I made this Lion Family bento on Tuesday November 15. I received this Onigiri box set the day before from Bento&Co. These are very adorable boxes and when I saw them for the first time on Bento&Co’s facebook, and there was a choice between 4 different animals, it was very easy for me to chose this lion set right away. As I could see the possibility of using curry-colored rice or ketchup-colored rice in this box and make lion onigiris to match with the box and I thought it would be very fun to be able to make not only white-rice onigiri but also a good variation of seasoned onigiris. So I was very excited and happy when the package arrived. Actually I did make a curry-colored onigiri to put in one of the boxes, it was a triagle onigiri and I made a face as well with nori and egg. But I was not so happy after all and I didn’t know what to do… but when I opened my fridge, I saw Inarizushi from the day before!!! So this 3D Inarizushi lion was made out of left-overs in my fridge. ^^;
Let me explain how I made it. You need inarizushi wraps (2), sushi rice, 1 slice of English cheddar cheese, nori and 2 small sausages. First you have to cut the sausages.
These will be body/facial parts. I put them in microwave for 30 seconds.
Then I make the Lion bodies.
Be careful when you open the wrap. Just gently open it. No haste, take your time.
It maybe difficult to see, but the opening is on the bottom. It is being closed by its own weight.
Let the bodies settle and rest on a plate.
Then… do you know Maloni?
It is a sort of pasta made of potato starch. We eat it when we cook “Nabe” or a chinese salad etc. But Maloni is very useful for Charaben. If you do not get hold of Maloni, you can use dried pasta, like a thin type of spaghetti.
You stick it in Inarizushi to fix the ears.
Note: Maloni can hold it up to 2-3 hours or so (it depends on what you are sticking it into. Both Maloni and spaghetti of course absorb water from food and get soft and soggy.) If you go to a charaben contest or meeting in Japan, you can see charaben artists having a bag of maloni or spaghetti in their pocket. They will change the maloni sticks in their bento while they wait for the judge to come and take a look at their bento. Their complicated charaben works require a lot of detailed work and planning and they must know unique property of different food stuff. Well, back to the lion bento. I continue to do the same for Lion papa.
And other body parts have to be fixed,
…. No comment. ^^
Do you have a puncher? If not, I recommend you to buy one. It will be MUCH easier for you to make karaben.
Cheese, specially a processed cheese, is an easy material for karaben but the problem is that they sweat. Again about charaben contest in Japan, I heard that the charaben artists tend not to use cheese or other food (like eggplant) that changes its colors in the course of time. As it is not a presentation of photos but of actual bento presentation, they do not want to risk a deterioration of used food materials. So I also have to hurry up on this process of making Lion papa’s mane with the cheddar cheese.
Put it on!
We are almost there!
Oops! We have to make their nose!
Put it on!
Lion family!! Try also some other food you may find interesting to use!
If you make a lion family, can you send me a photo!?
Thank you!! and good luck with your bento !