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how to make sheep rice ball August 13, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in how-to (all), how-to - decorations/basic stuff.
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11 comments

My day job, an online card game Alteil did a HUGE system update for the game about a week ago. So I’ve been online, writing emails, checking for bugs, chatting with the Japanese developers (Alteil is originally a Japanese game, my company brought it over to the U.S.) days and nights… and I just couldn’t make the time to update my blog. T_T

Anyway, I still wanted to do a how-to on something simple, so I was looking at my old bento, and decided to do this one. This is something I made for my only original bento “Farm bento.” It’s sooo easy and you don’t need too many ingredients, and with right tools, it’s even easier!

I made this bento a long time ago. The sheep are on the left side.

[How to make sheep rice ball]
– sticky rice (Any regular Japanese or Korean rice is “sticky rice”)
– ham (or cheddar cheese)
– seaweed
– *cheese
– *anything you want to put in the rice ball
— *hole punch

*optional

1. Make a rice ball. (you can put anything you want inside rice ball) Don’t hold the rice ball too tightly when you’re making it. It makes the sheep look fluffier that way.

2. Cut ham (or cheddar cheese) for the face part. I used a round bottle cap to cut the ham first, and cut the sides of the circle off. I also cut cheese in the same shape as the ham. It makes the ham to stand out a bit more, but this is optional.

3. Cut ham (and cheese if you like) for the ear parts.

4. Cut seaweed for the eyes. I used a hole punch to make a hole in the seaweed, then slide the punch a little bit and punched it again to make ” C ” shaped seaweed.

Punch a hole in the seaweed...

...then slide the punch a little bit...

...and punched it again...

Then you get " C " shaped seaweed. (and a circle)

Baa baa

Good thing about this sheep is that you can make them big or small. You can make one big one, or herd of small ones!

How to make sheep rice ball 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!

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how to make domo-kun croquettes August 8, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in how-to - characters (Ghibli, video game, Wall-E).
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8 comments

Croquettes are a very popular food in Japan. For those who don’t know what croquettes are, croquettes are deep fried mashed potato with any kind of minced meat or fish and sometimes with vegetable. The great thing about croquettes are that they’re easy to make, and you can put pretty much anything in it. Also, you can make many croquettes at once, and freeze them for later. You can make croquette only with potato. I added meat and onions for this how to, but if you aren’t a big meat eater, you can just use drained tuna or varieties of vegetables like corn, peas, carrots, etc…

Domo-kun croquette in bento!

[Domo-kun croquette] (makes about 15 ~ 18 small croquettes)
– 1~2 potato (I used 2)
– 1~2 eggs beaten with 1 TBS of vegetable oil mixed very well (for batter)
– flour (for batter)
– panko or bread crumbs (for batter)
– Oil for deep frying
– *1/2 lbs of minced meat (I used minced beef) OR soboro (see “how to make soboro”)
– *1~1 1/2 onion (I used 1)
*[Seasoning for meat] (This isn’t absolutely necessary. You can season the meat anyway you want.)
– 1 TBS of soy sauce
– 2 TBS of sugar
– 1 TBS sake
*Optional

1. Make mashed potato either by boiling, baking or microwaving. Peel the potato or scoop out the contents with a spoon and mash!

2. Cook chopped onion and minced beef until liquid from the onion and meat is gone. If you have “soboro” already made or want to use tuna, skip to Step 4.

Make sure you cook until the liquid from onion and meat is gone.

3. When the onion and meat are cooked, season it with soy sauce, sugar and sake, and cook until the liquid is gone.  *As I stated in the beginning, this seasoning is optional.

Make sure you cook until the liquid is gone.

4. Mix cooked meat (or soboro or tuna) into the mashed potato.

5. You can just mold mashed potato in a rectangular shape with your hands, but I spread it on a baking pan, flattened it and cut it with a butter knife. This way, each croquette is pretty much the same size, and also it makes it easier to make rectangular shaped Domo-kun. Don’t make them too big though. If it’s too big, it might break when you’re putting it into the egg later.

