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Ghibli feast #4: Kiki’s Delivery Service

May 15, 2010

in bento,non bento

Day 2 of Ghibli feast

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki is a 13 year-old witch in training. Every witch has to leave their town and live on their own for a year to train themselves to become a better witch. With no special talents or skill other than flying on a broom, Kiki starts her delivery business in a city by the ocean.

Originally, I was just going to make the pancakes Kiki eats in the film. But I thought it’d be too simple if I just made pancakes especially because Laputa bread was right before this. So I decided to also try making something very challenging.

Anyway, after eating only a slice of bread with an egg and an apple my boyfriend was getting hungry, so we started making pancakes and sausages right away. In the film, Kiki eats pancakes to save money. She uses “JIBURI NO HOT KEKI” mix (“Ghibli’s hot cake”, a.k.a pancake), if you hadn’t noticed. ;)

Dish 1

[Pancake with sausage and tomatoes]

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

We decided to make pancakes from scratch. My boyfriend mixed regular flour, egg, sugar, a little bit of salt and water. At the same time, we boiled water and cooked sausages. (We had to buy uncooked sausage from the store this time… Next time, we’ll get the recipe for sausage from my boyfriend’s sister.) After the sausage was cooked, we cut it and broiled it in the oven to make the surface of the sausage brown. We added a couple of mini tomatoes.

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

It’s a shame that Kiki doesn’t eat her food like other Ghibli characters though. When she eats her pancakes, she’s feeling a bit down, so it doesn’t look that tasty. =/ But our pancakes tasted really good, even without maple syrup or honey. Nothing beats freshly made pancakes with just a little bit of butter.

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Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki's pancake actually explodes a little bit when she cooks. We couldn't make that happen though. :P

 

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And, of course, the fish pie…

Dish 2

[Herring and pumpkin pot pie]

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service
Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki goes to the house of an old lady to pick up a package to deliver. Kiki ends up helping them bake a pie for her granddaughter. While I was doing research about food in Kiki’s Delivery Service, I saw a lot of people actually tried making the fish pie from this film.

I’ve never had a fish pie, let along made one. Even though I love fish, I had not idea if this would taste any good. But everyone who made this fish pie was praising how delicious it was (also to their surprise). So I had to try it! I found a couple of recipes for this. I got kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), but couldn’t find herrings, so I got sardines instead. We even bought a new baking dish for this. We were determined to find out what it’d taste like.

I’m sure a lot of people might want to try this, but unfortunately, I didn’t take enough pictures to do a complete how-to (I was in a rush!) But it’s really not that complicated at all, actually. I’d rather everyone use your own favorite recipe for each ingredient, or you can save a lot of time by buying prepared fish, white sauce or a pie sheet.

Ingredients for the pie
- mashed pumpkin with sauteed onions (I used kabocha, which is a Japanese pumpkin, but butternut squash will do.)
- white sauce
- herring (or sardine or mackerel or cod… I read that any white fish will do.)
- pie dough
- black olives
- egg yolk (to apply on the surface of pie)

- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.

Mashed pumpkin with sauteed onions:
You can use any mashed pumpkin recipe for this. I chopped onions and cooked in olive oil until they were clear. I steamed kabocha (I removed the skin, but if it’s cooked well, you can eat the skin too. It’s very good for you!), mashed it, and mixed in the sauteed onions, butter and a little bit of whipping cream to make mashed pumpkin. I didn’t measure how much of each ingredient I put in. I just kept tasting it and seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper. Just don’t make it too thin.

White sauce:
You can use any white sauce recipe for this, or even buy it from a store. I used the left over Bechamel sauce from Porco Rosso salmon dish.

Pie dough:
You can use any pie dough recipe for this, or you can buy rolls of pie sheet from a store. (Pillsbury makes them, and it’s called “pie crust”, but it’s more like rolled sheets of pie dough. They come in a long box, like pasta box. But if you’re using frozen pie sheet, you’ll need two sheets.) Make sure you have enough pie dough! I made pie dough the day before, and had it sitting in the fridge.

White fish:
I cleaned and gutted sardines, but if you’re buying fish from a fish market, they will usually do this for you. Fish pieces should cover the surface, but you can put more or less.

The amount of each ingredient depends on your baking dish. Everything except fish can be used in other dishes, so you don’t have to worry too much about what to do with the extra food you end up not using.

