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My Melody Bento + Sweet Potato Korokke Recipe

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Hello everyone. I hope you are all well and looking forward to the Easter break. šŸ™‚

Gracing my early Easter bento is My Melody, a rabbit character created by the company behind the immensely popular Hello Kitty. Although not as popular as Kitty, she is just as adorable! I made Melody’s pink ears using rice coloured with beetroot. The bento is served with oven baked cheesy sweet potato korokke / croquettes, spring onion / scallion tamagoyaki, and a side salad with diced beetroot. Here’s a quick recipe for the korokke.

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Totoro Vegetarian Zhajiangmian Bento

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The fork / food pick is only a prop. No one in their right mind would eat noodles with it. šŸ˜›

You may remember from last week’s bentoĀ that I bought a new brand of vegetarian mince (Neal’s Yard). I decided to make a spicy Chinese noodle dish calledĀ ZhajiangmianĀ or jajamen in Japanese. Zhajiangmian is the Chinese equivalent of the spaghetti bolognese: wheat noodles topped with spicy pork mince sauce, spring onions and other toppings. I substituted pork with soya mince and mushrooms and used Shanghai noodles (white wheat noodles).

This week’s bento features Totoro, the titular character of animated film My Neighbour Totoro. I used the mince to form the body of Totoro and details from egg white and nori. Other components include julienned carrot and spring onion (scallion), egg yolk stars, and a radish eight-point star.

Unfortunately my minceĀ turned out a little dry; I decidedĀ not to postĀ the recipe. :-/

Hope everyone is having a great start to the week. šŸ™‚

Love,

Winnie xx

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Spirited Away Bento + Napa Cabbage Roll Recipe

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NoribenĀ is a portmanteau of the wordsĀ noriĀ andĀ bento. It is a very simple style of bento, consisting of rice (flavoured or otherwise) topped with a layer of nori. To go with myĀ noriben, I made sides of Chinese leaves / napa cabbage rolls (top right) and Korean style tofu fritters (bottom right). Below is my recipe for napa cabbage rolls. Tofu fritters recipeĀ here.

No Face is a character from Studio Ghibli’s filmĀ Spirited Away. He is a lone spirit in the form of a masked figure who befriends Sen/Chihiro in the film. I cut nori and peeled radish to create the facial details, adhered using a little mayo. The mask was cut out from egg white.

Here is the recipe for the napa cabbage rolls. They are elegant and flavourful. I made mine vegan:

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Miffy Bento + Tofu Fritters Recipe

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Miffy is a rabbit character from a series of popular chidren’s picture books, and is the star of last night’s kyaraben / character bento. Accompanying Miffy are fourĀ pan-fried tofu fritters.Ā I believe most tofu-eating nations have their own version and name for these delicious morsels…Ā dubu jeonĀ in Korean,Ā doufu bing in Mandarin, etc. They are filling, yummy, and rich in protein. You can pretty much add anything you like, thus great for clearing out your fridge. Last night I made heaps of mushroom tofu frittersĀ with the help of my grandmother, who pretty much put together this recipe for me over the phone. Other veg that work well are peppers, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, wood ear / kikurage mushrooms, etc. – you get the idea. šŸ™‚

Here is my recipe for mushroom tofu fritters:

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Mini Totoro Bento + Veggie Chirashizushi Recipe

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Yesterday, I made a bento of vegetarianĀ chirashizushi (scattered sushi). Chirashizushi is perhaps the least known type of sushi in the UK, as many associate sushi with dainty bite-sized morsels of rice and fish. Chirashizushi is easy to make, requires minimal cooking, and can be easily adapted to suit various dietary needs. ItĀ is assembled from vinegared rice and a variety of colourful toppings (commonly fish and fish roe). This is my take (vegetarian, of course) on the chirashizushi.

The centrepiece of my bentoĀ is my homage to the humble sushi rice. Often the chirashizushi is chock-full of toppings that you can hardly see the most important ingredient, the rice… Ā without which, there would be no sushi! I chose Mini (Chibi) Totoro, aĀ Studio Ghibli character, as it is cute, white, and fluffy… just like perfectly cooked rice. Chibi Totoro is Big Totoro’s littlest ‘cousin’ in the filmĀ My Neighbour Totoro.Ā 

Here’s the recipe:

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21

Despicable Me Bento

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Last weekend I saw THE summer blockbuster of the year with the bf – and no, it’s not Man of Steel… it’s Despicable Me 2! IĀ have been itching to make a Despicable Me bento since. So this week,Ā I made a vegetarian bento dedicated to the cuteness of this feel-good animated flick, featuring Agnes (left) and two Minions. Agnes is made from rice ball coloured with soy sauce, and details from nori and egg white. The Minions are made from rice balls coloured with turmeric and details from nori and egg white. Also added a cookie to depict the Cookie Robot from the first film.

Have you seen the film? Did you like it? šŸ™‚

Been wanting a Minion to do my bidding, so the bf has been working hard at winning one on the Minion Grabber. After what seemed like the 5th attempt (could be more), we still have no Minion. šŸ˜¦

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My Despicable Me bento was voted Bento of the Week! Thanks to all who viewed, Liked, commented, and voted. ^_^

Bento of the Week Winner