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How to Use and Clean a Magewappa Bento Box

Odate Magewappa Ume Bento Wood Bento Box Bento&co

Our exclusive handmade Odate Magewappa Bento Boxes are without a doubt our most popular wood bentos. However, we often have customers reach out to us, concerned that their new box is fragile and that they will not be able to properly maintain their precious cedar wood box.

Have no fear- we're here to help!

Let's first take a closer look at the famous Magewappa 'bent wood' bento style.

So what is Magewappa?

Magewappa can be literally translated to 'bent woodware' in Japanese. Hailing from the forested region of Odate in Akita prefecture, magewappa handicrafts are made by steaming, bending and stitching together thin strips of cedar wood to make one of a kind items like bento boxes, cups and serving trays. The process takes year of practice to master, and the craftsmen that make our boxes report that, on average, only one out of five boxes they make are perfect enough to be sold. The cedar wood from Odate is famous for its beautiful uniform grain, and less than 10% of saplings planted are typically found to be suitable for magewappa products.

The cedar naturally 'breathes' and has a wonderful aroma, which prevents moisture from become trapped in your box and gives your food a unique, pleasing taste.

 

Magewappa Cedar Trees Odate Akita Japan 

I want one! How do I use a Magewappa Bento Box?

There are three simple rules you should consider when using a magewappa bento box:

1) Wipe the inner surface of the bento with a damp cloth (with water or a light oil) before packing food into the box. This helps prevent food from sticking to the wood.

2) Wash the box as soon as possible after eating. This will help prevent spots (from food residues) from forming on the inner surface of the bento. If you are unable to wash the box immediately, you should at least empty any uneaten food bits out of the box and then wash it with warm water when you get home.

3) Use the bento box frequently! The regular process of packing, washing and drying your magewappa box will keep the wood in good condition and reduce the likelihood of it becoming damp, dusty or warped from unideal storage conditions.

 

Ok, I can do that! So how do I wash and care for my bento?

- To wash your magewappa bento, simply fill the inside of the bento with lukewarm water and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes (do not let the box soak for prolonged periods).

- Then, empty the water and wipe all sides of the bento and lid with a soft sponge and a mild dish detergent. Rinse the box and wipe with a soft dry cloth.

- After, allow the box to air dry in a well-ventilated place away from sunlight.

- When transporting the box, we recommend wrapping and carrying it in a traditional furoshiki wrapping cloth to protect its beautiful outer surface from scratches and dents.

Please Note!

Magewappa bento boxes cannot be used in the microwave or dishwasher. The natural wood is very sensitive to heat and can thus become warped or burnt if exposed to high temperatures. Please warm food contents without the box.

And that's it! Now let's enjoy eating with an elegant, handcrafted Magewappa bento box!

Magewappa Ume Odate Bent Wood Bento Box

 

 

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Odate Magewappa Ume Bento Wood Bento Box Bento&co

Our exclusive handmade Odate Magewappa Bento Boxes are without a doubt our most popular wood bentos. However, we often have customers reach out to us, concerned that their new box is fragile and that they will not be able to properly maintain their precious cedar wood box.

Have no fear- we're here to help!

Let's first take a closer look at the famous Magewappa 'bent wood' bento style.

So what is Magewappa?

Magewappa can be literally translated to 'bent woodware' in Japanese. Hailing from the forested region of Odate in Akita prefecture, magewappa handicrafts are made by steaming, bending and stitching together thin strips of cedar wood to make one of a kind items like bento boxes, cups and serving trays. The process takes year of practice to master, and the craftsmen that make our boxes report that, on average, only one out of five boxes they make are perfect enough to be sold. The cedar wood from Odate is famous for its beautiful uniform grain, and less than 10% of saplings planted are typically found to be suitable for magewappa products.

The cedar naturally 'breathes' and has a wonderful aroma, which prevents moisture from become trapped in your box and gives your food a unique, pleasing taste.

 

Magewappa Cedar Trees Odate Akita Japan 

I want one! How do I use a Magewappa Bento Box?

There are three simple rules you should consider when using a magewappa bento box:

1) Wipe the inner surface of the bento with a damp cloth (with water or a light oil) before packing food into the box. This helps prevent food from sticking to the wood.

2) Wash the box as soon as possible after eating. This will help prevent spots (from food residues) from forming on the inner surface of the bento. If you are unable to wash the box immediately, you should at least empty any uneaten food bits out of the box and then wash it with warm water when you get home.

3) Use the bento box frequently! The regular process of packing, washing and drying your magewappa box will keep the wood in good condition and reduce the likelihood of it becoming damp, dusty or warped from unideal storage conditions.

 

Ok, I can do that! So how do I wash and care for my bento?

- To wash your magewappa bento, simply fill the inside of the bento with lukewarm water and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes (do not let the box soak for prolonged periods).

- Then, empty the water and wipe all sides of the bento and lid with a soft sponge and a mild dish detergent. Rinse the box and wipe with a soft dry cloth.

