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how to make Doraemon onigiri March 10, 2009

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

I was pleasantly surprised that I got such reactions on Doraemon onigiri. I really didn’t think anyone would know who it was. But I was wrong! It made me want to spread love for Doraemon, so I decided to do a how-to.

When I made it for my boyfriend, I didn’t really prepare anything for it, and as I was making it, I realized that a couple minutes of preparation would’ve saved me a lot of trouble. Also, cutting seaweed for the face and putting it on weren’t as easy as I thought it would be… So I came up with a foolproof method to make this Doraemon rice ball. This way, you don’t need to deal with sticky rice getting all over your hands, or worry about ripping seaweed!

[How to make Doraemon onigiri (rice ball)]
– rice
– salt
– seaweed
– kamaboko (fish cake) or cheese
– carrot

1. On a piece of paper, draw a Doraemon head. (I used a glass to draw it)

2. Cut the inside part of face out. The paper shown is 5 x 5, and it makes a big-ish rice ball.

3. Put #2 on seaweed (cut to the same size as the paper), and cut the face part out.

4. Spread *warm rice about the same size as the seaweed, sprinkle salt over rice, and put the seaweed on the rice. (*The rice must be warm, otherwise the seaweed will rip. If it’s not warm, microwave it)

5. Put a plastic sheet over it.

6. Flip it, and take off the plastic sheet from the rice side, sprinkle salt over the rice, and slowly make it into a ball.

7. Put a little bit of rice in the center of the rice ball.

8. Put whatever you want to put inside the rice ball in the middle (I used tarako/cod roe for mine) and put a little bit of rice over it. I found it easier to do this with the rice ball in a small bowl, so you don’t have to hold the rice ball in one hand and put stuff in on the other hand.

9. Just keep making it into a ball and twist the ends of the plastic sheet.

10. Slice a thin layer of kamaboko (fish cake) or cheese and cut it out for eyes. I have an oval shaped cutter, but I think you can just use a round one.

11. Slice a carrot, and use a straw or a small bottle cap to cut out his nose.

12. Cut seaweed for his whiskers, the line below his nose, and mouth. Cut seaweed using a hole puncher for his eyes.

Sad face

Smiley face

13. Slowly put the plastic sheet you used over the face. Make sure the plastic won’t shift the face parts.

14. Twist the back of the rice ball, and tape it or tie it with a rubber band.

Like I wrote in the beginning, this rice ball is pretty big. You can either shrink the paper size or use less rice and pull the seaweed all the way back so they touches each other in the back at #9. The best thing about this rice ball is that you can just carry it as is and it will still look adorable. When the weather gets warmer and nicer, make bunch of small ones and take them to a picnic!

How to make Doraemon onigiri

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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non-bento#7 Doraemon onigiri March 3, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - anime, bento blog - non bento.
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9 comments

Last night, I made “salmon dish for super lazy people” to clean out my fridge (this is another amazingly simple and easy recipe. I’ll post it someday), so we had enough food for bento. So I decided to make onigiri (rice ball) for breakfast for both of us. But just making plain onigiri would be boring,,, so I decided to make one of his favorite anime characters since he was little.

Non-bento #5: Doraemon onigiri (rice ball)
Created and eaten on: 3/3/2009

Almost everyone in Japan will recognize Doraemon. The manga series ran from 1969-1996, and the anime series was on from 1979-2005. (a new series of Doraemon with different voice casts started after that, but I consider the new Doraemon different from the original Doraemon)

“Doraemon is sent back in time by Nobita Nobi’s great-great grandson Sewashi to improve Nobita’s circumstances so that his descendants may enjoy a better future.” (from Wikipedia) Doraemon is a robotic cat, but his ears were eaten by mouse, making him scared of mice. That’s why he has no ears. He has a big pocket on his stomach and he has endless gadgets from the future, which EVERY KID (and even adult) dreams of having.

My boyfriend told me that his dad used to read Chinese language Doraemon manga to him in English, and he was a big fan of Doraemon. He even drew Doraemon in his journal when he was little which I thought it was so cute.

