I actually wanted to make this bento on Valentine’s day, but Valentine’s day being on Sunday, and we because had to go to IKEA, I couldn’t make bento on the 14th. It didn’t feel like it was appropriate to make this one after Valentine’s day, but oh what the heck. No man would mind a bento filled with heart shapes, right?
Bento #74: Oruchuban Ebichu
Created and eaten on: 2/18/2010
Oruchuban Ebichu was an anime show, originally aired in 1999, based on a manga. Ebichu is a housekeeping hamster. She may look dangerously similar to the hamster from the kid’s show, Hamtaro, but this seemingly innocent and adorable show is probably the cutest, funniest, dirtiest show I’ve ever seen.
Ebichu always tries her best to make her master happy but almost always ends up painfully embarrassing her in front of other people. So I decided to make a super love-love bento to hopefully to embarrass my boyfriend a little when he goes around to show the bento to the co-workers at work.
I put sauteed renkon at the bottom of the bento first, and made rice into the shape of Ebichu. For orange part of her ears I mixed a little bit of rice with ketchup. I cut ham for her mouth and apron, and kamaboko (fish cake) for her hand and one of her legs. I also used the pink part of kamaboko for her trademark pink cheeks.
My idea was to make the right side of the bento look like a bento made by Ebichu so I made three small rice balls and put them in.
I searched for recipes for any “heart shaped” food, and picked the easiest ones to fill the rest of the bento. First I cooked hotdog, cut it at an angle, put two pieces together, put them together with a piece of pasta to make a heart shape. This is a very popular food item for kyaraben in Japan. No cooking skill is involved and this looks still adorable in any bento!
I had cooked tamagoyaki (it’s like a rolled omelette) the night before, so I cut it in the same way I cut sausage and put them together to make a heart shape. I didn’t do a good job on this tamagoyaki though. I didn’t use enough oil and egg. So I put ketchup to draw another heart shape on the tamagoyaki to hide the mess.
I wrapped five pieces of asparagus and carrot in the middle with bacon, pinned it with toothpicks, and cooked it. When you cut it, it looks like cute flower, doesn’t it? I put a couple of them in the bento to fill the empty space.
Then I cut the surface of a hot dog like to look like a flower/heart shape and I put cooked broccoli to fill the rest of empty space.
After everything was set in the bento box, I cut seaweed for her eyes and eyebrows. For the sparkle in her eyes I cut cheese.
When it was done, it didn’t look that “love-love”… so I just use a heart shaped cutter to cut out carrots and sprinkled them all over the bento.
I really thought this would be easier to make than it was… The apron was hard to make, and it still didn’t turn out good. I probably should’ve used something redder for her mouth.
As for my boyfriend, he didn’t get embarrassed by this bento at all. (as I expected) After all, I’ve been making him kyaraben for more than an year. He wouldn’t have been showing off his bento if bunch of heart shaped food would embarrass him.
- rice, rice mixed with ketchup, kamaboko, seaweed, cheese, ham
- egg (tamagoyaki)
- cheese, carrot
- asparagus and carrot wrapped with bacon