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How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

April 18, 2011

in bento,characters,how-to

After I made Totoro inari-zushi, I had more inari-zushi skins left, so I decided to make some very very easy character inari-zushi the day after.

Character inari-zushi #2: Rilakkuma inari-zushi

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

I must admit, I’m not that big fan of Rilakkuma. I know of it and I find it cute, but I neither own any Rilakkuma products nor am I obsessed with it. I’ve been making things I love out of food, but this one is just so easy and a very popular character inari-zushi in Japan, so I thought I’d do a how-to of it anyway. (For those who don’t know what inari-zushi are, read how to make Totoro inari-zushi)

[How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi] (using canned inari skin)
Food you need:
- Freshly cooked rice: As much as you want. You’ll use about three TBS of rice for each inari.
- Inari skins: As many as you want. One can of inari-zushi contains about 15 ~ 17 skins. If you don’t use all the skins, keep the skin in a can with the fluid inside. Do not drain the liquid. (The skins will last a couple of days in the fridge. I wouldn’t recommend keeping it longer. It’ll start to get moldy.)
- Seaweed
- Cheese singles
- Ham for Korilakkuma

Useful tools:
- hole punch, tweezers, scissors

[Prepare seaweed]
While you cook rice, you can go ahead and cut the seaweed. It’s so much easier and goes faster when you have the seaweed ready. You need to cut seaweed for the eyes, nose, and the mouth. I used a hole punch for the eyes, and the nose is an eye cut in half. Make sure the seaweed is kept dry until you use it.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Seaweed for the eyes, noses, and mouth.

[Prepare rice]
Sushi rice: You can check out how to make sushi rice with only vinegar, sugar and salt. Or you can get sushi rice powder.

Sweet rice: This is my favorite rice for inari-zushi. You just drizzle the mixture you cook the Inari-skin in or the mixture that’s in a can into freshly cooked rice. Make sure you don’t dump in all the mixture at once! Add the mixture little by little and mix before you add more, and don’t let the rice get too soggy.

Plain rice: I’d lightly seasoned the rice with salt, because it’ll make the skin taste sweeter. You can also add a bit of sesame seeds just for flavor but it’s totally up to you.

[For Rilakkuma]

1. The skin may look like one piece out of a can, but it’s actually a pouch. Peel open the cut-side VERY CAREFULLY…  But it’s okay if you mess up one side, because you only need one nice side for Rilakkuma.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Ooops, I seem to have ripped it a bit, but I can just put the messed-up side down for Rilakkuma.

2. Put rice inside the inari skin. As you stuff the rice in, make sure you don’t over-stuff the inari skin and rip it. I put the inari on its side with the opening facing you. You can also put it on its side and have the opening facing away from you. I prefer the first choice because it’ll look nicer in a bento box, but it’s totally up to you.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Don't over-stuff it!

3. Cut cheese singles for the ears and the mouth.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Cheese for the ears!

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Cheese for the mouth part!

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

It's already looking like Rilakkuma, isn't it?

4. Put seaweed on the mouth and add eyes. *I put the cheese on inari and put seaweed on it BUT it’s actually a lot EASIER to put seaweed on cheese BEFORE you put it on the inari.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

There he is, relaxing.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Yup, totally relaxin'!

[For Korilakkuma]

1. Same as the step 1 above.

2. Put rice inside the inari skin and put the rice side up. It’s optional but it’ll look nicer if you roll the edge of the inari skin in.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Carefully fold the edge in...

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

It makes it look so much neater if you fold the edge in.

3. Cut cheese singles for the ears and the mouth, also cut ham for the ears.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Cheese for the ears!

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Cheese for the mouth part and ham for the ears!

4. Put seaweed on the mouth and put it on inari and add eyes. *Again, the photo above has cheese for the mouth on the face already but it’s actually a lot EASIER to put seaweed on cheese BEFORE you put it on inari.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

Oh look! It's Korilakkuma!

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

She's seems also very relaxed.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

How can they look so relaxed when they're about to get eaten?

I made a hard-boiled egg, cut it in half and put some seaweed, cheese and a bit of ketchup on it to make Kiiroitori.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

One hard-boiled egg makes TWO Kiiroitori! Great for multiple bento, yes?

As I mentioned, Rilakkuma inari-zushi may look a bit boxy on a plate, but they’ll look better in a bento box because the box will hide the opening.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

See? The bento box covers the opening of Rilakkuma.

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi

It sure it easy and cute, but you have to hold the face side up when you eat it otherwise the cheese will probably slide off of the inari. But I did notice that the moisture on inari helped cheese to stick to the surface as the time passed.

I was kind of surprised that Derek who loves cute things never heard of Rilakkuma until I made these inari-zushi. I had to think for a second when he said “Can I eat the bears?” looking into the fridge the next day. :D

I don’t think I’ll make a bento for Derek with characters he doesn’t know, but since I don’t have to make bento as often as I used to, maybe I can come up with how-to’s on unfamiliar characters like this in the future, who knows?

How to make Rilakkuma inari-zushi on my flickr

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

If you have any questions about any of my how-to’s, please feel free to leave a comment or email me!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

AllisonNo Gravatar April 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

Honestly I’m not a fan of rilakkuma too but this is so cute and seems easy to make. Definitely going to try.:)

Reply

*~kAy~*No Gravatar April 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm

ahhaa! how cute! :p
“Can I eat the bears” :p
I love the relaxed looks especially! <3 super cute! <3

Reply

Nina NguyenNo Gravatar April 19, 2011 at 12:27 am

I’m not obsessed with Rilakkuma but I do find it very adorable, this looks really cute! Your bentos are always amazing Anna :)

Reply

ShaunaNo Gravatar April 23, 2011 at 2:10 am

Hey Anna,
I just thought I’d let you know that I voted for your blog for Best Food Blog in Saveur’s Best Food Blog Awards 2011. I hope you know how awesome you are!
Shauna

Reply

AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar April 28, 2011 at 10:54 am

Shauna,
Aw thank you so much! I’m very flattered, but they should have a “bento blog” category!! :D

Reply

connieNo Gravatar July 22, 2012 at 6:31 am

Its so cute and funny!!!^0^I ike it so much!!!

Reply

joewormNo Gravatar September 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm

When I stuff inari, I heat the inari up a little first (either in the microwave or by setting the opened can in a sauce pan filled with hot water for 10 minutes or so). I find this makes it more pliable and easier to open. I also wet my hands with some water and form the rice into a ball (or cylinder) slightly smaller than the pouch and then open the inari and slide it in instead of pushing it in with a spoon. I tend to tear the inari less if I do it this way.

Reply

joewormNo Gravatar September 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

By the way, I love your work! It’s so cute. I need to make these and the Totoro inari :)

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