Here’s an easy kyaraben (Character bento) that you could attempt. This anime character is Shin Chan, one of the many anime characters that bring back a wave of university nostalgia. For the list of tools used, please refer to my first bento post.To make Shin Chan’s face, I used some rice mixed with Salmon furikake (to make the flesh tone). I couldn’t find a furikake that had no seaweed in it so unfortunately my flesh tone had little specks of seaweed in them T___T. It turned out ok in the end though.
For the hair, eyes and eyebrows I cut out strips of seaweed using a sharp design cutter as shown in my first bento post.
As usual, I drew my design on paper, just to make the face fit in with the other food I wanted to put into my bento. Using this design as a template, you can then cut out the hair, eyes and eyebrows by clipping the paper on top of a sheet of nori on a cutting board as shown in the pictures below.
So the sequence is: Paper, seaweed and then cutting board. All fastened together to make it easier to cut out the delicate pieces of seaweed. Then you mix your Salmon furikake into the rice, place it into the bento box and shape it into the form that you’ve drawn in the design, roughly in the same size as accurately as possible. Then add the seaweed hair, eyes and eyebrows.
If added the seaweed directly onto the rice, the seaweed will shrivel. However I find that cutting out cheese to form the base for the seaweed infinitely cumbersome so I skipped that step. Cheese normally should be the base for any form of seaweed art so that the seaweed remains nice and flat instead of all crumpled and shriveled like it was in my bento T____TSo there it is. I cut out some flowers from an apple, added an egg and some chicken. Then I used a chunk of chilli for Shin Chan’s mouth. I suppose you could use ketchup or do it the professional way and use an egg sheet dyed red. Too much trouble to make the egg sheet for such a small area. Plus I like the spicy kick that the chilli lent. This is the second part of the bento. Just a compilation of the stuff I wanted to eat. Make sure that moist foods like fruits are separated from dry foods using rubber separators or in this case, leaves 😉 I wouldn’t want that egg tart to turn soggy!
I’d like to draw your attention to the apples. I saw these designs in a magazine but couldn’t understand how it was made so I freestyled it… basically I winged it. I cut some apple chunks with the skin still on, in large cubes. Then I made four shallow cuts in the skin with a small knife, in the form of a hashtag # (I hope you understand what I’m bumbling on about, guess this is where a video would be much more educational than my incoherent words). Use the knife to gently peel off the skin slices in alternate blocks, leaving the skin on in some blocks so that it forms the design as shown. It is actually easier than it looks.
And there you have it, a Shin Chan bento. This was quick, delicious and fun to prepare. Definitely fun to eat as well 😉