I don't usually do character (charaben) bento, simply because I don't do it well! But I couldn't NOT make Pandapple with the radish. I like to use radish because it's quite easy to cut and manipulate, it's bright and pretty, and what's more, it tastes nice and sharp in bento. For Pandapple radish, simply peel the red off the lower part with a small knife, leaving a straight line dividing the two colors. I put a cucumber leaf into the top of his head (after cutting a slot in the radish with a knife), and halved a blueberry for his ears, securing them to his head with tiny pieces of maifun (rice stick). You may have to premake the holes in the radish with a toothpick for this part. The facial details are cut from nori. Quite easy, yet cute, right?
Other parts of the bento include: edamame skewer, orange sun sugar tomato, strawberries, yellow carrot spears, red grapes, blackberries, and purple cauliflower. Yes, this vegetable was grown to be this color; I did not color it myself. You can find all kinds of interesting produce if you'll visit your local farmer's market. I always encourage people to shop locally :)
TinySprite smiled to see this bento, and down it all went! That's what I like to see!
Takikomi Gohan (Japanese Mixed Rice) 炊き込みご飯
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