Little thrills, little trips, little ideas

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Baby Sloth Bento

www.ongling.comI am embarrassed to confess that the animal that I thought was a slow loris for a long time is actually a sloth  ^‡^” …. So I have been giving wrong information to my little one all along. They are all equally adorable animals, slow loris, sloth, baby tarsier….big eyes.

Glad I found out the fact before I post this bento photo up, if not, it will be unimaginable embarrassment in public…haha…≥†≤”

In this bento, I made the baby sloth out of shoyu-flavoured rice, face and facial features made out of hanpen and nori cutoffs.
Other bento items  include

Pork belly wrapped Asparagus sautéed with a pinch of salt
Negi Chikura with crabstick filling
Sausage and Tomago flower
Apple chunks and edamame

Well, you can never be too old to learn from mistakes and gain new knowledge!


Totoro Lost Weight!
This morning, I found out I did not replenish the rice, only left with a small cup. I promised Tz I will make him a totoro bento today and I did… a slimmer totoro. >O< hee hee…

In this bento,
Body – sushi rice mixed with shoyu
Tummy – hanpen cut-out with a circular cookie cutter and nori for “arrow” stripes
Foot – hanpen cut-out with a small circular cookie cutter and sesame seeds for toes
Eyes – hanpen cut-out with a small circular cookie cutter and nori
nose, mouth & whiskers – nori
Umbrella – Japanese cucumber cut-out

Steamed sausages & Broccoli
Beansprouts wrapped in bacon grilled



Red Hair Girl Bento

Red Hair Girl

Today I made a little girl out of mashed potato and instant noodle, Tz’s two favourite foods. For the sides, I have steamed siew mai (meat dumplings), broccoli and a chicken ham flower. Tz asked me who she is and I made up a silly story that this girl is a grown up Ponyo. He believed me….^x^….and told me he would take good care of her. I told him to eat it……..Ò⌈Ó

Red Hair Girl
Face – mashed potato
Eyes & nose – hanpen (surimi) & nori
Mouth – crabstick, hanpen & nori
Hair – instant noodle with tomato ketchup & a little olive oil

Have a great day! 😉


Ponyo Omurice
I bought this adorable little Ponyo puppet doll for Tz from Tokyo and he has been in love with her ever since. He brings her to school, eats with her, sleeps with her and sings the theme song to her (but only the first verse… he’s trying to learn the song in Japanese now… haha..). Ponyo, initially titled in English as Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, is a 2008 Japanese animated fantasy comedy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli and Toho. It is the eighth film Miyazaki directed for Ghibli, and his tenth overall. The plot centers on a goldfish named Ponyo who befriends a five-year-old human boy, Sōsuke, and wants to become a human girl (definition from Wikipedia). I, too, the movie. So naturally, I am nuts about her merchandise too.

In this bento, I made omurice  (オムライス), fried rice with bacon, prawn, shoyu & tomato ketchup wrapped in omelette. In the box, I have also packed pork dumpling (siew mai from Tokyo), Satsuma imo sweet potato and steamed string beans.

How to make Ponyo:
layer 1
Hands and dress – Carefully spread open surimi crab sticks and shape with scissors.
layer 2
Face – Steam a small potato and mash it with some butter. Shape it into a round shape with hands.
layer 3
Eyes – wrap a small portion of cheese in a cellophane wrap and shape it into little balls. Gently make 2 small dents on each side of the face to sit the cheese eyeballs.  Use nori for black eye pupils
Hair – Shape 2 layers of ham using a pair of kitchen scissors, a bigger piece of ham for the top hair layer and a smaller piece for the under layer to create more depth.
Mouth and nose – tiny little carrot or leftover surimi crab stick for mouth and nori for nose.

I like how it turned out but wish I have more time to put in more details though. I love this bamboo weaved bento box, it looks like a little picnic basket. Easy to use and clean too.

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Sumikko Spaetzle
These little fellows are Shirokuma (whitebear) & tonkatsu (Pork cutlet) from the Sumikkogurashi family. They were Tz’s lonely lunch buddies today. He even made conversations with them before he ate them up in just 1 bite. I have made them out of mash potatoes and the size of a thumb. They were sitting on a bed of German spaetzle and shredded stewed pork.

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Where are Mr. Giraffe’s Patches?!!
Mr. Giraffe is Tz’s playdate buddy today, the only animal he was not afraid of besides the panda from our zoo visit yesterday. He was terrified of lions, elephants, even adorable pygmy hippopotamus! It was not an amusing visit at all as I don’t get to see many animals…. ÀωÁ. Oh well, sometimes, mommy wants to have fun too! haha……

Chicken rice with tomago:
The chicken rice was left-over from dinner last night. I made a big pot using just 1 knob of  ginger, 2- 3 garlic cloves crushed, chicken fats and stock.

Melt some chicken fats in a heavy pan, sauté the sliced ginger and crushed garlic for a minute or two to release the aromas. Add in washed uncooked rice (about 2 cups) and fry for another 3-4 minutes before transferring the rice with garlic and ginger into a rice cooker. Add chicken stock (equivalent to the usual quantity of water to cook rice) and cook.

Giraffe’s body –  I stir-fried some of the left-over rice with an egg to achieve a yellow tint.
Giraffe’s mouth, nose and eyes – hanpen, nori and black sesame seeds
Giraffe’s ears – pasta stick and corn
Flowers – ham

Goyoza (my version of filling)
Filling ingredients : 2-3 prawns, a few thin slices of kurobuta pork (used in shabu shabu), 1 slice of bacon, a small handful of chopped chives, 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 1/2 to 1 tsp mirin, salt and pepper, potato starch/four, goyoza pastry skin (from supermarket)

Mince all the ingredients together for about 15 minutes with a heavy meat chopper or you can mince it in a blender. I like to take the long route so I can control the consistency of texture. Mix in well a little potato starch in the end to hold the mixture together.

Wrap them in the goyoza pastry skins and seal the ends with some potato starch or egg. Panfry them in a pan with a little vegetable oil until light golden brown on all sides. Then add a little water or chicken stock into the pan and cover to let it simmer for a few minutes for the filling to cook fully.


Shaggy Pooch 🍱

www.ongling.comI got this idea from seeing a picture of a sheepdog with really cool dreadlocks and thought about using udon to try creating a caricature of it. Most kids ♥ udon. Its fat, mochi-like chewy texture appeals to Tz, he can finish a packet by himself.

Box 1
Shaggy dog
Its my first attempt shaping with udon. After placing a face-shaped hanpen under the udon, I gave it a “haircut” “\∧ω∧/”. I wrapped a small round piece of hanpen in nori to depict nose, ham for tongue, crabstick for collar.

Box 2
Sauteed pretzel beans
I tied sections of long beans into knots and sautéed it with garlic and some anchovy sauce.
Made a simple diagram below to show where to cut slits on the sausage. Then steam it or microwave it and the sausage will curl with the heat.