I found two ways of putting each ingredients in.
1. pie dough – > mashed pumpkin -> fish ->white sauce – >pie dough
or
2. mashed pumpkin -> fish -> white sauce -> pie dough

I had enough pie dough, so I went with 1.

I spread the dough with a rolling pin, cut it to the size of the baking dish and put it at the bottom of the dish.

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

Then I spread mashed pumpkin on top of the pie dough. (I put it about 3/4 ~ 1-inch deep.)

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

Then I put the fish over the mashed pumpkin. (The mackerel I used was rather small, but you can put more fish if you like fish.)

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

And I covered it with white sauce.

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

This is where it gets a bit tricky… I rolled and stretched the pie dough, put it over the baking dish, then trimmed the pie dough slightly bigger than the baking dish and put it over the white sauce.  The pie dough may shrink, so make sure you cut it bigger than the dish. (I learned this the hard way… I cut it too small the first time, and it shrunk after I put it on the white sauce. T_T) I rolled the scraps of the pie dough, cut it for the lines, and put them onto the pie dough. Then I rolled the scraps of the pie dough again, rolled it, and cut it into the shape of fish, fins and scales.

After everything was in place, I sliced black olives to decorate it and took some pictures.

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

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Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

I was more relieved than satisfied at this point.

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Then I mixed egg yolk, applied it over the pie dough with a brush, and it was ready to be baked! I put it in the oven, and baked it for 20 minutes at 400 F.

I just kept peeking into the oven, trying to make sure it didn’t get burned. (I was so paranoid that I set the timer to 15 minutes first, then checked and see if it was okay. Then I baked another 5 minutes. And I finally took it out the oven.

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

Too bad that you can't smell this. :P

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

Nice and brown.

Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

I couldn't be happier with how it looked.

It looked good and smelled amazing. But now the most important part,,, the taste! Even with the delicious smell, I was still unsure about the taste, but we couldn’t just stare at it forever, so we dug in.

fish pie 6

Nom nom nom nom...

It was absolutely delicious!! It was something I’ve never tasted before. There were so many different flavors in my mouth, but they weren’t fighting each other. You can still taste the sweetness of the pumpkin, the fishy flavor, and rich creamy Bechamel sauce, but also taste it as one perfect dish.

So yes, everyone who tried making this was telling the truth. Fish pumpkin pot pie is delicious! It’s too bad that they don’t have a scene of anyone eating this in the film though. The granddaughter in the film who said she didn’t like this pie must have no taste buds!

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Ghibli feast #4: Kiki's Delivery Service

Madame's fish pie is more brown, but I just didn't want to risk it... I'm satisfied with the result though.

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If you want to try making this, I have advice for you… Even though I loved this dish, I must admit that it is very rich and heavy because of the white sauce and mashed pumpkin. I’ll probably use a smaller baking dish or less Bechamel sauce next time. It lasted for a good 3 day between two of us. (we ate it for lunch and dinner) I didn’t mind at all though, but I was surprised how a small amount of this dish could make me full.

We’ve both watched Kiki’s Delivery Service before, but it’s been a while since we watched it the last time.  The one thing we didn’t think of before was the last scene. Kiki got her magic back, and she could fly again, but Jiji says to Kiki, “Meow.” We both went “Wait, so Kiki got her magic back but still can’t understand Jiji??” I did a little research for this, and found that, in fact, a lot of people wondered the same thing. One review I read said that “the conversation with Jiji could be Kiki’s way to understand her own thoughts and feelings. That doesn’t mean Jiji wasn’t talking or Kiki was making things up in her head. It was something between magic and talking to an imaginary friend. And in the end, Jiji probably did say something to Kiki and she understood him, but it’s for us to figure it out. By the end of the film, we should be able to guess what he’d say anyway. ” What’s your take on the last scene?

The feast for Kiki’s Delivery Service took a lot longer than we expected. But we weren’t tired at all, because our next feast was My Neighbor Totoro.

