Been wanting to make a decorative bentou box for so long, but finally got around to doing it!
"...is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container."A decorative bentou means creating an image, almost like a drawing or a painting but out of food. The most common form of decorative bentou has shapes of popular cartoon characters, and are mostly skewed towards girls and young children.
The bentou I made is made out of 2 parts, and before I started, I lined the edges of the bentou box with the leafy part of Butterhead Lettuce.
The Kuma (bear)
For the head, I used Japanese rice mixed with light soysauce (should use Kikkoman sauce). To handle the sticky rice, you should wet your hands with salted water so it won't stick.
To shape the rice for the head, print out the template above and place it flat on the table. Place a sheet of clingwrap over the paper and place a fist-sized portion of soysauce rice in the middle. Wrap the clingwrap around the rice and shape according to the template.
Repeat the process for the ears and the white part of the mouth.
For the eyes, nose and mouth, I used Nori (dried sheets of seaweed). I cut the Nori based on the template with a pair of scissors. For the eyes, I actually used a standard paper punch you'd normally see lying around your study/office =p
I then filled the gaps with Broccoli and slices of carrot. (Eh, I eat it okay. My tastes have changed!)
The bottom half
Chicks hatching from the eggs, accompanied by "flowers" made out of sausage (okay, this part is quite the fail, but it's better than sticking in pieces of normal sausage).
I used hard-boiled Quail eggs. I must stress that you should NOT overboil your Quail eggs, as the outer part of the yolk could become discoloured (green) due to a chemical reaction.
I made an incision 1/3~1/4 from the tip of the egg around the egg. I then gingerly separated the top of the egg's white and the yolk with my fingers. This takes a lot of practice and I admit, I still haven't gotten it right.
After separating it, cut the edges with triangle shapes until you get what you see in my photo.
For the eyes, I used black sesame seed. I placed it in place with a chopstick wet with salted water. The sesame seed came from a bottle of Furikake I had lying around. The beak was made with small triangle-shaped carrot.
For the sausages, I cut a sausage into four parts (I think?), throwing away the rounded edges (or like me, eat it). Place the sausage vertically so that it stands up, and make X-shaped cuts down 3/4 the length of the sausage. Boil in water so that it will "open up" or "bloom" like a flower.