When I did the Bento Contest for EpiCute and My Food Looks Funny site, I saw some very interesting requests. And one of them was the Very Hungry Caterpillar. I thought it’d be a bit too easy to make a bento of it, so I didn’t pick it. But it turns out my boyfriend loved the book as a child, and that was enough reason for me to make it with food!
The local market I always shop at has a decent fresh fish selection and they also have a little sushi counter where a guy makes sushi and sells them in a package. When I was looking at it, this idea came to my mind.
Non-bento #26: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Created and eaten on: 8/21/2010
For this, I decided to try using the hangiri (wooden shallow bowl to mix sushi rice in) I got recently. Hangiri literally means “cutting rice.” Because when you mix the rice for sushi, you move the spatula to cut/slice rice sideways rather than “mixing” it. I always wanted to get one of these so I was happy to find this one at Sunrise mart (Japanese supermarket) in NYC. I don’t make sushi that regularly, so this was good enough for me.
*If you’re serious about making sushi and considering buying a hangiri, make sure you buy the one made with cypress. The one I bought is made with pine, which is a lot cheaper than cypress, but it won’t last as long as the one made with cypress.
The spatulas and sushi roller that came with it were very small. I was wondering why, but then I realized it was for “hand rolls” as you can see in the package. Duh.
I wet the hangiri first, then dumped the freshly cooked rice in it. I cheated and used the sushi rice powder though. (for those who want to make sushi rice from scratch, check out “how to make sushi rice.”)
The rice came out definitely better than the rice mixed in a metal bowl. It’s very easy to mix rice in a shallow big space without crushing rice grains. Also with a regular bowl, even if you wet the bowl, some rice still stick to the bowl. But with the wooden hangiri, the wood absorbs the moisture so the rice won’t stick to it at all.
This really isn’t meant to be a how-to post, but I took some pictures as I made it, so I’m going to post them here.
I put avocado, fake crab meat, and scallion inside this time, but I don’t think there are any rules to what you can put inside. (Sorry for some photos being a bit orangey. We didn’t use the lighting kit we have this time.)
After you cut the roll, carefully place them onto a plate just like the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
And make a small sushi with tuna, make the eyes with egg sheet (see “how to make an egg sheet”) and lettuce, cut seaweed for the mouth, and red cabbage for antenna. If you don’t have an egg sheet ready, you can also use cheese.
I know lemon juice is known to preserve avocado’s color, so maybe I’ll try sprinkle some on avocado next time.
I didn’t really make anything special for this Very Hungry Caterpillar dinner. I just put them in a certain way, and added a couple of things for his face and legs. If you’re feeling super lazy, you can even buy avocado rolls! You can use a mini tomato for his face if you aren’t into raw fish. We also made salmon and tuna sushi addition to the Very Hungry Caterpillar. It’s amazing how cheap it is to make sushi at home.
Were we still hungry after eating the hungry caterpillar, dozen pieces of salmon sushi and dozen pieces of tuna sushi? NO. We were stuffed. We actually couldn’t finish them all that night and ate them next day. But we know we can always get hungry for the very hungry caterpillar any day. Especially my boyfriend!
As I mentioned in the beginning, there are some very interesting requests on EpiCute and My Food Looks Funny sites. Maybe I might try making them later!