New Arrival Bento Box

Well, my love of bears is well documented, so of course when I saw a bargain Rilakkuma bento box and chopsticks on Amazon, I had to have them!

They arrived today :

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I’m very impressed with the size and also how tightly the lids fit. The chopsticks in the box are a little small, but they aren’t really meant for hands my size lol.

I can’t wait to try them out!

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Godzilla Sushi and Panda Disasters …

Another couple of items arrived in the post, so I wasted no time in trying them out:

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But once again my inexperience with sushi rice resulted in some fantastically dodgy results. Determined not to make it too soggy, I erred on the side of caution, with the result that while the rice came out of the mould perfectly, it didn’t hold together too well.

Pandas require a lot of handling, because they have a strip of seaweed that runs all the way round. Mine looked great on the board (why oh why didn’t I take a picture then?) But by the time they were in the bento box they had crumbled. One still looks a bit like a raccoon, but they aren’t what I started out with.

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Determined to press on I moved onto making sushi – I had prawns and avocado so I thought I’d do a California roll. No rolling mat. But I have tin foil … What could possibly go wrong??

Well I spread the rice too thick, then cut the filling too chunky so by the time I rolled it, it was pretty huge, and it turns out rolling mats are quite useful! Of course my knives aren’t sushi sharp, so when I started cutting, all the filling flew out the other end. By this time I was laughing so I hard I could hardly modge Godzilla,as I named him, into my bento box:

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Things I have learned:

  • Long term I am going to invest in a rice cooker and sharper knives.
  • I am going to cut the long strip of seaweed out first and un-mould the panda onto it to minimise handling, preferable in the bento box.
  • My currently bento box is genuinely too small to do this in, so I am completely justified in looking for a larger one.
  • Even failures are funny when you can share them with the world.
  • Even the lumpiest things in life look better prettied up!
  • I love tofu!

Just a quick note – the top half of my bento is leftovers- tofu and field mushroom, pepper and garlic sauce stir fry, that I had made for supper that night.

Anime-loving mum takes kyara-ben to a new level with these well-drawn anime bentos

Well here is dedication and talent to make me think twice about posting the panda disaster that is tomorrow’s lunch …

SoraNews24

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We’ve seen quite a number creative character bentos here on RocketNews24, some cute, some educational, and some that didn’t turn out as well as expected. The most common way of creating character bentos we’ve seen so far involves decorating with pieces of seaweed, ham, egg, sausages and the like.

But Japanese Twitter user Akiran takes a different approach to creating anime character bentos for her two sons. Read on to find out how she does it!

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Leftovers Bento

Well yet another migraine last night meant that I didn’t do anything more than a sandwich to take to work to day. Luckily I still have yesterday’s lunch to post.

I made baked barbecue tofu adapted from Oh My Veggie’s great blog, for dinner on Sunday, so I had the remains of that, with egg noodles decorated with sweet corn and carrot flowers and spring onion “leaves”. And the top layer was a mixture of hot dogs, radishes cut to look like petals, a couple of ham “roses” and an apple.

It’s all a bit rough still, let’s call it artisan, but it was delicious and I’m having fun, so that’s what counts at the moment!

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Bearly Bento

So I finally had a go at using my rice press, I don’t seem to have the knack of making sushi rice yet and the result seems to be a bit soggy, so the poor bear (yes it’s a bear!) lost an ear in the removal process and I had to rebodge his nose and paws, but here he is more or less intact and dressed with a cheese tie. I have to say this box got less ambitious in a hurry, as I discovered I am rubbish at charaben and when wet (there was water everywhere from boiling the egg and steaming vegetables) seaweed is the devil’s food to handle.

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In addition to the bear, I did a heart shaped happy egg, wearing a cheese crown (obviously as Mr Kuma is king of my heart); steamed broccoli and carrots and some hot dog sausage that were going to be baby bears until I rethought the symbolism of eating my young; and instead just got decorated with a blob of wasabi and some poppy seeds.

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So things I learned about bento today:

1. Wet seaweed is a nightmare to handle.
2. It is impossible for me to boil an egg without getting black hairs on it – today I dropped the egg on my laptop while trying to show it to Mr Kuma on Skype.
3. My laptop is not clean.
4. Once there was hair on my egg it got all over my bento … I don’t care about this and will still eat it but I apologise for the pictures.
5. People who do charaben on a daily basis are insanely committed and creative and I’m not one of them … Yet?

Brain Stops Play …

Well my plans to scope out the local budget shops for things to use in my bento boxes were put on hold by a migraine. However there was great cause for celebration in the Happy Kuma household when we got a comment from another Bento blogger, the rather marvellous Dosirakbento who’s amazing carrot blossoms I had been swooning over, earlier.

Of course one thing that the Dosirskbento blog made me realise immediately, is that my bento box is too small to do any of the really pretty charaben (character bento), so clearly I have to go bento shopping. Luckily her blog also has suggestions for where to buy items, so I will checking them out hotfoot. Never one to shirk from the requirements of my art!

My First Bento Accessories

I am admittedly last on the bandwagon of Bento, although thanks to two picky former stepchildren, making art out of food is nothing new to me. (I must look up photos).

So imagine my excitement at the arrival of my first mini bento box, rice moulds and egg moulds:

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There was a slight hitch in the plan when I realised I had very little in the house to bento with, so I settled on a rice salad nicoise (seasoned brown rice, tuna, black olives and anchovies,) and an egg shaped like a fish.

It’s not proper bento, (not enough variety of colour or vegetables) but I’m quite please with the result:

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It tasted much better than it looked – especially after I picked the black fur from my bathrobe off the egg. (Note to self boiled eggs are hot and white -don’t shell them wearing something that will look gross when it rubs off while you try to protect your burned fingers!)

For a look at the proper way to create bento, you can’t do better than one of my favourite blogs Just Bento – the Cook book is on my Christmas wish list.