You can also see these pictures in Ghibi feast set on my flickr page!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

LuffleeNo Gravatar May 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

omg lool!! This is so awesome they look identical and yummy!! I always wanted to reproduce cooking from mangas or animes xDDD

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ShaunanigunsNo Gravatar May 16, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I do this often for my family, my daughters favorite breakfast is the one Haru’s mother makes in “The Cat Returns.”
It’s almost a variation on “Laputa Toast.”
My son likes edible Susuwatari, and my husband anything he can eat!
Sometimes the kids take things into their own hands, turning a simple breakfast of eggs into a scene from “Howl’s Moving Castle,” by eating their eggs with spoons.
I appreciate your blog Ana, your their to re-inspire me when I run out of ideas! We are all waiting for your next entry!

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LyvvieNo Gravatar May 16, 2010 at 9:32 pm

I’m certain that’s not just any sausage, but a proper black pudding or blood sausage. then again, they tend to be large and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices and fried in a pan. Could it be game? Venison, kangaroo and ostrich all have that darker colour to them.

I’ll have to try the pie. You’ve made it look amazing!

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AnnekeNo Gravatar May 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm

The fish pie is so beautiful! So perfect! Well done.

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justinNo Gravatar May 17, 2010 at 9:07 am

ooo fish pie is awesome!! well done!!!

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MarooNo Gravatar May 17, 2010 at 9:46 am

I just watched Kiki again yesterday. Oh my! I can’t believe you’re able to do the pie!! I want to eat that so bad! XD

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JamieNo Gravatar May 17, 2010 at 10:45 am

OH WOW! I LOVE THIS!
Thank you for doing this! There is something about miyazaki food that just…makes my mouth water! I like to watch the food scenes from his movies when i eat to stir up and appetite :P

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KayDatNo Gravatar May 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Oh wow! That fish pie looks amazing. I also feel inspired to rewatch Kiki’s…if I can find my DVD box set that is…grr.
Fish Pie is definitely on my to-cook list. =D

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ShaunanigunsNo Gravatar May 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Ana do you like to bake?
Kiki’s sign could be fun to make….

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adpuchalskiNo Gravatar May 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Because I always cry when Kiki looses her ability to talk to Jiji, I always worried about the Meow at the end of the movie. But the credit sequence leaves me with the impression everything is OK. I do like how shocked Jiji looks when only Meow comes out of his mouth.

I think your Ghibli feast is a really nice idea! I once made the breakfast the mother eats in The Cat Returns because it looked so good and I had a loaf of bread from Panya NYC handy… now I want to make fish pie.

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KimNo Gravatar May 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I’m going to make this!!! Thanks for sharing :)

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BarbNo Gravatar May 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Wonderful and beautiful works of art!

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AmatōNo Gravatar May 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Hi Anna,
I just discovered your blog, love the idea to cook the food from Miyazakis movies.You said, you would like to make also bota mochi(rice cakes from Totoro) and manju (steamed bread from Spirited Away). I’m a huge fan of Japanese wagashi sweets, do you need a recipe? I have a very easy and tasty recipe for bota mochi made from mochigome.It isn’t translated yet, it is on my blog(I’m from Germany).If you need it, I can make a quick translation.
I’m not sure about the manju in Spirited Away, I hope this is not yams manju…These are difficult to cook.
Regards
Amato
I’m so curious about the next food…
Here in Germany we can buy roasted soybeans, like peanuts, very yummy. :-)

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Guppy taroNo Gravatar May 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

Just made the pumpkin fish pot for dinner. I’m terrible at baking but I wanted to try this recipe so much. :D

I wished I had rolled a thinner crust and added more fish but it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe! Looking forward to more Anime food.

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KimNo Gravatar June 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm

I made it!
I accidently put too much white sauce in, but still – it turned out quite nice! I know how to improve it next time I make it :)

Thanks so much for the post! Lots of fun to make (and eat).

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JayNo Gravatar July 10, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Hey Anna,

I just stumbled upon your blog when searching for what Chihiro was eating in Spirited Away. I always thought it looked like a manju but the size… Also, I once saw a dorama in which the protagonist ate a bun she had to hold with both hands. o_O
Anyways, my take on the “Jiji can’t be understood by Kiki anymore” thing was, that it kind of represented Kiki’s stage of growing up. When she was all naive, carefree and childish she could talk to Jiji, but as she started to really like Tombo (like the very first stage(s) of falling in love) she lost that ability. So it made me think there’s some correlation between being innocent/talking to Jiji and falling in love/becoming unable to understand him. I think all of us make the experience that some things lose their magic when we’re growing up. Maybe it’s some kind of metaphor? Maybe we could even take it further: she had full control of her magic when she had full control of her emotions and thoughts, but when she fell in love with Tombo her feelings became confused and she couldn’t use her magic anymore. Then everything settled as she re-focused, but the ability to talk to Jiji was lost like the innocence of her thoughts.
And maybe I’m just talking gibberish. ^-^

