Spirited Away Bento + Napa Cabbage Roll Recipe


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:


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Wednesday Lunch Kyaraben / Bento: ‘Spirited Away’ Fusilli Bento

Wednesday Lunch Bento: Spirited Away Pasta Bento

Now this title is slightly misleading as I only had a tiny portion of leftovers for lunch. It was a rushed entry for Bento&Co’s 2013 International Bento Contest that I made on Monday. I sent this photo off at the very last minute and wasn’t sure if I made the deadline. I didn’t make top 20 but it was great fun to make and even greater fun to eat. 🙂

The pasta is fusilli in a homemade shiitake-infused pomodoro sauce. I wanted to try and add an Asian flavour to the pasta. I am sort of fifty-fifty about the outcome. It tasted ok, but slightly weird, hence no recipe.

This bento is inspired by Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away. I was about to chop up the shiitake caps when I thought they looked like the Soot Balls / Coal Sprites from Spirited Away. The bento also depicts Boh in mouse form and Yubaba’s Bird, on a bed of lettuce leaves, topped with parsley, basil, carrot stars, and red cabbage stars. Yubaba’s Bird is also a shiitake mushroom cap. The head of Boh (mouse) is cut out from cooked lasagne sheet. The characters are further defined using lasagne sheets for eyeballs, carrot, and nori. The stars are meant to be food for the Soot Balls. 🙂

Sides are cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, pan-fried tofu, and stacked puff pastry hearts. All vegan except the pastry.

My bento was voted Bento of the Week. Thank you all! xx

Bento of the Week Winner