Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hello Kitty Onigiri Bento!

This bento is one I made for myself, and it was also meant to be my entry for the annual Bento & Co contest. The theme was onigiri, so I made two Hello Kitty mini-onigiri using my mold. I decorated their faces with nori, corn, and radish bows. I think this is the first time I've used this mini-onigiri mold, which was a gift from a dear friend. It's so cute! I added some oven-baked mochiko chicken pieces to the side, and then squeezed in some sweet fresh steamed corn off the cob, edamame, broccoli, carrots, and grape tomatoes. The second tier contains cherries, a homegrown apricot, raspberries, white peach, strawberries, blueberries and a few slices of steamed Okinawan sweet potato. I think I represented just about all the rainbow colors in this one! I packed it all inside my favorite stainless steel boxes. Each comes with its own gasketed lid, which don't have latches but which will stay leaktight if bound with elastic. You can use only one oblong box if you like, or stack two together and bind them with one larger band, which is what I did. There were 237 entries to the contest this year, and sadly I didn't make the final 10. But you can click over to see the ones that did, and cast a vote for the one you like the best (you have until Monday, July 16th). There are some unbelievably beautiful bento crafted by folks from all over the world; I was amazed and so inspired! Contests like these just go to show you how widespread the bento culture has become, and it's heartwarming to see all the healthy, delicious bento created by people influenced by this meal tradition from Japan. Very cool^_^

25 comments:

  1. Beautiful! I especially like your second tier.

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  2. It's very cool indeed :) !

    Your bento is fresh, beautiful and yummy !
    It also was one of my favourites !

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  3. Super KAWAII!!!! Sheri, you have been making bento for many years. Do you have an absolute favorite lunch box (container) for your kids's size lunch meal? I thought I should ask so that I get some ideas of what's good and not...

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    1. Aw, thanks Nami! Size will depend on your kids' appetite. My boy eats a lot so he always used a bigger box, even in K. But my girl can use 400ml or so size box, similar to most single-tier two-section boxes. LunchBot makes a quad, which is divided into 4 small sections, so you can put protein, rice, fruit and veg in different compartments without mixing. A sandwich box like this: http://happylittlebento.blogspot.com/2012/05/gluten-free-cauliflower-pizza-bento.html is good too, for keeping the bread separate from the fruit. Have fun! Can't wait to see yours...

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    2. Thank you so much for your answer. I'm going to decide which compartment (duo, quad) works best for him after he starts bringing bento everyday. I'm not sure what size and what kind is appropriate yet. At least I have an idea now. I have Japanese bento box (Cars 2 and Thomas type stuff) but I think this size is for kindergarten... Thanks again!

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  4. Even if you didn't make the final 10, this bento is certainly as beautiful as the ones that did. I am completely in awe over you fruit tier. Such vibrant colours. Well done.

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    1. I really appreciate your kind words, Ingrid. Thank you!!

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  5. I always do my best to pretend I really hate Hello Kitty, obviously I fail constantly :D
    I came by your page while searching the net for my new bento box. I still have not found the box, but I will surely often visit your blog. Thank you for sharing great Bento-ideas with the world :D:D
    Anna

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    1. Hi Anna!
      I can't resist her either, but now I have a little girl I can pretend I'm buying all the HK stuff for, heh!
      Thank you for stopping by, and looking at my bento creations I love to make and share with all of you. I get lots of inspiration from other bentomakers, and I think it's a great way to improve my own :D

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  6. Maybe someone has asked this already, but where do you get the Okinawan sweet potato? I've never seen it anywhere before (I live in South Florida). Am I out of luck? My kids both love the purple carrots and I know they would love this too!

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    1. I get mine at my local Asian grocery; here in Northern California we can come by them quite easily. I don't know about South Florida though. If you have a Chinatown or similar area nearby I would suggest looking there. Otherwise, I know there are purple regular potatoes too -- they taste like normal white potatoes except they're purple. Not the same, but still a pretty color :D
      I show you here: http://happylittlebento.blogspot.com/2009/12/purple-potatoes.html
      Okinawan sweet potatoes have a white skin and look more tapered, like other sweet potatoes. Good luck!

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  7. It's gorgeous Sheri! I would've voted for you :) The colors in this one are so rich and deep, love it!

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  8. Adorable, fresh, and gorgeous! This one gets my vote!!

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  9. Hello !!! :) Your bento looks amazing !!! It's colorful, classy and cute at the same time. And the photo is very beautiful as well !! I wish i could take photos like you :). I would eat your bento straight away, hahah ! This chicken looks super appetizing, i wonder what "mochiko chicken" is... And the fruit part is also awesome :) I do not pack fruits in my bento as often as I should... I'm always scared that they will get all soggy when i get to lunch time ! I like your metal box :). I thought about buying one because i think that they really make the food look nice... but i'm not sure that i would get used to eating cold, as they don't go to the microwave ! Did you get used to eating cold lunch when you started bento ? Or were you used to it even before ?? :) I'm going to look your other pages, yaaay many beautiful bentos to discover :) !

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    1. Thanks a lot for your enthusiasm Kelyrin! I posted the mochiko chicken recipe in the blog ( if you do a search in the search box you'll find it), fruit will not leak if you put it in a separate section or silicone food cup, and cold / room temp bento can be very refreshing and delicious! My kids enjoy it a lot. So happy that you've stopped by with your sweet comments!

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  10. I think my favorite part is the radish bows. Really great job! And thanks for sharing the contest--it really is amazing what so many people are doing with food these days.

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    1. Thank you SFD! I like the radish bows too; they came out very clean and precise. I love looking at all the entries; they are so inspirational.

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  11. Hello, me again. Your Bento is very Cool! looks healthy and yummy

    I'm a beginner in making bento, please come to my blog and give me a comment. thanks before

    http://helloobento.blogspot.com/2012/10/welcome-to-hello-obento.html

    Regards,

    Elvira

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