Today I made my first kyaraben. Here it is:
Composition: The bottom layer is basically just a rice layer with “オハヨウ!” written in cut-out strips of nori. Ohayou is “Good morning” in Japanese. Here, I wrote it in katakana instead of hiragana mainly because it’s easier to cut out katakana because it’s more angular. There is also a slice of hardboiled egg topped with cheese with scalloped edges (no, that’s not the egg yolk), as well as a slice of flower-shaped cheese.
The top split-layer’s left compartment is a veggie section (steamed cauliflower and broccoli florets around a fresh tomato). The right side has a bed of mac, cheese, and shrimp topped with two slices of hardboiled egg (egg whites only) with nori faces.
Thoughts: This bento is not quite the one I had planned a week ago. There is very little protein, because I had to ditch my original plan of using fried fish cakes. I bought these ready-made frozen fish cakes in Landmark and tried shallow-frying a couple. It actually turned out fine (and tasted like how I imagined it to taste like) but it spread smoke all over the house. I don’t think I want a repeat of that, so I’m sticking to sauteing at the most when it comes to frying. No more shallow- nor deep-frying, so I’ll need to find alternatives to cooking protein. I had planned to just boil the fish cakes as if putting in an oden, but I forgot to overnight-defrost the fish cakes.
In addition, I find that the actual bento is smaller than what I had pictured. I was envisioning more room to put things. This is actually a good thing, helping me control the portion size and thus help me eat less. Nori is also very hard to shape. Notice that here, I made only the most basic of shaping, which is basically just cutting strips out of nori and arranging them to form things I want.
On the positive side, steaming vegetables was a great idea! The colors are preserved beautifully, and they taste fresh too. I also got to use the picks I bought earlier, here arranged as if they were the hair on the two egg-faces. Lastly, the mac and cheese was awesome!
Conclusion: I need to work on protein for bentos, as well as making better faces. I’m thinking of acquiring more food punchers and nori cutters.
What do you think is a good theme for my next kyaraben?
Originally posted: Jun 22, ’10 9:10 AM