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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. 🙂

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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Bunny’s First Harvest

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Hello everyone! How are you all? 🙂

We had a rather gloomy winter here in London, but thankfully yesterday we saw our first ray of proper sunshine in months! I have been dormant for a period of time due to forgotten passwords (to WP.com and the email I use for WP), two difficult dental surgeries (ouch!), and horrid weather… With all that behind me, I thought I’d resume cooking and bento-making!

Yesterday’s bento consisted of a Malaysian style ‘chicken’ and potato curry using soya protein, topped with a dollop of plain yoghurt, paired with mixed seed coated ‘soldiers’ (strips of toast for dipping). With the extra bread I had left, I made a simple bunny cut out, showing off its first harvest of the year!

On a completely different note, it was my birthday not too long ago and my good friend made me a cake in the shape of Domo-kun (a mascot monster of a Japanese TV station). How cute was he? 🙂

ImageThat’s all from me today folks! Have a fantastic week!

Lots of love,

Winnie

17

Alice in Wonderland Bento

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Alice in Bentoland?

A few weeks ago, the bf and I went to Oxford, the birthplace of Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Across the road from Christ Church college is a little shop that used to be a sweet shop frequented by real life Alice, Carroll’s muse for his books. The shop now sells Alice themed gifts and memorabilia. Amidst the impressive array of tea sets, books, etc., two things stood out most for me: a miniature top hat with tea in it, and a tiny jar of jam with Eat Me on the label – which I promptly bought.

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Alice’s Shop in Oxford – a must-see for all Alice in Wonderland enthusiasts

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Souvenirs I got from Alice’s Shop: Mad Hatter Tea and Eat Me jam

I was fiddling with the hat when I suddenly had the inspiration to make an Alice in Wonderland bento. I also made vegetarian baked sweet potato korokke (Panko crusted Japanese croquettes) for this bento (see those fuzzy brown things?). They turned out really well, so I will post recipe soon.

Here’s how I made the characters / props:

  • Alice (bottom right): Head shaped from rice ball coloured with soy sauce, blond hair from omelette, hair band and facial details from nori
  • White Rabbit (bottom centre): Head, ears, and paws are shaped from rice balls, stopwatch from radish and nori, facial and paw details from nori
  • Cheshire Cat (bottom left): Korokke for face, eyes and mouth from omelette and nori
  • Mad Hatter (top right): Head from soy sauce coloured rice ball, hair from lollo bionda lettuce, hat is my top hat tea
  • Playing cards: Saltine / Soda crackers with nori and red layer of kanikama (surimi crab sticks) stuck using a bit of mayo… Without the kanikama, the bento would be vegetarian.
  • White rose: Egg white

Happy Monday folks!

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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 four pan-fried tofu fritters. I believe most tofu-eating nations have their own version and name for these delicious morsels… dubu jeon in Korean, 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 fritters 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. 🙂

Here is my recipe for mushroom tofu fritters:

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5

Vegan Tom Kha Bento + Recipe

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I hope everyone had a good weekend! 🙂

I would have had a great weekend if it wasn’t for the cold I caught. But I promptly made a warming Tom Kha soup noodle bento to cheer myself up. Tom Kha is a Thai classic in the form of a spicy coconut broth that is fragrant and citrus-y. It usually contains chicken and fish sauce, but I altered the recipe to suit a vegan diet. I should make more vegan stuff. 🙂

This flavourful vegan broth combines flavours from East and Southeast Asia, fusing quintessentially Thai flavours with some of my favourite East Asian ingredients. As with most of my soup recipes, I love adding shiitake water (water which I use to reconstitute shiitake mushrooms) to my soup base as all the lovely flavours of the mushrooms are trapped in the water, giving the broth a rich umami taste. Accompanying the broth are tofu bunnies on a bed of rice noodles. Here’s the recipe:

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16

Wednesday Lunch Kyaraben / Bento: Korokke Bunny Bento

Wednesday Lunch Bento: Korokke Bunny Bento

Made delicious korokke (Japanese croquettes) with the help of boyfriend-cum-sous chef Marc. Korokke are made from shiitake mushroom, swede/rutabaga, carrot, and potato, served with two bunny onigiri (rice balls decorated with nori ears and flaxseeds), and a salad of lettuce, red/purple cabbage, and cherry tomatoes. I used double layered nori to make the ears stick out.

You can find our baked mushroom, potato, swede/rutabaga, and carrot korokke recipe here.

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5

Gyoza Bunny Kyaraben Bento + Recipe for Nira Tamagoyaki

Gyoza Bunny Bento

Assembled a quick and healthy bento for dinner last night. The gyoza (dumplings) were meant to be the bunny’s ears. I was steaming the rice in my bamboo steamer when I decided to eat out of the steamer itself (so I didn’t have to wash another dish!). The bento was constructed from sushi rice, two oven-baked vegetarian Quorn gyoza left over from night before, lettuce, pan-fried tofu cubes, savoury nira tamagoyaki (Chinese chive rolled omelette), red/purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and mukimame (shelled edamame). I used flaxseeds for the bunny’s eyes, nori for its mouth, and a little chilli sauce on the cheeks.

You can find my gyoza filling recipe and wrapping instructions here.

See below for recipe for nira tamagoyaki.

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