Wallace and Gromit bento

17 09 2009

Inspired by my new Japanese bento book I made not one but two bentos tonight (Benno insisted he get one too).

Capybara and the sheep from Wallace and Grommit with some carrot flowers.

Capybara and Shaun the sheep from Wallace and Gromit with some carrot flowers.

Capybara, the world's largest living rodent, made from inari, rice and nori. We saw real capybara at the Osaka aquarium (they weren't in the water with the whale sharks though).

Capybara, the world's largest living rodent, made from inari, rice and nori. We saw real capybara at the Osaka aquarium (they weren't in the water with the whale sharks though).

The sheep from wallace and grommit made from hand-shaped rice, nori and potato.

Shaun the sheep from wallace and gromit made from hand-shaped rice, nori and potato.

Benno's bento featuring another capybara and grommit made from rice, nori, carrot and potato. The chef's hat is totally the wrong shape but...

Benno's bento featuring another capybara and gromit made from rice, nori, carrot and potato. The chef's hat is totally the wrong shape but...

Interestingly enough, the capybara, which looks furry and round like a cute little rodent, is called a fish by the Catholic church, making the eating of it’s meat permitable in a Lenten diet. They are quite popular in Japan as a cute animal, and you can find stuffed toys of Capybara in all sorts of places (Apita, for one). We haven’t seen capybara meat for sale here though, not that we’ve looked.





new bento

3 09 2009

Bento from the first week of school, term 2.

robot_bento

Monday’s bento: bed of rice with inari robot from the Laputa movie, surrounded by carrot and cucumber flowers.

penguin_bento

Friday’s bento: “Mr and Mrs Penguin”. Rice onigiri with nori faces and carrot feet, mouth, star and bowti surrounded by fancy lettuce.





Bento from beneath the Trap Door

21 06 2009

…there’s something down there… do you remember the kid’s tv show, the Trap Door? Maybe these meatball monsters might be from down there.

Soy-dame ("meatballs") with nori and sweet potato eyes with lettuce, carrot and cucumber.

Soy-dame ("meatballs") with nori and sweet potato eyes with lettuce, carrot and cucumber.

Steamed sweet potato, raw cashews and a rice triangle with nori flower and sesame seeds.

Steamed sweet potato, raw cashews and a rice triangle with nori flower and sesame seeds.

Actually, it’s probably more of a spring theme than a scary trap door monster theme… too many flowers and not enough ghosts.





Another crappy bento

17 06 2009
Broccoli, rice and inari totoro with carrot flowers on a bed of cabbage and lotus root.

Broccoli, rice and inari totoro with carrot flowers on a bed of cabbage and lotus root.

Don't know what this is...

Don't know what this is... but the cherries are from Maya.

I’m not so good at this whole bento art thing… I might give up trying to make character bento.





Frog Bento

13 06 2009

Here’s our bento lunch for Sunday when we go into Tokyo.

benno’s bento (layer 1):

Steamed broccoli, rice with marinated tofu, frogs made from sesame seeds, nori and steamed broccoli stems, shapes made from steamed carrot.

Steamed broccoli, rice with marinated tofu, frogs made from sesame seeds, nori and steamed broccoli stems, shapes made from steamed carrot.

benno’s bento (layer 2):

Triangle onigiri with carrot shapes, surrounded by lettuce with black soybean chille on the side.

Triangle onigiri with carrot shapes, surrounded by lettuce with black soybean chille on the side.

lara’s bento (layer 1):

Steamed broccoli, rice and tofu, broccoli frogs, carrot shapes.

Steamed broccoli, rice and tofu, broccoli frogs, carrot shapes.

lara’s bento (layer 2):

Triangle Onigiri on lettuce with black soybean hommus and carrot shapes.

Triangle Onigiri on lettuce with black soybean hommus and carrot shapes.





Character Bento

10 06 2009

Here’s my second attempt at creating characters out of food for my bento. This one features a bear, a person and little pacman aliens. Carrot and seaweed were used for the eyes and the faces were leftover soy-dama.

cute bento 4





Cute Bento 3

8 06 2009

Tuesday’s radish man bento.

Bento_radishmanRadish man on lettuce with chopped banana and kiwi flower. Rice onigiri with strange faces, leftover tofu, carrot and bok choy in miso sauce.

Benno said my bento lacked characters, so here’s my attempt at making little faces to sit in my lunchbox. I could probably be more creative if I wasn’t so tired.





Cute Bento 2

7 06 2009

Monday’s bento has a musical theme.

Musical bento

Musical cute bento

A zigzag kiwi surrounded by sweet nutmeg rice and a spring onion, radish, cucumber, carrot and lettuce salad. Leftover potato, Japanese green and soymince curry with rice. Music note made with sesame seeds, ledger lines with nori.





Cute bento

4 06 2009

Bentorocket_Fri4_06A Space-Themed bento. Rocket shaped rice with tofu pouch (inari) rocket and nori (seaweed) star. Pineapple “suns” on lettuce with star shaped choc gingerbread cookies. Cupcake with chocolate icing and star biscuit. Rice with a spring theme – carrot leaves- pulsar-neutron-star shaped cucumbers and veg-dry-curry.





おいしい

31 05 2009

Oishi – delicious (word of the day for Sunday).

Homemade Vegan Gyoza

Homemade Vegan Gyoza

Crispy Pan-fried Homemade Vegan Gyoza

Crispy Pan-fried Homemade Vegan Gyoza

Gyoza was next on our list of Japanese foods to try to make at home. We found some gyoza wrappers in the fridge of the supermarket and Benno bought some  TVP (soy mince) in Tokyo this week.

The filling was made from a mixture of:

1/2 cup soy mince (rehydrated in 1/2 cup hot water)
1/2 cup cabbage, shredded and boiled in the pan
150g mushrooms, diced
1 tablespoon each diced garlic and ginger
5 spring onions, diced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegan dashi sauce
2 tablespoons plain flour

To make the gyoza,
1. Place about a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of a wrapper.
2. Wet the edge of the wrapper with water.
3. Fold the wrapper in half and pleat the edges so that the bottom of the gyoza is flat and the top is rounded.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a saucepan. Cook the gyoza (flat-bottom down) for one minute. Then add 1/2 cup water. Put the lid on, turn the heat down and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove lid, turn up heat and cook for 1-2 minutes to evaporate the water and crisp up the bottoms.
Serve with dipping sauce (2 T soy sauce, 1 T rice vinegar, 1/4 t chili oil).

Yummy Peach Crumble

Yummy Peach Crumble

Benno made a dessert of peach crumble. It was so yummy – I feel like we haven’t eaten peaches in ages!

Earlier in the afternoon Lara made some more fluffy white cupcakes and turned some into red bean butterfly cakes with a peppermint chocolate pastille stuck between the wings. We gave these to our neighbours when we introduced ourselves (finally). They seem very nice – perhaps not too much older than us, with a small baby. Hopefully we will get to see more of them and maybe even practice our Japanese language skills with them!

Monday's Bento Lunch

Monday's Bento Lunch

Leftover gyoza were saved for Monday’s lunch. Here is Lara’s bento. It features an onigiri smiley face with steamed broccoli, apple triangles and a choc-chip vanilla cupcake. In the bottom layer is a heart onigiri (rice ball/triangle) with lettuce, cucumber flowers, soy-mince gyoza and an elephant bottle of dipping sauce.