When I had exams in my school days, my mom often drew the letters of "Ganbare (Good Luck)!" on my bento with pieces of veggies. 
I appreciated her love expressed in her bento. At the same time, I was bit annoyed especially when I was not prepared enough for the subject.
My kids are still too small to go to school.
However in the future, I'm pretty sure that I'll do the same on their bento as my mom did when they take exams.

This time, I made a Lego Bento for my husband. 

Step 1: Soboro: Seasoned Minced Meat

Soboro mince is very popular in Japanese bento box. We use minced chicken, beef, white fish or shrimp (but only one at a time). 
After seasoning with sugar and soy sauce, the sweet and salty soboro-meat goes perfectly with rice. We often top it on the rice with densely scrambled egg, as seen in the photo below.

Ingredients of Beef Soboro:
  • 100g minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of mirin (sweetened sake)
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 100cc water
  1. Add beef, ginger, mirin sauce, water and sugar into a small pan. Cook them at medium temperature while stirring often for 10-12 mins.
  2. When the sauce becomes translucent, add soy sauce and salt. Cook another 10 mins.
Important Point
Japanese cuisine often combines soy sauce seasoning with sugar or mirin sauce to deepen the taste. In this salty-sweet combination sugar must be added first, and soy sauce second. If the sequence is reversed, the dish just tases of soy sauce.

This is because sugar molecules are much larger than salt molecules. If ingredients are seasoned with sugar first there remains space to absorb salt in the cells. In the opposite order, salt is absorbed densely, leaving no space for sugar. (Please refer to the illustration of this site: http://www.tsujicho.com/oishii/recipe/j_food/ichinensei/sashisuseso.html)
When I went to Japan with my family we saw some bento boxes and they looked yummy. Then 6 months later im at home looking at instructables and... this! This is the coolest thing ever!
<p style="margin-left: 20.0px;">How cool is this!!! Fun , fun to mke &amp; to devour too, I bet! :)</p>
awesomely sexy! Wish I can take this to office! My colleagues will freak!
i had to look up bento which means lunch and soboro which is one of the dishes you made here
So so cool!
Thank you! Thank you!!
I appreciate all of your instructables! I especially loved this one! So creative and fun! I am going to visit my daughter very soon and I think I will try making a lunch for my son-in-law. He would appreciate it very much! It will be great fun. If I do it I will share with you. Thanks. <br>Sunshiine
Thank you! Thank you!! <br>As I repeat somewhere, I recommend to use cooked root veggies and beans for Lego-dots. <br>Smoked salmon and leeks are too difficult to cut out with a straw. <br>I'm looking forward your report!!
Wow, incredible! I rarely put any effort into food...this is really cool! :)
Thank you! Thank you! It's rather craft than food I guess.
I love bento... and legos.... MUST HAVE!!!!! i've always heard that Japanese lunch boxes are intricate and creatively fun... but this is sooooooooooooooo good!
Thank you! Thank you! <br>Yes, Japanese love to create a cosmology in a limited space. <br>Then they loose the control to the rest of the space. <br>(Perhaps that's why their prime minister keep changing.) <br>Sorry, silly reply. <br>
This is truly awesome! My boys would love it, so I guess I'll have to try it. THANKS for sharing!
Thank you! <br>In case you make the smoked salmon lego, I suggest to use cooked carrot for dots. It's hard to cut salmon out with a straw.
Very cool lego bento lunch and thanks for the interesting tip re adding the sugar food.
Thank you! Thank you!!
Wow. Fabulous. I love how you got annoyed at your mom's efforts. I would too! :D
Thank you! I just wondered what did you use to colour the green figure of Angry Bird appeared in your lunch box photo. It's very cute!

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