Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rudolph Bento

rudolph bento
The Christmas season crept up on me this year and took me completely by surprise. (Yes, decorations have been displayed everywhere for ages, but as they've been up since November, I really lost track.) It finally dawned upon me that if I didn't get my act together it would be next year... so I dug through my bento stash and leftover rice to make this simple Christmas-themed bento.

It's Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, who, by the way, I feel very sorry for. I also object to the song about him - he was laughed at because he looked different, and then he became popular just because he was useful?? Anyway(!), Rudolph's head and legs are made out of mushroom and soya sauce fried rice, and his antlers and body are made out of teriyaki chicken meatballs. He has a cherry tomato nose, and surrounding (and underneath) him is a simple display of grapes and cherries, and some sugarsnap peas. 
Continue reading for a Step-by-step guide on how to make this Rudolph Reindeer Bento...

Step-by-Step Guide: How To Make a Rudolph Reindeer Bento

  • 5 heaped Tbsp cold, cooked rice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • sesame oil
  • soya sauce (light and thick, dark soya sauce)
  • 2 shitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 teriyaki chicken meatballs (made fresh, or from your freezer stash)
  • 1 cherry tomato
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • small squeeze of mayonnaise
For the rest of the bento (if you wish to follow the bento pictured) or feel free to substitute with other vegetables, fruit, etc.
  • handful sugarsnap peas (boiled)
  • small bunch seedless green grapes
  • 5 - 7 cherries
  • Small paring knife
  • Small non-stick frying pan (to fry the rice) and small saucepan (to boil the sugarsnap peas)
  • 1 bento box (I used a single tier, 630ml capacity container).

Step 1 - Make the Fried Rice

In a small frying pan, add a few drops of sesame oil, and fry the chopped garlic until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, rice, a splash of light soya sauce, and some thick, dark soya sauce. Stir and fry together until the rice grains are well coated with the soya sauce. Set aside to cool.

Step 2 - Make Rudolph's Head
Place a square sheet of strong plastic wrap on your open palm, and scoop 3 Tbsp of warm fried rice onto the plastic.

Close your fingers around the rice, which will enclose the rice in the plastic. Twist the plastic at the top and compress the rice ball. Shape one end of the ball so it is slightly pointed in shape. Unwrap the rice and place it in the bento box.

Step 3 - Make Rudolph's Legs
For each leg: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 using 1 Tbsp of rice and squeeze the rice ball to form a long sausage shape. Unwrap and place into the bento box.

Step 4 - Make Rudolph's Antlers
Take 2 meatballs, and cut a small semi-circle from the bottom of each one with a small paring knife. Set aside the semi-circles.

Cut out two small triangles from each of the remaining meatballs (as pictured) to form the antlers.

Place some sugarsnap peas into the bento box around Rudolph's head, and then place the antler meatballs above the head. Shift the legs down.

Step 5 - Rudolph's Body
Cut a small semi-circle out of the 3rd meatball, and place it in-between the head and the legs to form Rudolph's body.

Step 6 - Rudolph's Face & Hooves
Slice a cherry tomato into two, and place the bottom part on his face to form the nose.

Squeeze a small amount of mayonnaise onto a dish, and use a chopstick/skewer to dab two small circles of mayonnaise above the nose to form eyes. Stick the black peppercorns onto the mayonnaise eyes to form pupils.

Slice bits of the remaining meatballs into small squares and place them on Rudolph's legs to form hooves.

Step 7 - Filling up the rest of the bento box
Finish off the bento by placing cherries, grapes and some extra sugarsnap peas around Rudolph. I chose these for their red and green Christmas colours, but substitute with other fruits/vegetables if you wish.
rudolph bento



javapot said...

wow, the bento looks great!

eilis alana said...

It is a great bento lol but I keep getting reminded of the rabbits from those animated show rather than Rudolf!

Claudia said...

Thanks javapot and eilis alana!

Yes, poor Rudolph looks like a rabbit... my fault, I made the ears stick up too much I think! My husband also thought it was a rabbit :P

Jewelmaker said...

That is so cute! Thanks for the toutorial. Happy Holidays!:)

Claudia said...

Thanks Jewelmaker! Happy holidays to you, too! :)