I’ve seen Doraemon onigiri on the internet before. It seemed easy enough, so I started making three smallish rice balls. I put cod roe inside each onigiri, and made them really round instead of triangular like traditional onigiri. Doraemon’s face has a white part surrounded by a blue part. This part was not as easy as it seemed…

Seems like he knows what's going to happen to him.

To make this blue part with seaweed, I wrapped the rice ball with plastic sheet first, and placed it on a square seaweed sheet bigger than the rice ball. Then I carefully cut out a round shape freehand (which would be the white part) from the seaweed. This was very tricky and inefficient because I had to keep guessing how big and where the white part would be as I cut it out.

Now, if I weren’t lazy, I could’ve cut the white part following the outline of the rice ball on a sheet of paper, and used the paper as a guide to cut the seaweed.

My laziness shows...

After I cut seaweed, I made sure the rice ball is warm (the rice MUST BE warm. If it’s not warm, microwave it), and placed the cut out part of the seaweed flat on the rice ball. Then I put plastic sheet over the seaweed, gently pressed it down so that the cutout part would stick to the rice. And I slooooowly wrapped the rice ball with the seaweed using plastic sheet from the center out to the other side of the rice ball. (You have to do it slooooooowly otherwise the seaweed will rip.)

Seaweed is flat and rice balls are round, so seaweed will get sharp points when you’re trying to wrap it, but that’s normal. When I finished wrapping the entire rice ball with plastic sheet, I simply pushed the pointy parts in, and rolled the rice ball (wrapped in plastic sheet) around on the counter. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s the similar to “how to make makkurokurosuke.”

I then cut out eyes from sliced kamaboko (fish cake) using a small cookie cutter. Then I thinly sliced carrot and cut out noses using a straw. I used a hole punch on seaweed for pupils, and cut bunch of strips. I wanted to make the facial expressions of the three Doraemon all different, so I cut fake sausage for the smiling one.
After all the face parts were ready, I unwrapped the plastic sheet and put faces on each Doraemon.

Looking at the pictures, I realized that I probably should’ve used ham instead of fake sausage. I didn’t cut it thin enough, so it looked out of place.

Hi my name is Doraemon! My mouth is detached from my face!

And since I didn’t do much to hide the bottom (where the neck should be) part, the pictures from low angles look pretty bad too. 😛 (Maybe I could’ve placed them on the plate like they had been beheaded?)

This has nothing to do with rice balls but apparently, Doramon is pretty popular throughout the world except in North America. I did research about this, and found an explanation in Wikipedia.

“…(Viz communications) had plans to publish the manga in English in the early 1990s, but due to the amount of crude humor, moderate language, and perverted moments that would have to be censored (one example being the numerous bath scenes featuring the female character, Shizuka), the license was eventually dropped.” (from Wikipedia)

I can understand the “crude humor” part, because it was created in the late 70’s, but “perverted moments”?!?! Shizuka (the female character) was known to be always taking a bath, but it was never really “sexy” or “racy.” Nobita (the main character) and Doraemon would accidentally end up peeping her in the bathroom and Shizuka would scream and get mad. That was about it. It’s just the reader’s interpretation that is perverted or not. I’m born and raised in Japan, so I might have been desensitized
to certain situations in anime or manga, but sometimes I don’t understand the censorship in the U.S…

Another unrelated thing, while I was out shopping in the city the other day, I found this amazing flashlight and had to get it. My boyfriend and I had seen this at an airport before, but we didn’t get it at the time, and regretted that we didn’t. It was labeled “cat” on the box, but this is clearly Doraemon.

He’s blue, has no ears, and he’s got the bell! The only different thing is that his pocket is red instead of white, which made him look like he’s got his pocket was cut out and the red part is his insides. You can’t see it, but a lever will pop out on his side and you can squeeze it to generate power without batteries. This creepy Doraemon is definitely green.

Doraemon onigiri:
– rice with a little bit of salt
– seaweed
– kamaboko (fish cake)
– carrot
– fake sausage (for the smiling one)

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