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.
The fork / food pick is only a prop. No one in their right mind would eat noodles with it. 😛
You may remember from last week’s bento that I bought a new brand of vegetarian mince (Neal’s Yard). I decided to make a spicy Chinese noodle dish called Zhajiangmian 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 mince turned out a little dry; I decided not to post the recipe.
Hope everyone is having a great start to the week. 🙂
Petit déjeuner – breakfast with a French flair
Hello everyone! Hope you all had a good weekend? I have been exceptionally busy the past couple of weeks with my new job and sister’s upcoming wedding (lots of shopping to do) that the blog suffered a little as a result. Thankfully I found some time to make myself a quick and easy breakfast of pancakes with asparagus and home-made hollandaise sauce. I couldn’t resist sneaking a Hello Kitty in. First I made the stencil by cutting out the eyes, nose, and whiskers from a piece of paper, then carefully sprinkling cayenne pepper over the stencil to form the shapes. Cayenne pepper happens to go well with hollandaise. Kitty’s bow was made from cherry tomato. The sauce was not difficult; a lot of stirring to do. Google for recipe – it is delicious with asparagus!
On a different note, the lovely Aearthr of A Little Typical has kindly nominated me for the Liebster award. Thank you very much! The award requires nominees to answer 10 questions and they are:
Are you a dog- or cat-lover? Dog-lover. We had a dog named Billy whom we adopted from the SPCA. He was gorgeous but he left too soon.
Are you a diehard Apple, Android mobile phone user or neither of them? I use Android but wouldn’t say I am a die-hard.
Are you a morning person? Absolutely……….. not.
What is your favourite colour? At the moment it is yellow.
What is/are your pet name(s) called by your family members? Small Sis, because I am the little sister.
What is your best childhood memory? Why? Family spending time together. 🙂
Name one thing you could never (or have a difficult time) forgiving someone for. People who hurt other people senselessly.
Who is the most important person of your life? Everyone in my family. 🙂
Write about something that you learned recently. You don’t ask, you don’t get. Especially true in the workplace.
Use five adjectives to describe yourself. I am confident, charismatic, calm, competent, and courageous. These are some of the positive affirmations I repeat daily to myself.
The Liebster Award is awarded by bloggers to other promising bloggers with 200 followers or less. I will need to research to see who among my favourite bloggers meet this criteria to pass the torch to.
Have a lovely weekend my friends!
Snack bento: Hello Kitty curry puff on a bed of arugula / rocket salad, with tomato salsa filled mini poppadoms, and blueberries
Hello everyone! Hope you all had a good weekend? The bf and I got our hands dirty making curry puffs. Curry puffs or karipap is a Malaysian savoury snack, also popular in Singapore and Indonesia. It is not dissimilar to an empanada. The curry puff is a deep fried pastry stuffed with curried potatoes and diced chicken, and a wedge of hard boiled egg. My recipe has a slight twist: I made mine vegan with curried sweet potato and mushroom (substituting white potato and chicken) in shortcrust pastry, baked to golden perfection (instead of deep fried). I had some leftover dough which I used to make Hello Kitty faces as decoration.
Noriben is a portmanteau of the words nori and bento. It is a very simple style of bento, consisting of rice (flavoured or otherwise) topped with a layer of nori. To go with my 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 recipe here.
No Face is a character from Studio Ghibli’s film 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:
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:
Yesterday, I made a bento of vegetarian 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. It 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 bento 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… without which, there would be no sushi! I chose Mini (Chibi) Totoro, a 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 film My Neighbour Totoro.
Here’s the recipe: