Little thrills, little trips, little ideas


Frankenstein, Dracula and Mummy 😈👻🎃 Bentos

Mummy Hambagu Bento

Its about a week more to Halloween and I had been busy making Halloween themed bentos for my son. Last year, I made him a Beetle Juice character, it was my first Halloween Bento. Time passes so fast!

Beetle Juice onigiri and sandwich

He has been so obsessed with Hotel Transylvania 2 movie. Every other day, he would request for a Halloween character in his bentos. Of course, I could not replicate characters from the movie 100% as it would take too much time in the morning to prepare. So I made simplified versions of mummy and Frankenstein and he loved them! Except for the Dracula, which he also requested but did not touch it because he thought it was too scary for him! So much for my efforts to see Dracula come home intact after school ꒰╬•᷅д•᷄╬꒱

If you are keen to make the Mummy Hamburger or the Little Frankenstein Ham Sandwiches (҂⌣̀_⌣́) for halloween parties or your kids, please check out my hand=sketched instructions below. I hope you can read my handwriting… Have a great Halloween!

Little Frankenstein Ham Sandwich

Dracula Bento & Chicken Wraps (Dracula made out of mashed potato, hanpen, carrot, nori seaweed and soy sauce)

Little Frankenstein- How To Make (Ingredients: 2 slices of plain bread, ham, hanpen, soy sauce, 1 piece of nori seaweed &  1 Japanese crabstick)

Mummy Hambagu – How To Make (Ingredients: 1 Hamburger patty, 1 carrot, 1 cheese slice & 1 piece of nori seaweed)



Hubby Bento #29 – On the move lunch and its not sandwich
Last week was very hectic for my husband, back to back site meetings without time to sit down for a meal. He’s an architect, running to several sites within a day. Some evenings, he would come back without having eaten lunch. I believe many of us experienced that many a times in our work life. Therefore, I insisted he take his lunchbox along and eat in the car if necessary. He was glad he did. I prepared 2 types of onigiris and left-over fried chicken for him. First onigiri is saba soboro rice ball, I used the recipe from Japan’s famous chef, Harumi Kurihara. She made saba soboro (鯖そぼろ) served on top of a bowl of rice. It was very easy to make and I adapted it into a rice ball. The second onigiri is chestnut rice ball. Since chestnuts are in season now in autumn, I was able to get raw Japanese chestnuts from the supermarket, toasted them and mixed with rice. Two very easy, yet tasty recipes. Below is the recipe for making 1 Saba soboro onigiri

1 fillet from 1/2 mackerel
1/4 onion (minced)
2 shiitake mushrooms (can use dried ones too, just soak for 30 minutes until soft and squeeze excess water out from the mushroom lightly)
1 cm ginger minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp sake
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce

Use a tablespoon to scoop or scrap the mackerel flesh from the skin from head to tail avoiding the centre portion where the bones are. Remove the mushroom stems and roughly mince them. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium fire, add in the ginger and the mackerel. Stir fry the mackerel until the flesh turns flaky, add the shiitake mushrooms and onions. Add the sake, sugar, soy sauce and mirin. Keep stirring until there is a little liquid left in the pan. Cook some rice and cool it down before mixing with the saba soboro. Do not mix in too much liquid from the soboro sauce or the rice ball will be wet and soggy to form. Wrap the mixed rice with a piece of cellophane wrap and start shaping it without getting your hands dirty. Since the soboro has salt in it, I did not add salt into the rice, however I added a little when mixing it with the chestnuts. It was a nice sweet nutty contrast to the savoury saba soboro onigiri.


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Hubby Bento #13
Today on the bento menu are :

Hotate Anchovies Onigiri mixed with Basil leaves
Ingredients : Rice, dried anchovies, dried scallops, fresh basil
This is very simple to make. Cook 1 cup of white rice in a rice cooker together with a small handful of dried anchovies and 4 to 5 dried scallops (I used Hokkaido scallops or hotate). The anchovies and dried scallops will make a nice savoury stock for the rice. You can remove the anchovies after the rice is cooked, break the cooked scallops into smaller bits with a fork and mix evenly into the rice with  in a little sea salt (optional). Cool down the rice and mix with a handful of freshly chopped basil leaves. Roll them into balls.

