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How to make Totoro with rice January 18, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in how-to (all), how-to - characters (Ghibli, video game, Wall-E).
Tags: , , , ,

Today’s how-to requires basic Asian ingredients, so it may not be for everyone, but if you enjoy cooking & eating sticky rice (Japanese, Chinese, Korean rice), this is a great way to make a main character for your bento!

[How to make a Totoro rice ball] (used in “Sleeping Totoro”, “Flying Totoro”)
– rice mixed with ground black sesame seed and salt (see “How to dye rice naturally”)
– plain rice
– seaweed
– cheese
– black sesame seed
— plastic wrap, scissors

1. Draw Totoro on a piece of paper! You can of course print out an image of Totoro, but Totoro is soooo easy to draw.

Dont worry too much about details. You just need the drawing for the basic shape of Totoro.

Don't worry too much about details. You just need the drawing for the basic shape of Totoro.

2. Put plastic wrap over the drawing, put the rice with ground black sesame seeds on it, and shape it like Totoro’s body using plastic wrap.

3. Put a little bit of rice with black sesame seeds on a piece of plastic wrap, and shape it like Totoro’s ears.

4. Put plastic wrap over the drawing, and put a little bit of plain rice on it. Spread the rice thin and shape it like the white part of Totoro’s stomach.

5. Put #4 (the white part of Totoro’s stomach) on #2 (Totoro’s body) and put plastic wrap over it, and lightly press it down with your palms, so that the white part won’t be too bumpy.

6. Put cheese on the drawing, and cut it for Totoro’s teeth, and eyes. I used a straw to cut cheese for Totoro’s eye, and pressed it down to flatten it. The drawing is just for the reference, so the cheese doesn’t have to be the exact same shape.

7. Cut seaweed for Totoro’s nose and the lines for Totoro’s teeth.

8. Put the nose piece on cheese, and poke it along the seaweed with a tooth pick to cut the nose piece out. Put seaweed lines on the cheese for Totoro’s teeth.

9. Put black sesame seeds on Totoro’s eyes.

11. Cut seaweed for Totoro’s whiskers, and the ^ shaped patterns on the stomach.

12. Put each piece together and you have your own neighbor Totoro!

You can put other food (such as cooked salmon, bonito flakes, sour plumb, etc…) inside Totoro’s stomach, just like when you make rice balls. Plastic wrap makes it really easy to shape rice, so even if you aren’t much of a Totoro fan (I don’t think that’s possible, but…) you can make a different character using this method.

How to make Totoro with rice on my flickr

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.
If you have any questions about any of my how-to’s, please feel free to leave a comment or email me!


1. Ashlea - January 19, 2009


I reqally love reading your blog, and I just thought that I will let you know that I posted a link to your blog over at mine.


Your food designs are awesome!

2. avlor - January 19, 2009

Thank you so much! My son will love this!

3. nerak - January 19, 2009

wow! thank you so much for sharing! =D

4. Aiyoku - January 20, 2009

How adorable. This seems like something I can do ^_^. Thanks for posting 😀

5. akiyama - February 7, 2009

I’m impressed!

Totoro is my fave character, i love seeing it done nicely in bento.

6. Vbunny - February 28, 2009

Thank you so much for the totoro tutorial! I am so making this for my friend for her birthday. I LOVE all your bentos, you are so amazing!

7. mikhail - March 5, 2009

one word – amazing !

8. sarah - March 21, 2009

sweet i think that is really cool. I might use that for my DIGS t school.

9. Shayla - June 18, 2009

Ahhh thank you
I love it!
cant wait to try!!

10. suzuakami - June 30, 2009

thank you! i must learn to make this before i go to 7th grade!

11. Chang - September 7, 2009

this is fabulous!! i love totoro~!!

12. Alei - September 15, 2009

My little sister and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Totoro, and my mom is making the chibi totoros today!!!!!!!!

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