Kyaraben # 7: The Maiden and the Hydra and Bento # 2: Sandwich and Tamagoyaki

10 Aug

I got a new baby in the kitchen: a dedicated tamagoyaki pan, again bought from my favorite 100-yen store Saizen.

I tried it out last week with the 4-egg tamagoyaki recipe. I was expecting to end up with a massive tamagoyaki roll, but after using about half the egg mixture the pan refused to accept any more and spewed out the roll. I think it has something to do with the height of the pan. Anyway I ended up with two really nice and neat tamagoyaki rolls which looks a LOT better than the rolls I used to make that went into my sushi. I used up one roll to make a sandwich-and-tamagoyaki bento, which also includes a couple of fish cake skewers and some norimaki rice crackers.

The shape and the height of the roll inspired me to make a kyaraben which was perfect for Bento Summer School Homework # 7. The body of the maiden is the entire uncut tamagoyaki roll, which I placed on top of a thin bed of rice mixed with commercial furikake. I used more white rice for the head, shaped using the top of an onigiri mold. I still have no nori face-cutters so I had to cut out the eyes and mouth by hand. The maiden’s arms and the hydra’s tentacles are all made from halved vienna sausage. The maiden’s hair is made from julienned squash which I steamed and sprinkled with salt.

I shared this bento with two of my officemates last Saturday. In short notice, both the maiden and the hydra have been vanquished!


Posted by on August 10, 2010 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “Kyaraben # 7: The Maiden and the Hydra and Bento # 2: Sandwich and Tamagoyaki

  1. Miloko/Jessica

    August 10, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Hello! I’m Jessica from the Bentovention blog and week 7 of the Kawaii Bento Club’s Bento Summer School.

    I love what you’ve done with the Maiden and the Hydra kyaraben, particularly the surprised expression on the maiden’s face! I’ve used sausage a few times in my bentos, it can be very versatile. Sliced sausage placed in a row sideways makes quite a good log pile or fence for instance. It’s also one of those ingredients that is usually well received in children’s lunch boxes.

    Your hydra reminds me of when I made a little octopus out of half a radish for the body and tentacles cut from the soft insides of a cucumber. I was quite pleased with how realistic the tentacles looked when made with cucumber insides, but apparently they put my children off eating them! It was then that I realised that food can lose it’s appeal when you’ve turned it into TOO much of a work of art. I seem to learn something new with every lunch I make.

    There is one thing I can offer as advice for your bentos, and it’s something I’m still learning myself from other, very experienced bentoers. It’s packing up the food very tightly and raising the layers almost to the top of the box so that they don’t get misplaced in transit. My children and I walk to school and work in the mornings and our bento boxes get jiggled a bit along the way. If we want our lunch to look as good as when we packed it we have to get creative with the in-between bits that hold it all together.

    One staple foodstuff I use to give the lunch a good support and base is a chopped green salad. I put in a lettuce leaf base in a lot of the time even when I’m filling in with rice. It holds the edges in nicely and adds some colour. Then I’ll sometimes fill in gaps between my food character creations with more chopped salad. To keep items such as sausage pieces or nori features in place I’ll sometimes use a dab of humous, ketchup or mayonnaise as a kind of tasty ‘glue’.

    Thank you for submitting your work as a homework piece to week 7 of the bento Summer School, it’s always wonderful to find new blog friends and fellow bento makers in the online community.

    Good work!

    • baonkobento

      August 11, 2010 at 2:34 PM

      Hi Jessica! Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Thank you also for the tips on making better bentos. I was thinking also of greens as a base, but I didn’t have some at hand.


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