bento #42: Totoro parade

April 4, 2009

in bento,studio ghibli

I had been working on a sketch of a kyaraben for a week, but it just didn’t look like it’d work out, and I was feeling pretty bummed. (I can’t tell you what it is yet! I hope I can make it next week.) You know what always makes me feel better? Totoro!

Bento#41: Totoro parade bento
Created and eaten on: 4/4/2009

I made tons of meatballs the other day, so I wanted to put them in the bento. But I’ve made meatball Makkurokurosuke many times before, so I wanted to try making something else. For inspiration I was watching the opening credits for Totoro, and saw something perfect… Acorns! There were also mushrooms and bugs, Makkurokurosuke, and chibi Totoro parading across the screen. It just made me want to make an Oh-Totoro (big one), Chu-Totoro (middle one), and Chibi-Totoro parade in a bento.

I put lettuce at the bottom of the bento box first, and put sauteed renkon with aonori (green seaweed) and regular sauteed renkon for the background. I cooked asparagus wrapped with bacon and put it on the right side of bento, so I could put Chibi-Totoro on it (to be the same height as other Totoro) and it’d look like plants. I cut the meatballs for the acorn top, and cut the end of sausage for the bottom. I didn’t want to waste the middle part of the sausage, so I made sausage flowers with them. After I boiled the sausage, I put the meatball on the top, and put it together with a toothpick. (I wanted to put it together with pasta, but I was all out. =/)

Then I made mushrooms with radish. I put a knife in the middle of radish, trying not to cut it all the way, and rolled it on the cutting board. I cut the one side for the stem, and made white dots by cutting small circles out of the skin.

After I made the acorns and mushrooms, I started making Totoro. I made Oh-Totoro with rice mixed with black sesame seed and plain rice using plastic wrap (see “how to make Totoro with rice”), and put him in the front of the parade. To make Chu-Totoro I microwaved lettuce, and wrapped potato salad with it. For his ears and arm, I cut a small piece of a snow pea and stuck them in, and I put him behind Oh-Totoro. When I was taking food in and out the fridge, I realized that I had gyoza skins from the gyoza night. So I decided to use it to make his acorn sack! I just wrapped the left over meatball piece from acorns with the skin and put it on Chu-Totoro. (I knew the bento would be microwaved, so I didn’t cook the skin.) Then I made Chibi-Totoro with a quail egg as usual and put him behind Chu-Totoro. (see “how to make mini-Totoro”)

I cut seaweed into small thin strips and rolled tiny rice balls around in them to make Makkurokurosuke (see “how to make Makkurokurosuke”) and I put couple of them around Totoro. After all the Totoros and Makkurokurosuke were put in the bento box, I placed acorns, mushrooms, sausage flowers, and broccoli in the bento. I added a ladybug (also from the opening of Totoro) and carrot flowers for an accent.

Finally, I sliced kamaboko (fish cake) and cut out a lot of circles using a plastic cap, and placed them on each Totoro and Makkurokurosuke for their eyes. For the pupils I put seaweed on Oh-Totoro and Chu-Totoro, black sesame seed for Chibi-Totoro and Makkurokurosuke. I placed their eyes at the very end, because I didn’t want the seaweed to get saggy and wrinkly, or the sesame seeds to fall off.

My boyfriend ended up eating this at home after kung fu class for a very late lunch because I wanted to make it on Friday, but I ran out of time and couldn’t finish… I wasn’t too happy about the bento looking pretty brown because of acorns and sausage flowers. I wish I could’ve put sunflowers instead of sausage flower, but I think it came out pretty cute overall. I personally liked the acorn sack idea. It doesn’t have to be pork gyoza. You can put pretty much anything in it. If you made a one bite sack and put mixed veggie or edamame or anything, it’d be great for regular bento. (If you aren’t microwaving your bento, you can put it in boiled water for a couple of minutes to cook.)

- rice mixed with black sesame seed and salt, and plain rice
- seaweed on kamaboko (fish cake)
- seaweed for his whiskers

- potato salad wrapped with lettuce
- snow pea for his ears and arm
- seaweed on kamaboko (fish cake)
- meatball wrapped with gyoza skin for his sack

- quail egg
- black sesame seed on kamaboko (fish cake)

- rice with seaweed
- black sesame seed on kamaboko (fish cake)

- meatball and sausage

- radish

Other food:
- asparagus wrapped with bacon
- renkon
- lettuce
- broccoli
- carrot

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

shoppingmumNo Gravatar April 5, 2009 at 2:12 am

Your bentos are always awesome! I love this.


mkiaNo Gravatar April 5, 2009 at 10:21 am

madam, I keep reading and I keep seeing how more insane and amazing and crafty your designs are


ArgenteeNo Gravatar April 6, 2009 at 6:26 am

So cute! You are a guarenteed smile during my work day.


BradNo Gravatar April 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm

This is so adorable and I can imagine how delicious it tastes!


ValentinaNo Gravatar April 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm

You’re AMAZING!! and have spectacular talent :D Your creations make me UBER HAPPYface :D Someday, I hope to make delicious bentos as wonderful as yours.


suzuakamiNo Gravatar June 29, 2009 at 9:27 pm

oh my god they’re so cute! i don’t mind the brown at all. it makes it look more foresty like. thanks for the recipe, 상큐!


yaguidesignNo Gravatar July 23, 2009 at 6:34 pm

wow very nice post, i really like this food job, i want to post it in my blog
http://www.receitasa2.wordpress , can i ??


Jason RugglesNo Gravatar September 12, 2009 at 12:29 am

So creative. Next project: Howl’s Moving Castle made from pasta! :-)


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