Sunday, 8 January 2012

Super Easy Elmo Bento




I have never been a fan of Sesame Street, but since my little niece LOVES Elmo, I created this bento including a tutorial as well, so that my sister can recreate this super easy tomato-Elmo at home for her daughter.

A few days ago I received my packet from Bento USA. One of the things I got are these cute Alphabet & Number Cutters. These are perfect for bentos because these cutters are very small and suitable for cutting out ham and cheese for edible bento decorations. Starting from now on I can also write short messages in my bento box, how fun...:)!!



Since my bento-theme today is Elmo, I cut out 'ELMO' using the Alphabet cutters above. I also added some black toasted sesame seeds on top of the letters to make them look less plain.



The cherry tomato-Elmos are sitting on top of a bed of rice covered with nori. The musical notes are made out of blanched carrot and the leaves are cucumber skin. The right bento box contains chicken with spicy sesame sauce, Mum's 'instant' fried noodles, stir-fried string beans with ground pork (which unfortunately look too dark to be seen), blanched broccoli, blanched carrot flowers, one mini pepper, half a tomato and flower ham.

When I was a little girl I loved to eat instant noodles (well, I still do ;)) and my mother didn't like the idea at all and she always told me how bad and unhealthy instant noodles were. To persuade me to stop eating instant noodles, my mum created delicious homemade 'instant' fried noodles. Afterwards I always asked her to make me a small bowl of her instant noodles whenever I felt hungry before it's lunch or dinner time ;). Well, unfortunately during my university time, when I lived away from home, I returned to eating instant noodles again...;).

Chicken with Spicy Sesame Sauce
Adapted from 'Chinese Cuisine' by Su Huei Huang (Wei Chuan Cookbook)
  • 2 chicken breast fillets
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame paste (or peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili oil
  1. Boil water in a large pot. Put chicken in the water. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove chicken and retain broth for other use. When the chicken is cool, cut into bite-size pieces. Arrange on a seving plate.
  2. Separately, heat oil in a wok. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the other ingredients (except the chicken). Mix well and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken and serve.

Mum's 'Instant' Fried Noodles

  • 1 package fresh ramen noodles
  • 2 tablespoons 'Schweineschmalz' (or pork oil - which you can get by frying pork lard)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Chopped green onions
  1. Heat the pork oil. Add ramen noodles and mix well with the pork oil.
  2. Add soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Toss in the chopped green onions. Mix well and serve.


BENTO TUTORIAL

How to make Elmo with Cherry Tomatoes


WHAT YOU NEED




NOTE - Small kitchen scissors will make your life easier when you have to cut out tiny shapes. Make sure that you use a kitchen tweezer - this means, please use it for food purposes only and don't double use it to pluck your eyebrows too, it's yucky...;)!!




  1. Cut out the mini pepper with a decorating tip to make the nose.
  2. With the same decorating tip, cut out the goat cheese to make the eyes.
  3. Assemble the eyes and nose on top of the cherry tomato with a kitchen tweezer.
  4. Fold the nori and cut out a round shape with kitchen scissors to make the black iris. Note: Folding the nori will make sure that you only have to cut out the eyes once and the size of both eyes will be the same.
  5. Cut a U shape out of the nori with kitchen scissors.
  6. Add the iris and mouth to make ELMO. Finito :)!




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18 comments:

  1. As a baby, Elmo was THE favorite character for my first son who is now 15! How precious and so creative!! Love coming to your site!

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  2. Elmo bento is so cute, love it. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  3. wow thats looks so yummy, delicious...

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  4. Elmo bento is really nice dear Cooking:)

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  5. loving your "how to make elmo" tutorial! haha! brilliant! I can imagine a lot of friends my age going crazy for it, not just children.

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  6. What a detailed and interesting tutorial!
    Also want to wish you a happy belated new year!

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  7. Aw, you're too sweet. Such a wonderful thing for your niece! You must have steady hands - cutting tiny circles out of nori... my giant ham-fists would undoubtedly rip them right up :D

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  8. Oh! These bentos are so cute...like your tutorial.
    Happy New Year and have a wonderful week ahead :-)

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  9. so handsome of Elmo!
    We love him because he is so red :)

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  10. CG, I love your tutorial! It's so funny and so well explained! You have done a great job! Congratulations.
    The bento is beautiful as usually (it's funny because I was today looking at sales items and hesitated about numbers cutters... finally didn't take them)

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  11. Your Elmo put smile on to my face. So cute!
    You are very talented cook. It is almost a form of art.

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  12. Hi! =)
    I'd like to invite you to my bento contest: http://japanthewonderland.blogspot.com/2012/01/bento-contest-special-valentines-day.html
    Please join us! ;)

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  13. Your detail work is definitely your precious talent CG. Not everyone has patience to make this perfect Elmo! My kids will be so excited when/if I make this!

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  14. What a cute Elmo bento, CG! Great tutorial too!

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  15. So cute, thank you for the step by step photos :-).

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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  16. Cherry tomato Elmos? I am definitely making this! You are so creative!

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