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DanaNo Gravatar August 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Hi,
After reading your blog, I want to make herring pumpkin pot pie too!! Probably sometime soon. :)
Anyway, in regards to your thoughts about the ending of Kiki’s delivery service… I remember watching behind the scenes for either Kiki’s delivery service or another Ghibli film, and it was either Toshio Suzuki or John Lasseter that stated that Miyazaki decided to keep that side plot to demonstrate that Kiki is no longer a child. Her inability to talk to Jiji indicates she has matured.
Sorry, I can not recall the specific dvd source, but it is in one of the American packaged Ghibli films.

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AntoniaNo Gravatar January 4, 2011 at 3:35 am

WOW! This is awesome, its definitely replica! Kiki’s delivery service, one of the greatest films of all time.

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SofiNo Gravatar April 9, 2011 at 1:29 am

That dish looks identical to the one in the movie!
I was also struck by the end of the movie, I loved the fact that she could talk to Jiji and I’m still coming to terms with that fact that she cannot… Here’s what I read in wikipedia:

“In the original Japanese script, Jiji loses his ability to communicate with Kiki permanently, but in the American version a line is added which implies she is once again able to understand him. Miyazaki has said that Jiji is the immature side of Kiki, and this implies that Kiki, by the end of the original Japanese version, has matured beyond talking to her cat.”

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nancyNo Gravatar September 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Ok, I would like to know How matny people made the fish pie.Was it good? I’m trying to convinceo my family to make it.b honest was it good?was there a fishy taste?

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JackNo Gravatar November 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I think tagging Ghibli in this article would help readers find this elusive feast faster.

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ArabaNo Gravatar December 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

Thank you so much for posting this!
I made this for my family on Christmas and everyone loved it.
I ended up using American sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin but it still came out really well.
I agree that is is really rich and creamy but that’s what makes it so delicious!
Thanks again! :D

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MorganNo Gravatar January 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Hmm looks good! And from my favorite Ghibli film too!
I also love to recreate dishes from films I’ve seen.
My only critique is that I’m pretty sure they use capers for garnish, not olives.

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JenniferNo Gravatar March 10, 2012 at 10:50 am

I definitely agree that they look like capers and not olives. Great pictures though!

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inufan52No Gravatar January 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm

it would be wonderful if you did the chocolate cake for kiki but still i would try this cause it looks so good!

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MeroNo Gravatar March 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Still making kiki’s fish and pumpkin pie since you first published this! My boyfriend (who hates pie) adores this recipe. I love anime food! :D

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MaruNo Gravatar September 5, 2012 at 8:20 am

I’ve been following you for I think about two years now and you never fail to blow me away. You have been my role model in bento and non-bento making and have inspired me to try it out myself ^^ Is it ok for me to start a blog for my class about imitating dishes from films like you did? I’m not going to do just Ghibli dishes (if I do, I’m not going to copy the ones you have already done) and cover some trends or gadgets going on in Asia or what not. Thanks so much and keep up the great work x3

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AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar September 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

Oh definitely!! I encourage anyone to play with, enjoy & appreciate food. I have no problem people copying the exact dish / bento I did either! I’ll be flattered, actually. (that’s why I showcase their works on the “your food” page on my blog!)

Good luck and send me photos when you make it!

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CarolynNo Gravatar November 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Hi Anna!

I just found your blog today while I was looking for herring and pumpkin pot pie recipes after watching Kiki’s Delivery Service. I love that you explored so many Ghibli dishes! Surprisingly enough, I have almost all the recipe ingredients for the pie in my house right now. I can’t wait to try this dish out!

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kiana (kiki)No Gravatar May 27, 2014 at 5:38 pm

I love this though I am not a fan of fish but I think it can be changed t my liking. I am a huge fan of the show and have watched many of miyazaki’s movies and I love this. This movie is one of my favorite because it has a special place in my heart y nickname is kiki like her name and everything she and her family are remind me of my childhood I will be keeping this recipe close to me!!

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