is here!
I can tell because the Japanese maples in my garden are unfurling their delicate leaves. Each morning I check to see if they have opened yet. My green one is completely open, but my red one will take a day or two more, I think. So for this bento I celebrate the anticipation I feel each spring while I wait for my tree to awaken from its wintry slumber.

Along with Korean Chicken, I made a lettuce-wrapped onigiri of kale/jade rice adorned with pink maple leaves. They are made of satsumaimo, Japanese sweet potato, which have been "finger-painted" with beet juice from fresh steamed beet. I decided to dye them this way because then I could get varying degrees of red color for each leaf. Plus, I didn't want to overcook by boiling in the beet juice after it was already cooked. Simply steam a small piece of beet for a few minutes, and it will begin to emit beet juice immediately. I placed the satsumaimo (naturally white in color) on the beet and lightly rubbed the color on. The leaf shapes are cut with a cutter. I like how they came out. To balance out the section, I added flower-cut baby carrots, steamed broccoli and peapods. In the fruit section I slipped in blood orange slices, a halved clementine and a strawberry fan.

It was also a positively spring-like day today, which means I had nice sunlight streaming in through my "picture" window by which to take the shot. Yay! I added a sprig of my fragrant jasmine, which is currently in peak bloom right now. Every afternoon while TinySprite naps, I relax by the jasmine vine in the warm sun. It has become the time I look forward to every day. Tomorrow I think I'll bring a cup of ice tea out there with me :)


  1. oh those maple leaves are so pretty! you have such a great eye for arranging the box.

    and I can just imagine the smell of the jasmine. . . your afternoon "me" break sounds wonderful.

  2. So good to see this spring bento! Very pretty ... especially the maple leaves. So much colors in this bento and all the foods are arranged nicely. And one more ... love the setting on the background!! Aww Sheri, feel great to see this bento (^.^)

  3. Thanks a lot Susan B.! Spring is great for bento inspiration :)

    Hi Lia, how sweet, thanks for your nice comments!

  4. just... beautiful.
    your strawberries always make me long for sringtime

  5. It's a superb presentation! Both the photo and bento :D. On my eyes, the box looks like a delicious boat floating on a sea Sheri ehehe :D *see, the BG*

  6. Ooooh, I'm waiting for natural light to photograph my bentos too! :) Wonderful that you're already able to sit in the garden etc. We're not that far in spring yet here in Holland ;)

    LOVE the bento; gorgeous leaves!

  7. I love your leaf idea. The color is really great! And the decoration of your bento is perfect as every time ^-^ I finally have spring, too. So I hope we will have a nice, warm, sunny weekend.

  8. This is my first visit to your blog. I love it! Your bento boxes are beautiful. I like they way you describe everything so well. It is easy to look around and check things out. I found you through Lia Chen. Thanks to you both!

  9. beautiful colorful bento, and the technique of painting with beet juice is SO creative! would try it if i could ever get my hands on any satsumaimo!! the greens of the jade rice, broccoli and peas are such a pretty backdrop for the pop of the maple leaves. love it!

  10. This bento and your writing are pure spring poetry, sherimiya...the description of gentle green awakening and the beautiful sun returning made me so happy, thank you!

  11. great colourful bento, love the addition of the chicks too :) - spring is definitely here.

  12. I can't believe I missed this one! Lovely as ever! Come on spring!

  13. Thanks ever so much friends!
    mook, I'm exactly the same :)
    tata, I love your impression of the boat on the water!! It is a lovely idea :D
    gnoegnoe, Lil'chan, veganf: let's hope for spring together :)
    Lyndsey, thank you so much for visiting from Lia! She is wonderful and a great inspiration to me :)
    megan, really? I bet you can find satsumaimo is delicious. Thank you so much!
    Bentobird, it's you who write poetry!! Thank you dear :)
    javapot, chickies = cute!
    Debra, hear! Thanks a lot!