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Ghibli feast #7: Spirited Away

May 28, 2010

in bento,non bento

Day 3 of Ghibli feast

Ghibli feast #7: Spirited Away

Spirited Away was the second Miyazaki film that was theatrically released in the U.S., so I’m sure a lot of people know and saw this film in the theater. I’m not going into details of this film since I’m not good at summarizing… so let’s just get to the feast.

I’m sure the people who missed my “preview of Ghibli feast” post are wondering what I’d make for Spirited Away. There is soooo much food in the film. So much that I could probably have a feast just with Spirited Away. I hate to disappoint you but I’ll save that for some other time. Sorry!! But I will do it someday, maybe soon… I have to do a lot of research first. But for this time I decided to do the simplest food from the film.

Dish 1

[Rice balls]

Ghibli feast #7: Spirited Away

After Chihiro started working at the bathhouse, Haku tells Chihiro to meet him outside. He gives her back her clothes and a card from her friends with her name, Chihiro, on it and tells her not to forget her name. He assures her that she’ll see her parents again, and gives her rice balls. The rice balls Haku gives her has no seaweed and it doesn’t look like anythingis  inside either, but it looks soooo good when Chihiro eats them. Chihiro, who’s confused and worried about her parents starts crying as she eats the rice balls.

Growing up, eating rice myself, I can understand her feeling so well. Nothing makes me feel more at home than eating rice. I used to go to conventions a lot, and for a couple of days I’d have to eat hotel food, convention food, take-out, fast food, etc… And usually by the end of the trip, I just can’t wait to get home and eat rice. Chihiro is feeling so lost and alone in a strange world, and biting into plain rice balls relaxes her, making her burst into tears.

My boyfriend and I make rice balls every Sunday morning, but we usually have seaweed on them. I should’ve had him make them though. His rice balls are usually perfect triangular like the ones Haku gives her.

Ghibli feast #7: Spirited Away

My rice balls always end up big and round.

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Spirited Away Onigiri

My grandma used to tell me farmers go through 88 stages to grow rice (thus splitting the Kanji for rice becomes 88), so I had to chew one mouth full of rice 88 times to pay respect. I've tried, and it's not an easy thing to do... but it's a nice story nonetheless.

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Dish 2

[Steamed red bean bun]

Ghibli feast #7: Spirited Away

After a busy day at the bathhouse, Chihiro stares at the train running outside the bathhouse. Rin who also works at the bathhouse tells Chihiro that the train only leaves, but never comes back, and gives her a steamed bun with sweet red bean inside.

I didn’t want to wait for yeast to rise, so I used cake flour to make steam buns. (check out “how to make steamed bun with cake flour without yeast”) I was going to make sweet red beans from scratch, but I had bought sweet red beans a long time ago to make Oshiruko, so I decided to use it. (Oshiruko is rice cake in sweet red bean soup) I’ve never made seamed bun with sweet red bean but it came out pretty nice!

Ghibli feast #7: Spirited Away

I like using a bamboo steamer. No need for cheese cloth, and no worries about water dripping on the buns!

I tried to make them as big as possible, but my steamed buns were not even close to the size of the bun Chihiro had. I think Miyazaki wanted to make her look like a very skinny city kid, and that’s why her hands are tiny and her arms and legs are almost stick-like. But look how HUGE the steamed bun is compared to her hand!!

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Spirited Away Buns

Chihiro's bun is as big as my steamer. I'm not sure if she should be eating something so big as a night snack.

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Dish? 3

[Konpeito]

Ghibli feast #7: Spirited Away

This one was a last minute extra food we threw in. When we decided to do this, we realized that we had the “konpeitou candy” which Kamajii feeds to the hard working Makkurokurosuke. I bought the candy for my boyfriend a long time ago because he didn’t know what it was and was surprised when I told him that you could buy them.

“To make Konpeitou, the rice kernels are put in a turnable pot, and slowly covered with syrup over a period of 10 to 30 days, allowing layer after layer of syrup to build up, about 1 mm a day. Spikes will start appearing about the 5th day.” (Copyright 2010 Practically Edible. All rights reserved and enforced.) Read more of this snippet here.

That’s right, those tiny spikes are not artificially created or from a mold! It’s pretty much pure sugar, so it’s very very sweet.  The ones I got were plain flavor, but for some reason, he had eaten more colored ones than  white ones. The colored ones do look tastier.

Ghibli feast #7: Spirited Away

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Spirited Away candy

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Okay, so it wasn’t much of a feast… But we had one last feast planned to finish the Ghibli feast! It was the Castle of Cagliostro.

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

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

cmbNo Gravatar May 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm

when i think ghibli and food the first thing i think of is all the food chihiro’s parents eat when they turn into pigs. it looks so delicious!

