There are various types of Bento Lunch Boxes in Japan. For example, “Nori Bento” (with dried seaweed placed on rice), “Hinomaru Bento” (with red salted plum in the middle of white rice so that it looks like the Japanese national flag) and “Makunouchi Bento” (with rice and various kinds of side dish).
Another one is Shokado Bento Box.
Today we would like to introduce “Shokado Bento Box”, a little gorgeous, Japanese traditional bento lunch box.
What is Shokado Bento Box?
Shokado Bento Box is a Japanese traditional bento style and it is sort of a reproduced version of Japanese Kaiseki Cuisine (traditional Japanese meal brought in courses). These days it is regarded as an expensive catering bento box and consists of gorgeous dishes similar to Kaiseki Cuisine while ordinary bento boxes consist of more preservable foods such as fries and grills.
Shokado Bento Boxes are even served at Japanese prime quality restaurants.
Difference between Shokado Bento and Makunouchi Bento
Shokado Bento and Makunouchi Bento may look similar, but in fact they are totally different.
Makunouchi Bento Box consists of oval rice balls and simple side dishes such as Tamagoyaki omelette and grilled fish. Compared to Shokado Bento, Makunouchi Bento is easier to cook or get. It is a typical bento lunch box sold at supermarkets or convenient stores in Japan.
On the other hand, Shokado Bento originates from Japanese Kaiseki Cuisine and consists of more elaborate dishes having gorgeous looks. While Makunouchi Bento consists of less watery/juicy dishes, Shokado Bento includes Sashimi (sliced raw fish), Ankake (thick starchy sauce) and Chawanmushi (savory steamed egg custard) as if serving Kaiseki Cuisine itself. Also, while Makunouchi Bento Box is served in a simple, disposable container, Shokado Bento is served in a divided gorgeous-looking box.
Origin of Shokado Bento
Shokado Bento was named after “Shōjō Shōkadō”, who was a priest in the Edo Period. He was using a farmer’s seed box to put his paints, medicine, etc. Afterwards, a Japanese renown chef started to use the box to serve Cha-Kaiseki, which was featured in a newspaper and recognized in public. This bento box was named after Shōjō Shōkadō in honor of his greatness.
Shokado Bento Box is a form of cuisine to enjoy Japanese traditional dishes. It is good as a little rich fancy meal. Would you like to have one for special occasions?