Tag Archives: kyaraben

Picnic with Kumamon

Picnic with Kumamon
Konnichiwa Lovelies! :rabukuma:
Kumamon (くまモン) is a mascot from the Kumamoto prefecture located on the island of Kyushu. He is relatively young and was created only four years ago to draw tourists to the region. Be it in crane games, on drinking bottles or commercials, while travelling through the different regions of Japan we often encountered him. First, I didn’t like him that much but over time he became so familiar that I even got him as keychain from the shop on the ferry from Osaka to Kitakyushu. Yeah, merchandising works!

Kyushu is well known for their natural wooden bento boxes and I’ve been patiently waiting for ages to get one. They are expensive when you buy them online and the same when you get them in Japan. I tried several places but there weren’t so many stores who sold them because even in Japan they’re quite special because artisans make them. I always loved the woven ones but the plain wooden ones are even more elegant.


I spotted this exemplar in a friendly shop in Fukuoka, after I had tried to convince the lady from the department store nearby to give me the last one of their really fancy artisan boxes for less, and immediately liked it. I got it for a reasonable price and I think it’s from China. It may not be the ultimate traditional Japanese box but I haven’t seen one like this befor so I’m totally happy with it.


Kumamon is filled with rice and tuna-mayo so basically it’s a tuna-mayo onigiri. I love tuna-mayo and my bf does too so I made this one for him. Then there’s green beans wrapped in bacon, sausages, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and half an egg. If you wonder how I did the Kumamon face I can post a tutorial but it’s pretty simple. You just need a red bell pepper or tomato for the cheeks and some fishcake. Many people use cheese but that’s so not according to my taste and if you use white fishcake (Kamaboko) instead, the white of the eyes will be much more shiny than with yellowish cheese!


That was my Kumamon Bento! I don’t usually do Kyaraben (character bento) but this one is really easy because you don’t need special ingredients or techniques and it didn’t take me too long to finish it.
What do you think? Do you like my wooden bento box?
I have two more wooden boxes but I’ll show them to you in a later entry.
Take care and have an awesome and productive week guys!


Kiiroitori and the Bunnies

Kiiroitori and the Bunnies
Hey there Bunnies! :hirabbit:
Happy Easter or spring or whatever!
I’m finally on holiday and enjoying it a lot but not for too long since I need to start writing papers on monday. :jupp: Today when I woke up and looked outside the window, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was snowing again and it still is! It’s freezing cold again and time to snuggle up in a blanket and drink warm tea. This morning however I felt I needed to do something creative and made a Bento.

I can’t remember the last time I did a kyaraben (character bento) but it must have been a long time ago because I literally went crazy with cutting out the tiny face for the onigiri and eggs. Nyaaa… kyaraben definitely dont belong to my favourite productions. Anyway, there’s broccoli, teriyaki chicken, shiitake mushrooms, renkon (lotus root) and radishes in one and onigiri bunnies and usagiringo (apples) in the other one.
Do you celebrate, paint eggs or do anything else special on easter? I loved easter as a child because we got to search baskets filled with chocolate and eggs and even small presents. This year however it wouldn’t be difficult to find the colorful eggs since everything is covered in snow. I don’t know about you but I definitely had enough snow for now and would like so much to see the lovely spring flowers and sunbeams.

The “thing” with the yellow face is supposed to be Kiiroitori, Rilakkuma’s little fellow birdie in a bunny suit but my patience didn’t last long enough to make the ears of the suit.. :sigh: and the chicken egg, well I would call it a bento classic. Since for me a Bento is first and foremost food, I packed in some glossy pieces of teriyaki and healthy veggies so that there’s still the “deliciousness factor” to it and not just the cute food factor.

That’s it for now Cuties!
I wish you all a nice day with lots of chocolate eggs, tulips and cute fluffy bunnies~ :jumpingrabbit:

Totoro’s Pirate Crew

Totoro’s Pirate Crew
Yesterday I inaugurated my new Bento Box. Remember that last week I wrote that Mon Bento had kindly offered me one of their cute Bento Boxes? The Box is pink and white and so lovely! I’m very impressed with its quality and shape but most important: their boxes are microwaveable and dishwasher proof. Well for me, that doesn’t really count because I have no dishwasher and no microwave and I never heat my Obento up but I think that for many people this boxes are a big convenince. The box is also very well finished and compact. Thank you again Mon Bento for sending me this pretty Bento Box! :ballerina:
The initial idea for the composition of this Obento was a forest full of little different-colored Totoro but naturally it came out quite different from what I imagined.. After an attempt to color the rice with a Japanese food coloring based on Furikake that miserably failed I took action by using a pretty strong Swiss colorant that almost worked too good. Normally I don’t use food colorant but for what I had in mind it was just indispensable. Miscalculating the volume of the new box I formed Totoro that were way to big for this box so in the end there was only place for five.

As you may noticed it’s not the usual cute Totoro Obento you can see on many wonderful Bento sites but rather a wry smiling and suspicious-looking pirate crew. (The small one in the right corner is even a vampire..) I don’t know how and when it started to look so wacky but it probably was when Silvankun started to help me out .. muahahaharhar I’m being mean :ghihi:
Anyway, you think you have seen worse? Well wait until you see the upper part.. With Halloween being so close and the alienating, radioactive-looking pirate Totoro I decided to make the whole Obento look freaky. As soon as we finished cutting out those cranky smiles out of seaweed we knew that this wasn’t going to be the usual cute Obento and decided to make a pirate crew out of it. As you may or may not see the inspiration was clearly One Piece. The yellow Totoro with a tortilla hat and a scar under his eye is supposed to be Ruffy. :nope:
The upper part features Brook the skeleton with a treasure and some other weird guys.

Is Silvankun’s influence noticeable? :tongue: I’ve rarely seen an Obento with such contrastive colors.. The upper part has very natural and has autumanl colors while the Totoro part is fancy with strong colors. To be honest, I don’t think that I’m going to use food coloring for an Obento ever again.. It’s just so not my style! But it sure was fun doing this Bento with Silvankun! The Bento is still in the fridge and I don’t know if I have the guts to bite in one of those green or red Totoro but I’m sure that Silvankun will :wink:

To read about the ingredients and see more wacky pictures of Totoro’s Pirate Crew, read on!
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