Chicken Yakitori
Ingredients : 1 Chicken breast, Shiso leaves, ume paste (Japanese plum), seaweed paste, celery strips
Butterfly the chicken breast and pound it down with a rolling pin or any other tools to achieve an even thickness throughout. Place the breast on  a cellophane wrap. Spread 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of seaweed paste on the breast and lay enough shiso leaves to cover the surface. Spread some ume paste. Ume paste can be very salty  so be cautious of the quantity. I used half of a whole honey ume. This honey ume is sweet and salty at the same time. The skin of the ume can be easily removed to expose the flesh (i.e. the paste). Place a few pieces of celery strips. Carefully roll the chicken breast up using the cellophane wrap and twist at both ends of the wrap to tighten the roll and set aside for 15 mins.
Open the wrap and carefully slice the chicken roll diagonally (not too thin or the celery will drop out) and insert skewers into the slices. Put them on the hot grill until the meat is cooked and a little charred.

Tomago-Yaki with Prawns and Long Beans
Ingredients: 2 Eggs, 1/4 cup chicken stock, long beans, prawns
Saute the long beans with a little fish sauce or anchovy sauce until they are cooked. Throw in the prawns at the same time to cook.
Mix the egg and chicken stock. Spread a thin layer of egg mixture in a tomago pan or any rectangular pan. Before the egg completely sets on the surface, arrange the cooked long beans and prawns on top and gently roll up the 1st layer egg over them and push to the corner. Pour 2nd layer of egg mixture into the pan. When the 2nd layer is about to set fully, roll the 1st layer egg roll over the 2nd layer in opposite direction. It takes practice. Before you take out the tamago-yaki, cook it on all sides including the side openings (where the prawns and long beans are exposed) one last time to make sure the egg mixture is set nicely inside.

Burdock Roots Salad
I got this freshly made in the local Japanese Supermarket. It is mixed with mayonnaise.

Honey Baked Tapioca Slices and Grilled Capsicum


Playdate ♥ Bento
Tz had a playdate yesterday with a pretty girl from his class yesterday. So I thought I get cheeky a little and made them a little bento with a couple date theme for their snack, tuxedo onigiri, prom dress sausages, confetti instant noodles with corn and long beans.

He is too young now to understand the meaning behind this bento but someday when he starts to like a certain girl, I will explain to him again. (^x^)

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Husband Bento #02 – Steak and Onion Onigirazu

My hubby went mountain biking early today since its a public holiday here. So I prepared a snack bento for him to pack into his camelbak to take along. This is a perfect opportunity for me to try making onigirazu. Read about it recently from a fellow blogger dosirakbento’s site, She gave easy-to-follow instructions in making the onigirazu, go check it out and she has many other wonderful bento preparations too.

I prepared Asian flavoured steak and onion onigirazu for my hubby, knowing that after a vigorous ride, he would love to have carbs in his tummy, accompanied with a small salad in a jar, sealed tightly.
Steak and onion onigirazu:

Seaweed –  I placed a BBQ grill over the open fire on the stove and lightly toasted the seaweed in a quick sweeping motion for 1 or 2 minutes to make it crisp and aromatic.
Beef & onion – Marinated the Striploin steak for 15 minutes with grated ginger, yuzu sauce, shoyu, pepper and fish sauce. Panfried it o medium done. Sauteed sliced onions in butter, salt and worcestershire sauce to sweet caramelised golden brown.
Coriander Added into the wrap for extra spice
Rice Lightly salted the rice.

After wrapping the ingredients into the seaweed, I placed it into an oshizushihako (wooden sushi press box) to compact it. Or you can also use any heavy chopping board to press it down too.


www.ongling.comPrawn & Avocado Salad in a Jar:

1st layer – avocado chunks
2nd layer – Spanish blood orange chunks
3rd layer – shiso leaf and pomegranate
4th layer – cooked prawns
5th layer – fresh salad and more pomegranate
Drizzled with yuzu-lemon olive oil dressing before topping it with croutons.









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Mr Furball bento


It’s not easy to prepare food for Tz’s lunch as he has only 30 mins to finish his meal in school. As a 3 year old, he is still mastering the cutleries, getting better but he still prefers to use his fingers. So I tried to combine all the ingredients in easy-to-grab  combo. The mini skewers are very convenient for use for any kebabs and they look neat in the box and double up as a utensil.

Sleeping furball – I can’t decide if it’s a lion or a merino sheep. Tz thinks it’s a lion. It’s simply onigiri coated with Bonita flakes. I placed  a round piece of cellophane paper on the face portion while coating. This will keep the face clean . Nori for eyes and nose

Meat roll – crab stick and carrots wrapped in  think pork slices

squid skewer – Tz favorite.