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.
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.
Alice’s Shop in Oxford – a must-see for all Alice in Wonderland enthusiasts
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!
The Katsu Curry is the ultimate comfort food. Crispy katsu (deep fried breaded meat cutlets) served with heaps of delicious mild curry sauce on a steaming bowl of rice… Being pesco-vegetarian, I made my katsu from tofu, which I served with a mushroom curry sauce and mixed long grains (brown basmati, wild rice, and Camargue red rice) – rendering my recipe slightly unconventional. My tofu katsu was also baked not fried. I had a little beaten egg left from the breading, so I made an omelette to add colour to my bento; absolutely nothing ever goes to waste in Winnie’s kitchen. ^_^
Bento box is from Daiso. Comes with a pretty lid with floral designs, but is not a portable lunch box (not leak-proof, no strap).
My Tofu Katsu Curry recipe:
You may remember from last week’s bento that Marc (bf and ‘sous chef’) and I made a batch of korokke (Japanese croquettes). Korokke normally refers to a deep-fried breadcrumbed ball or patty of potato and minced meat. For health and dietary reasons, we made ours vegetarian with mushrooms and a mash of swede/rutabaga, carrot, and potato – then oven-baked to perfection. They were delicious and filling and you can easily swap the ingredients for your favourite things. 🙂 If you want to save time, get ready-made mash. Here is our recipe:
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.