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aleNo Gravatar May 29, 2010 at 5:08 pm

anna, i’ve just discovered your blog, searching for obento ideas. and i love hayao miyazaki’s work, too! your bento factory is amazing, thanks for sharing your ideas =^ . ^=

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LyvvieNo Gravatar May 30, 2010 at 2:39 am

I’ve had steam buns here in Melbourne that were filled with shredded BBQ pork and they were lovely. It’s roughly the same colour as the red bean. I was a bit put off by the sweet bun and savoury filling, but got used to it quickly. I’ll try these. I have a tiny steamer too (that’s a bit singed from my neglect the last time I made gyoza).

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MarooNo Gravatar May 30, 2010 at 5:11 am

I want to try the candies the most… since I love sweets LOL. The Makkurokurosuke doll is soo cute :D

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Aba CaxiasNo Gravatar May 30, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Hey, the Konpeitos could also pass as Star Bits from Mario Galaxy =D

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hadleyNo Gravatar May 31, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I love red bean steam buns. Oh, I love them so much. I also love this project of yours. I’m going to have to search out the animation itself. <3 H.

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JennaNo Gravatar June 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I. Think. You. Are. AMAZING. And I worship you. I really enjoyed reading all of the Ghibli feast posts~! <3

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bethNo Gravatar June 20, 2010 at 3:13 am

Do you know what food her parents eat in the beginning? I’d love to know!

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SuraviNo Gravatar July 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Aaah! Just stumbled across your photos on Flickr while doing a search for Spirited Away. The part where she eats the rice balls is one of my favorite parts of the movie! Great job on everything, your blog is wonderful!!! <3 <3 <3

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KaylaNo Gravatar January 7, 2011 at 12:02 am

Thank you so much for these recipes! I’ve always wondered what the bean buns from Spirited Away and the pumpkin herring pie from Kiki’s Delivery Service tasted like… Anyway, I’ll definitely try these recipes out soon! :D

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D WhistleNo Gravatar July 26, 2011 at 12:58 am

I found little Hello Kitty packets of those candies at a local “Japan” shop in the mall and had to laugh. We had tried to find out what these were after seeing them in an episode of Hamtaro, where they were called “diamonds of sugar”. The name turned out to be utterly useless as a lead.

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SummerNo Gravatar November 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm

I’ve made the red-orange poultry that Chihiro’s parents eat at the beginning of the film (but I had actually made it before I’d even seen Spirited Away, so it’s probably not the same thing) The bird they eat looks like a cornish game hen. Cornish game hen tends to be really bony, but it tastes pretty good. When I made it, I glazed it with orange mustard, and it looked exactly the same as the bird at the buffet. Not that you care, but if you ever decide to make a completely Spirited Away themed feast, there’s an idea for how to make the poultry. :)

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AdaNo Gravatar February 23, 2012 at 5:21 am

This is such a wonderful read! I am a big Ghibli fan and have been since childhood!
Your attempts at Ghibli film food is very interesting!
Keep on posting please! :)

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AprilNo Gravatar March 15, 2012 at 1:08 am

Oh, I love your blog!! I made your Kiki’s herring pot pie recipe and my family loved it! I can get my little sister to eat anything, as long as it is Miyazaki related, so that was a huge help for me. Her current favorite is my recreation of the noodle soup from Ponyo. You are a huge inspiration to me and my cooking! Thank you thank you. :D Do you know or have a recipe to make konpeitou? That is one I want to try but can’t find a recipe for anywhere! Any help or leads would be most appreciated.

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AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar March 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Glad to hear that you loved the pie! I was kind of skeptical before I made it, but man it was delicious!

As for konpeito, I thought of making konpeito when I was doing this Ghibli Feast, but then I read on Wikipedia that: “each piece is covered with tiny bulges, which occur in the cooking process. It usually takes 7-10 days to make konpeito and they are handmade even today. Konpeito is made by showering sugar water in a giant spinning tub called dora.”…. then I gave up! It was a very interesting thing to learn though!

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MaiNo Gravatar August 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

You have no idea how happy I was when I found your blog!! I had always wondered how would the food in Ghibli’s movies taste, to see it here actually inspired me to give it a try, and do some of this recepies (I’ve never been into cooking so this will be an interesting experience!)
Keep up with the awesome work!!!!

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LeanabearNo Gravatar August 9, 2012 at 2:00 am

Does anyone have the name or recipe for any I the dishes that her parents were pigging out on ???

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sophieNo Gravatar November 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

These look soooo delicious. I’m vegetarian – so I would love to try the bean ones instead of pork. How do you make the filling?

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mistrbubblsNo Gravatar February 17, 2013 at 2:05 am

hehehe “feast” based off of spirited away. take all the simple snack foods and overlook all of the extravagant appetizing dishes and that’s a feast all right.

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Chantelle MartinNo Gravatar July 24, 2013 at 8:41 am

Thanks so much for this, it looks amazing! I am so sharing this!

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moNo Gravatar February 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I would love to know what were the things her parents were eating at the start of the movie.

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