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bento#26 Nekobus part2 January 13, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - ghibli (totoro, etc...).
Tags: , , , , , ,

Remember my very first attempt to make a Nekobus bento? It was embarrassing and horrifying. It was an utter failure.
So I decided to make it again.

Bento#26: Nekobus part2
Created and eaten on: 11/21/2008

This scene is where the Nekobus makes his first appearance in the film.
After waiting for a bus with Satsuki and Mei for a while, finally a bus approaches. But it’s not an ordinary bus, it’s the Nekobus!

I thought of making it with croquettes again, but I just couldn’t forget the tragedy I faced with the croquette Nekobus the last time.
Instead I used more familiar method, which was to dye rice with curry powder and ketchup to make the Nekobus.

Just like I did in “How to make Yoshi,” I placed plastic wrap on top of my sketch, and put some rice mixed with curry powder and ketchup (see “How to dye rice naturally”) and shaped it into the Nekobus’ body.

Then I put new plastic wrap on the sketch and worked on the head, ears, and tail with rice and put them aside. After I shaped the pieces for Nekobus with rice (not put together yet), I covered each piece with plastic wrap, put seaweed on top, and trimmed the seaweed for his stripes. Then I put cheese on plastic wrap and trimmed it for the windows, eyes and mouth. I could’ve used my sketch I guess, but my final Nekobus rice ball was slightly bigger than the sketch. So I used the actual Nekobus to cut and trim the seaweed and cheese. After I cut the seaweed and cheese, I put seaweed pieces between a paper towel so the moisture wouldn’t ruin them while I made another piece.

I wanted it to make it look like it was forest, so I boiled asparagus a little bit and took them out. Then I wrapped them with bacon, pinned them with a toothpick and cooked them on a pan. For Totoro, I sliced small piece of konnyaku, boiled it for a little bit, and cut it to make his body and ears.

When each piece was ready, I put lettuce at the bottom with sauteed lotus root on top of it in the bento box just like many of my other bento. I put the Nekobus’ body (not head and ears yet) in with asparagus & bacon trees on the both side of it. I used left over meatballs from the night before and made them into Makkurokurosuke. (surprise! surprise!)

Oh Makkurokurosuke. How can I make a Ghibli themed bento without you?

Finally, I started putting seaweed on the Nekobus. Like I mentioned, moisture will make seaweed wrinkled and can ruin it, so I always try to put the seaweed on last. After that I put seaweed on his ears and head piece, and put them on the body. I put cheese on for his body, eyes and mouth with cut seaweed. For the nose, I cut a tiny piece of carrot.

I put konnyaku Totoro on Nekobus’ body, and cut cheese and seaweed for his eyes, nose, mouth, stomach and put black sesame seeds for his eyes. I guess I didn’t dry the konnyaku very well, because by the time we took the pictures, Totoro had already melted a little.

I added broccoli to fill some space, and put the whiskers to finish it up!

It’s weird for me to say this, but I really do like how everything turned out! 😀 I think that’s because I didn’t try to do anything too difficult or new, and I knew exactly what to do. I’ve made Makkurokurosuke with meatballs, dyed rice with curry powder, and I’ve made Totoro with konnyaku before, so everything was so much easier for me. I even had a little extra time after I finished it! That extra time also made me want to make the rat lights, and the “bus stop”, but I stopped… 😛

I also love the color palette of this bento. It’s warm but not too warm. I think the combination of Nekobus’ orange, the seaweed’s black, veggie’s green, Totoro’s gray, and Makkurokurosuke’s brown seem well balanced. (to me at least)

Now I can finally forget about my sad past… and move on to more bentoing!

– rice dyed with curry and ketchup (see “How to dye rice naturally”)
– seaweed for the stripes and whiskers
– cheese for the windows, eyes and mouth
– carrot for the nose

– konnyaku
– seaweed on cheese, and black sesame seed

– meatball
– seaweed on kamaboko for the eyes

– asparagus wrapped with bacon

Other food:
– lettuce
– renkon
– broccoli

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.


1. Julie H. - January 14, 2009

I think this turned out really nice! I’ve been watching your bento creations for a bit now, and this one I think works really well on both the visual level and how the ingredients would taste together. Thank you for sharing this!

2. gabe - January 14, 2009

This is really just the best thing ever. I can’t get enough of your Totoro themed bentos. They keep getting better and better.

3. tora-b - January 14, 2009


Will you marry me?

No, really.

4. fremenalex - January 15, 2009

Another awsome bento lunch! Was wondering if you had a specific type of bento container that you used. Right now all I have that’s close to that is a rubbernaid lunchbox, but that really doesn’t cut it. I guess I need to go buy one.

5. Junior - January 15, 2009

I can’t wait until I move back home (out of my dorm) so I can try to make some bento works of art! Oh but first I want to make a Totoro fondant figure! YUM!

6. Phylicia - January 22, 2009

Hi! I was wondering if I could use a photo of one of your amazing catbus works as a user icon. I’ll credit you however you like (if I missed any explanation on your website on borrowing and crediting of your work, sorry~)!

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