6. Cover shaped mashed potato with plastic wrap so it doesn’t  get dry, and put it in the fridge for 15~20 minutes or until the potato and meat is completely cooled down. This process is very important! If the potato isn’t cooled down, the croquette will break apart in the oil.

7. Once the potato is cooled down, put it in flour, and then into beaten egg, and into panko/bread crumbs. I used both panko and regular bread crumbs so people could see the difference.
*If you want to freeze, you can put them in the freezer after you put bread crumbs.

From the top left: Bread crumbs, Flour, Beaten egg, Panko.

Carefully put flour on a croquette.

It gets messy when you put croquettes in egg, so I usually put flour on all the croquettes first.

Put egg all over the croquette without breaking it!

As soon as you put egg on croquette, put it in a bowl of panko/bread crumbs and cover croquette with panko/bread crumbs very well.

Top row: basic round croquette with panko
2nd row: croquette with bread crumbs
3rd & 4th row: croquette with panko (*Freeze croquette here if you want to freeze them)

7. Heat up vegetable oil at medium heat, and when the oil is hot, carefully put the croquettes in, one at a time.

Tip: Don't put too many croquettes at once. It'll lower the temperature of the oil and it'll takes very long to cook.

Tip: Once you put them in, DO NOT MOVE CROQUETTES AROUND! Just wait until they come up to the surface.

*I’ve tried frying in a frying pan, but because the croquette’s skin was touching the bottom of the pan, and the skin started to fall apart when I flipped them. So I highly recommend deep frying.

*I've tried pan frying croquettes before: What a mess! You can still eat it, but it's a quite messy and the color is very uneven.

*I also tried using a toaster oven. It took very long to get panko/bread crumbs golden brown. (See the picture in Step 9)

8. Use a straw to cut cheese, and put cut seaweed on the cheese for the eyes (I used a hole punch). Cut red pepper into square for the mouth, and cut cheese for the teeth.

9. Once the croquettes are cooled down, put eyes and mouth on the croquette!

Domo-kun croquette with panko

Domo-kun croquette with regular bread crumbs (just a bit less fuzzy)

Domo-kun croquette with regular bread crumbs (just a bit less fuzzier)

Domo-kun croquette cooked in an oven toaster (definitely lighter than deep fried one)

Fried with a frying pan: The color was sooo unveven! Ive made these when I was trying to do a how-to the first time. These made me think about re-doing the whole how-to...

I've made this the first time when I was trying to do this how-to. Also, this made me think about re-doing the whole how-to...

You can eat croquettes with ketchup or mayonnaise or both! (My boyfriend likes ketchup mixed with mayonnaise)

It seems like a lot of work, but if you’re making a lot of croquettes at once to freeze them like me, it’s so worth  it. (It’s very cheap to make it too!) When you’re frying frozen croquette, you should bring the frozen croquettes to room temperature OR microwave it to cook the inside the croquette (stick a toothpick in a croquette to see if it’s cooked inside) before frying it. If you fry it while frozen, it’ll break apart in the oil.

How to make domo-kun croquette 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!

how to make a kirby sandwich July 26, 2009

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

I’ve already made a Kirby rice ball, but I wanted to make Kirby with more accessible food materials for those people who don’t eat rice regularly.

[How to make a Kirby sandwich]
– bread
– ham (2 ~ 3 slices)
– cheese
– seaweed
– *mayonnaise
– *ketchup
*optional

1. Use a strip cut from a plastic bottle (see “how to make Totoro sandwich” to see how I made a cutter from a plastic bottle) to cut bread into circle. You can use a glass or mug for this too.

2. Using the same cutter, cut a slice of ham.

3. Cut a slice of cheese with a smaller circular or oblong cutter. I used the plastic bottle strip for this too.

4. Cut cheese for his mouth. I used an oblong cutter and cut it in half.

6. Cut out seaweed for Kirby’s eyes. *You can put ketchup on the tip of a tooth pick and put it on Kirby’s cheeks, and mayonnaise for the sparkle in his eyes, but this is optional.

5. If you have extra ham, you can cut ham with a strip of plastic or plastic bottle cap to make his hands, but this is totally optional.

And here’s happy Kirby!

And “?” Kirby.

How to make a Kirby sandwich 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!