- After, allow the box to air dry in a well-ventilated place away from sunlight.

- When transporting the box, we recommend wrapping and carrying it in a traditional furoshiki wrapping cloth to protect its beautiful outer surface from scratches and dents.

Please Note!

Magewappa bento boxes cannot be used in the microwave or dishwasher. The natural wood is very sensitive to heat and can thus become warped or burnt if exposed to high temperatures. Please warm food contents without the box.

And that's it! Now let's enjoy eating with an elegant, handcrafted Magewappa bento box!

Magewappa Ume Odate Bent Wood Bento Box

 

 

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Our November Bento Snaps Contest Starts NOW!

Daily Bento Snaps Contest November Bento&co $100 Bento Box Japanese Lunch Box

 

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is just about halfway over. Here in Japan, we have many special eating traditions to accompany fall harvests and colder weather. Some of these include eating chestnuts (kuri), used for dishes like kurigohan (chestnut topped rice) and monburan (chestnut flavored sponge cake), and roasted sweet potato (yakiimo), which is often eaten all by itself as a snack! 

 

chesnuts kuri bento box autumn food japanese food fall

 

 

 

 

  yakiimo roasted sweet potato autumn fall food japan japanese food

What are some autumn food traditions in your country? Have you ever tried to incorporate these into your daily bento box?

We would love to see how our friends from around the world are packing their fall bentos, which is why we are happy to announce a new Bento Snaps Contest! Starting now until November 30th, send your high quality bento photos to contact@bentoandco.com or tag your photo with #bentoandcophoto to get entered to win a $100 gift card to our store! You can send us as many entries as you'd like- and no specific food is required.

The winner of this month's contest will be announced December 1st on social media.

The top photo is from frequent contest participant (and previous winner!) @idontlikechocolatebrownies (IG). This gorgeous autumn themed meal was prepared using our Odate Magewappa Ume Bento Box.

 

 

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Daily Bento Snaps Contest November Bento&co $100 Bento Box Japanese Lunch Box

 

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is just about halfway over. Here in Japan, we have many special eating traditions to accompany fall harvests and colder weather. Some of these include eating chestnuts (kuri), used for dishes like kurigohan (chestnut topped rice) and monburan (chestnut flavored sponge cake), and roasted sweet potato (yakiimo), which is often eaten all by itself as a snack! 

 

chesnuts kuri bento box autumn food japanese food fall

 

 

 

 

  yakiimo roasted sweet potato autumn fall food japan japanese food

What are some autumn food traditions in your country? Have you ever tried to incorporate these into your daily bento box?

We would love to see how our friends from around the world are packing their fall bentos, which is why we are happy to announce a new Bento Snaps Contest! Starting now until November 30th, send your high quality bento photos to contact@bentoandco.com or tag your photo with #bentoandcophoto to get entered to win a $100 gift card to our store! You can send us as many entries as you'd like- and no specific food is required.

The winner of this month's contest will be announced December 1st on social media.

The top photo is from frequent contest participant (and previous winner!) @idontlikechocolatebrownies (IG). This gorgeous autumn themed meal was prepared using our Odate Magewappa Ume Bento Box.

 

 

Read more


How to Make Taiyaki Waffles!

Taiyaki, yummy fish-shaped waffles filled with gooey red beans or custard, are a street food staple across Japan. First created by a sweets shop in Tokyo in 1909, they get their name from the Japanese word for sea bream (tai), the fish that inspired the waffle's shape.
Learn how to make fresh Taiyaki at home in a few easy steps using our stovetop Taiyaki Pan! (see ingredients and directions below video)

 

Ingredients (makes 8 to 10 taiyaki):

Directions:
1. Add sugar to whisked egg
2. Mix with sifted flour and baking powder
3. Add milk
4. Turn stove on low heat (note: pan is compatible with gas stoves only )
5. Place pan on stove and grease molds with butter or cooking oil
6. Fill molds halfway with mixture
7. Cook one side until bubbles form, then repeat with other side
8. Add a spoonful of anko red bean paste in two adjacent molds
9. Quickly close pan
10. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping periodically until golden brown
11. Remove from heat and enjoy!

How to Make Japanese Sweet Taiyaki Fish Shaped Waffles

How to Make Japanese Sweet Taiyaki Fish Shaped Waffles

View our taiyaki cooking essentials here!

Read more

Taiyaki, yummy fish-shaped waffles filled with gooey red beans or custard, are a street food staple across Japan. First created by a sweets shop in Tokyo in 1909, they get their name from the Japanese word for sea bream (tai), the fish that inspired the waffle's shape.
Learn how to make fresh Taiyaki at home in a few easy steps using our stovetop Taiyaki Pan! (see ingredients and directions below video)

 

Ingredients (makes 8 to 10 taiyaki):

Directions:
1. Add sugar to whisked egg
2. Mix with sifted flour and baking powder
3. Add milk
4. Turn stove on low heat (note: pan is compatible with gas stoves only )
5. Place pan on stove and grease molds with butter or cooking oil
6. Fill molds halfway with mixture
7. Cook one side until bubbles form, then repeat with other side
8. Add a spoonful of anko red bean paste in two adjacent molds
9. Quickly close pan
10. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping periodically until golden brown
11. Remove from heat and enjoy!

