Bento and goshiki (Japanese five colors)

While reading about bentos, I ran across the Japanese concept of “goshiki” in food preparation. The idea is that you represent red, yellow, green, black and white on the plate (or in the bento box).

There are other groups of five, too - like appealing to all five senses and using five different cooking techniques - but that sounded a little advanced for me.

Anyway, I enjoy the challenge of doing things within restricted parameters. I’d be interested to hear people’s ideas for cohesive/themed - not necessarily Japanese - bento box lunches that would include all five colors…

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Middle Eastern bento:

Pita (white)
Tahini sauce with parsley (white, green)
Romaine (green)
Tomatoes (red)
Purple onions (black)
Kalamata olives (black)
Orange wedges (yellow)

I’m not really sure whether oranges count as red or yellow.

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Inadvertently last week.


Wow, that’s really colorful! What’s the yellow item in the first picture on the top right? Some kind of squash?

One of my favorite sides. Curry potato on plain white rice. That bento cost like usd$3.00. Was even less pre-pandemic and inflation. I’ll take this, and that….

One can paint a pretty picture with the colors of a Taiwanese buffet. :slight_smile:


Those photos are making me feel greedy…and also nostalgic for water spinach.

Love water spinach (ong choy). Saw the first fiddlehead at the day market yesterday, need to find this favorite in a restaurant. From the day market, white/black/green/brown and a bit of orange. Needs some yellow.

Home base is San Francisco. We get ong choy almost all year, green and white.