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bento#56 moving day totoro July 2, 2009

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

Like I mentioned in my previous blog post, my company has been in the process of moving for the past week, and because of this we had July 1st off. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make bento until next week, so I decided to try making a “stay-home” bento. When I decided to make a bento to eat at home, I realized something. “I don’t have to close the lid of the bento box!”

Bento #56: Moving day Totoro
Created and eaten on: 7/1/2009

I’d been thinking about making a moving-themed Totoro bento and even did a sketch of it, but it looked very similar to “Totoro Parade.” But I realized that I could do some crazy stuff with this “stay-home” bento, I decided to make the bento completely 3-D.

First I put rice for the road, and sprinkled shiso leaf seasoning over it. Then I put sauteed renkon on the rice, and put boiled broccoli (sprinkled with a bit of salt and dashino-moto) in the spaces on the two corners of bento. To make grass I cut snowpeas with a diamond shaped cutter and put it between the broccoli and the road.
I was going to put meatballs in the bento, but I didn’t think there would be enough meat, so I made asparagus wrapped with bacon, and stuck it in broccoli.

Then I started making Totoro. I mixed rice with black sesame seed and salt, and just shaped it like Totoro using plastic wrap. To make Totoro’s body hollow I put my finger inside from the bottom, and put tarako (cod roe) inside to make Totoro a big rice ball. Then I made the white part of the stomach with plain rice and put it on his body.

I wrapped potato salad with microwaved lettuce and made chu-Totoro (medium Totoro), and made chibi-Totoro (small Totoro) with a boiled quail egg. (see “how to make mini-Totoro”)

I wanted Totoro to be pulling a wagon, so I cut potato for the sides and bottom of a wagon and fried them. This didn’t turn out to be as crispy as I wanted… I had a very hard time trying to make this side stand up. I made Totoro’s hands with a small piece of rice, and made him hold the wagon handle. For the wheels, I sliced carrot, made holes with a straw, and put them on the side of the wagon. I also made a bunch of sausage flowers and put them in the wagon with radish mushrooms. (see “how to make a radish mushroom “)

I took out the mini-meatballs from the freezer and carrot flowers I had made and frozen before, and microwaved them, then I put them around the bento. (see “how to freeze carrot flowers”)

Then I started making face pieces. This is where things get really tedious. I didn’t want to make eyes in different sizes for all the different characters, so I decided to make them all the same size. I sliced kamaboko (fish cake) into circles with a plastic bottle cap. Then I took a small piece of uncooked pasta, and pinned each kamaboko onto each Makkurokurosuke, chibi-Totoro, chu-Totoro, and Totoro. I usually don’t have to do this for a regular bento, but since the characters were standing up, I had to make sure the eyes wouldn’t fall off. I also made sweat drops with kamaboko, and put them on Totoro and chu-Totoro.

Look how serious he looks.

Looks like Chu-Totoro is worried about Chibi-Totoro falling.

After the eyes were on everyone, I cut out seaweed using a hole puncher for the pupils, and konbu (dried kelp) for Totoro’s ears and whiskers. Then I started putting seaweed onto the eyes. This was a battle against time. The seaweed was getting all wrinkly faster than I expected. I think because it was a very humid day, and seaweed was not put onto horizontally. This drove me nuts! When I was done putting the last pupil on eye, the first one I put on was getting wrinkly! T_T

Soooo many eyes!

Even while my boyfriend was taking pictures, I had to replace some eyes because they got very wrinkly. Also, chibi-Totoro on the wagon didn’t want to stay still, and fell off the wagon.

This was probably what I looked like while making this bento.

I like how the bento turned out overall, but I wish I didn’t have to rush my boyfriend to take pictures. I guess the Katamari Damacy bento was kind of similar to this one. But this was waaaaay more difficult and stressful compared to the Katamari Damacy bento. I had fun and learned some stuff making this completely 3-D bento, but I don’t think I’d be making another one anytime soon. 😛

– rice mixed with black sesame seed and salt, and tarako inside
– kamaboko, seaweed and konbu

– potato salad wrapped with lettuce
– kamaboko, seaweed and konbu

– quail egg
– kamaboko and seaweed

– meatball
– kamaboko and seaweed

– potato

– radish

– sausage and carrot
– carrot

Other food:
– rice with shiso seasoning
– renkon
– broccoli
– snowpeas

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


1. vashti - July 4, 2009

you are just so clever. I love it.

2. luby - July 4, 2009


3. Ari - July 4, 2009

This is so amazing!! Congratulations again!

4. Isaius - July 4, 2009

This is a piece of art ! Bravo ! 🙂

5. Lyvvie - July 4, 2009

How did you get his arms/belly to stick?? It’s one thing laying down, but this upright stuff isn’t as gravity friendly.

AnnaTheRed - July 8, 2009

Hi Lyvvie
Sticky rice (Japanese/Korean rice) is amazingly sticky! Whenever I make sushi or rice balls, I have to make sure to wet my hands with water very well, otherwise all rice will just stick to my hands.

6. Ryoko - July 4, 2009

Very cute! I love it!

7. travelswithsandy - July 6, 2009

I found your blog by chance, but I *love* your Totoro bento box. It is so beautiful I couldn’t bear to eat it. I am so impressed with your skills. 🙂

8. Junior - July 7, 2009

I love your totoro bento’s!

9. Mils - July 11, 2009

you are an artist… really it’s a piece of art!
Hopefully I am not : I don’t know if I could eat something cute like that 😉

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