Bento recipe-Kawai Panda Rice Balls
Would you like to have little cute animals inside of your lunch box? How about making small rice balls looking like pandas? As you might have seen, there are lots of what they call “kawi” bento in Japan. Cute animals are often used to make it look fancy. Some people would just give up on the idea just because there too ingredients to prepare. This time I would like to show you how to make cute animal with only steamed rice and Nori! It might get a little tricky at beginning. But once you get the hang of it, you can make a full basket of them!
[ Ingredients ] *tsp=tea spoon tbs=table spoon
~ makes five rice balls ~
50g x 5 steamed rice
a pinch of salt
[ Directions ]
1. Add salt into steamed rice and mix well.
2. To make one little panda, you can use about 50g of rice. Roll into round ball shape, make sure each grain sticks together.
3. and then form into a barrel shape.
4. To form panda’s tummy, press lower part with your thumb to flatten the surface.
5. If you look at its side, you can see the upper part is round and lower part is flat.
6. I’m using regular(unseasoned) Sushi Nori.
7. To make forefeet, tear Nori about 10~12cm wide.
8. Fold into half.
9. And then clip into about 1cm wide strips.
10-1. It’s much easier to clip small details with cosmetic scissors.
10-2. Clip off the corner of the strip while it’s folded.
11. When you open the strip, you should be able to see the both ends pointy.
12. To make ears, fold small rectangular nori into half.
13. And then round off each corner.
14. Now you have cosmetic compact shape nori!
15. To make hind legs, simply clip into tear drop shape.
16. To make eyes, clip into two oval shapes and clip two small round for nose and tail part.
17. Let’s see what they all look like! By arranging on the cutting board you can already see a panda!
18. Before start placing all nori parts, make sure your working place is clean, there’s no flakes of nori on the surface.
19. With the strip of nori, wrap the rice ball from the behind, flatten side facing down.
20. Turn around the rice ball and make sure both ends of strip stuck well.
21. Place a tail on its back.
22. Turn around, and stick hind legs.
23. Stick both ears.
24. Arrange eyes and nose.
25. After sticking all nori parts, adjust the whole piece.
26. Once you get the hang of it, you can make multiple pandas at the same time.
27. Here we’ve got triplets!
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