How to Make Japanese Sweet Taiyaki Fish Shaped Waffles

How to Make Japanese Sweet Taiyaki Fish Shaped Waffles

View our taiyaki cooking essentials here!

Read more


September Bento Snaps Contest Winner ANNOUNCED!

The winner of our September Bento Snaps Competition is Debbie C.! Her adorable bento features cute ham and cheese characters enjoying a spring hanami picnic under cherry blossom flowers. Congratulations Debbie on winning a $100 gift card!

photo credit: @d3bbi3.c (Instagram)

 

As usual, we had so many amazing submissions from bento chefs of all backgrounds and experience levels. Thank you to everyone who participated by tagging your bento with #bentoandcophoto this month. Here are just a few of our other favorites from this month:

As their profile states, @biteofmybento (Instagram) makes bento meals to help eat healthier and save money- and we think they're doing it beautifully!

photo credit: @biteofmybento (Instagram)

 

@if_mikamami (Instagram) is a true kyaraben master, and they stole our hearts with this picture-perfect bento, featuring a shiba inu butt ( ! ) onigiri rice ball.

photo credit: @if_mikamami (Instagram)

 

And last, Annabelle, lover of all things kawaii, transformed Japanese-style omelette rice (omuraisu) into a cute Pikachu bento with a side of makizushi and edamame.

 

photo credit: @pimpandpommeismagic (Instagram)

 

Keep an eye out for the announcement of our next Bento Snaps Competition!

Read more

The winner of our September Bento Snaps Competition is Debbie C.! Her adorable bento features cute ham and cheese characters enjoying a spring hanami picnic under cherry blossom flowers. Congratulations Debbie on winning a $100 gift card!

photo credit: @d3bbi3.c (Instagram)

 

As usual, we had so many amazing submissions from bento chefs of all backgrounds and experience levels. Thank you to everyone who participated by tagging your bento with #bentoandcophoto this month. Here are just a few of our other favorites from this month:

As their profile states, @biteofmybento (Instagram) makes bento meals to help eat healthier and save money- and we think they're doing it beautifully!

photo credit: @biteofmybento (Instagram)

 

@if_mikamami (Instagram) is a true kyaraben master, and they stole our hearts with this picture-perfect bento, featuring a shiba inu butt ( ! ) onigiri rice ball.

photo credit: @if_mikamami (Instagram)

 

And last, Annabelle, lover of all things kawaii, transformed Japanese-style omelette rice (omuraisu) into a cute Pikachu bento with a side of makizushi and edamame.

 

photo credit: @pimpandpommeismagic (Instagram)

 

Keep an eye out for the announcement of our next Bento Snaps Competition!

Read more


Learn how to cook Japanese Omelette Rolls!

Found in kid's lunch boxes, supermarket ready-made meals, train station ekiben lunches and more, the tamagoyaki omelette roll is a true staple of the Japanese bento box meal. Watch our 'how-to' videos below and learn how to make basic tamagoyaki as well as tamagoyaki with nori (dried seaweed sheets). Once cooked, these fluffy omelettes keep well and can be enjoy either hot or cold!

To make these omelettes, we used the Tamagoyaki Pan Sanjo (9.5×15cm). This pan is also available in a larger size.

Pro Tip: add some furikake to your raw egg mix for another layer of color and flavor!

Basic tamagoyaki:

 tamgoyaki with nori:

Fun fact: tamagoyaki omelettes cooked in the the 9.5×15cm Tamagoyaki Pan Sanjo fit perfectly inside a Gel-Cool Rectangle Bento Box. Shop these bento boxes and more tamagoyaki cooking essentials here.

 

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Found in kid's lunch boxes, supermarket ready-made meals, train station ekiben lunches and more, the tamagoyaki omelette roll is a true staple of the Japanese bento box meal. Watch our 'how-to' videos below and learn how to make basic tamagoyaki as well as tamagoyaki with nori (dried seaweed sheets). Once cooked, these fluffy omelettes keep well and can be enjoy either hot or cold!

To make these omelettes, we used the Tamagoyaki Pan Sanjo (9.5×15cm). This pan is also available in a larger size.

Pro Tip: add some furikake to your raw egg mix for another layer of color and flavor!

Basic tamagoyaki:

 tamgoyaki with nori:

Fun fact: tamagoyaki omelettes cooked in the the 9.5×15cm Tamagoyaki Pan Sanjo fit perfectly inside a Gel-Cool Rectangle Bento Box. Shop these bento boxes and more tamagoyaki cooking essentials here.

 

Read more