I like this Totoro bento much much more than my first Totoro bento, which I now think looks quite ugly. My second Totoro bento is quite cute IMHO, but the mini Totoros indeed look more like little mice than Totoros :).
I used toasted ground black sesame seeds to colour the rice dark gray (for the giant Totoro). Since I didn't have red cabbage available, I did use a tiny drop of blue food colouring for the Chu-Totoro. If you want to have a natural blue colour, use the juice of red cabbage and a bit of baking soda. The sootballs are made out of cheese and nori, the red flowers of radish and cheese and the yellow ones of cheddar cheese and goat cheese.
The side dishes today include a portion of salad with a few pieces of pan-fried chicken karaage and feta cheese and the smallest bento box is filled with Japanese-style stir-fried pork with peppers, sugar snap peas and shirataki noodles. You can also see one half of soy sauce-soaked egg and a piece of strawberry.
Japanese-Style Pan-Fried Pork with Shirataki Noodles
- 500 grams pork, very thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 200 grams Shirataki noodles
- 100 grams sugar snap peas, sliced
- 5 mini green peppers, seeded and sliced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 3 tablespoons sake
- A pinch of sugar and pepper