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non-bento#8 Moogle and Boo Ghost steam bun March 17, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - non bento.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In the past weekend, my boyfriend and I were in a very productive mood. And hungry. So we decided to make steam pork buns while the air is still cold out. But it’s boring to just make steam buns… so we started thinking what characters were mainly white and easy to make.
My boyfriend was looking through the games he owns and came up with two characters. Moogle from Final Fantasy, and Boo Ghost from Super Mario Brothers.

non-bento #7: Moogle and Boo Ghost steam bun
Created and eaten on: 3/16/2009

I used a Japanese recipe for the steam bun, so I used two different kinds of flour. Hakuriki-ko, and Kyouriki-ko. In Japan, there are several kinds of flour, and you pick the flour most suited for different uses. The difference is how much gluten is contained in the flour.

Hakuriki-ko is called “soft flour” which contains about 7.0~8.5 % gluten making it better suited tempura or baking batter.
Kyouriki-ko is called “hard flour” which contains about 11.5~13.5 % gluten making it better suited for bread or pizza.

I mixed hakuriki-ko and kyouriki-ko with sugar, dried yeast, a little bit of oil and water, and mixed to a dough by hand. Put the dough in a bowl, covered it with a warm wet towel, left it for about 20-30 minutes (if it’s cold, it’ll take longer for the yeast to ferment) While the yeast was doing its job, I mixed ground pork, chopped leeks, chopped shiitake, chopped bamboo shoots (canned) by hand.

When the dough was ready, I took it out, and rolled it into a 12 inch cylinder shape and cut it into 8 pieces. I used a rolling pin to flatten them into a round shape.

Whenever I make steamed buns, I usually close the skin on the top, but since I was making a Moogle and Boo Ghost, I really didn’t have to worry about how pretty the closed part looked. I put ground pork in the center of the skin, closed the skin on the top really tight, and flipped it upside down on a small sheet of parchment paper.

I took one piece of dough and dropped one~two drops of red food coloring and kneaded the dough until the color was evenly mixed and pink. Then I made small balls with the pink dough and put them on for the Moogle’s nose and the red antenna thing on his head.
I had enough dough, so I made two versions of a Moogle. One with just the head of Moogle with ears and one full body Moogle without ears.

For the Boo Ghost, after I put in the ground pork, I closed it and flipped it upside down. Afterward I just shaped it like a Boo Ghost, and used a small piece of dough for the hands.

I steamed the buns in a steam pot for 15-20 minutes and done!

Steamed buns always taste the best when they’re fresh, but since I was going to take this to work for breakfast, I let them cool down, and put seaweed for Moogle’s eyes and whiskers, and Boo Ghost’s eyes. I cut kamaboko (fish cake) for the Boo Ghost’s mouth and teeth and put them on his face.

I think the buns came out okay.  (A bit bumpy, but acceptable.) I was a little worried because I had never tried to shape buns and steam them before, so I wasn’t quite sure how much it’d expand, but now I know.

I did make one big mistake while I was steaming them though. I used a two tier steam pot, but I completely forgot to put a cloth between the top tier and the bottom tier. As a result, water kept dripping on the buns on the bottom tier making some buns wrinkly. I can’t believe I made such a newb mistake. T_T It’s been awhile since I last made steamed buns…

Anyway, it takes some time, but homemade steamed buns taste soooo good. I love eating them with ponzu (citrus-based sauce), but also you can mix soy sauce with vinegar for the sauce. And you can freeze them too! (after you close the skin, before you steam them)

I’ll do a how-to on this later with measurements for the ingredients and pictures. Japanese flour is not something you can find it at a local supermarket, so I’ll be using all-purpose flour or pancake mix for the how-to. First I’ll have to test to see which one is easier and yummier. Also, maybe I can show something less meaty than pork to put inside.

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


1. ka - March 18, 2009

so cuteeee

You are a genius ❤

2. Heather - March 19, 2009

They are soooooo cute. I am decidedly WASPish & have no idea how to make steamed buns, but would love to. Please also provide recipe with pork, it is easier to get my kids to try things if has meat – darn carnivores ^-^

3. Heather - March 19, 2009

Also, Love all your kyarakutā bentō & recipes are a weakness of mine. Thank you for all of your hard work & sharing with all of us here in blog-land.

4. Sile - March 19, 2009

Those are the cutest manju ever. I want to bite off Boo’s face! 😀

5. Angel - March 24, 2009

Super Cute!

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