Cheburashka Soboro Bento


Have you ever heard of Cheburashka? I had not, until one reader from France, Elo', commented under my Dragon Rilakkuma bento: "Do you know "tcheburacha" (Чебурашка)? It's the phonetic name of a famous Russian character, he's really loved by children, I thought it could be an inspiration for a charaben, with his big ears and his sad face." I googled the character and found some pictures from the net, including the background story from Wikipedia.

Cheburashka is a funny little creature, unknown to science, who lives in the tropical forest. He accidentally gets into a crate of oranges, eats his fill, and falls asleep. The crate is eventually delivered to a grocery store in an unnamed town where the rest of the main story unfolds. Cheburashka is a name given to the character by the puzzled store manager who finds the creature in the crate when he opens it. The salesman takes the animal out and sits him on the table, but his paws are numb after the long time spent in the crate, and he tumbles down ("cheburakhnulsya" (чебурахнулся), a Russian colloquialism, "tumbled" in English) from the table onto the chair and then from the chair, where he could not sit, for the same reason, onto the floor. The store manager, who witnesses the scene, called him Cheburashka. (Source: Wikipedia)

I thought he looked quite adorable and not too complicated to make, so I'd promised Elo' to make the Cheburashka bento in the near future - I know it's been quite some time now, but I hope you like this Cheburashka bento, Elo' :)!

In the beginning I wanted to make him from meat patties, but today I just didn't feel like eating meat patties, so I decided to make the character from rice mixed with spicy pork soboro (Soboro simply means seasoned finely chopped meat, egg, fish or vegetables, etc, usually used as toppings for steamed rice) and the facial features from cheese and nori.

Spicy Pork Soboro
  • 250 grams ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon sake (or cooking wine)
  • 2 tablespoons hot bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon Szechuan chili paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Heat your skillet and add 1 tablespoon cooking oil.
  • Toss in the ground pork and cook until the meat is slightly brown.
  • Add sake, hot bean paste, Szechuan chili paste, soy sauce and sugar.
  • Stir-fry the meat for a few minutes until it's completely cooked.


Now I want to show you how to make deli-meat flower, because a few people have been asking me to show the step-by-step pictures. The pictures below are rather small, but I hope you can still recognise them. Making deli-meat flower is actually very easy and there are several methods to make it, but the one below is the method which I like to use because I think the flower holds together better.

With a slice of deli-meat you can make 2 flowers.
  1. You need: a slice of deli meat and a kitchen knife.
  2. Cut the deli meat in half.
  3. Cut lines in the middle of the deli-meat, but not all the way.
  4. Fold the deli meat in half.
  5. Roll it up!
  6. Keep rolling!
  7. And voilà - you get one deli meat flower :).

My bento box today is filled with: Cheburashaka-shaped onigri (rice mixed with spicy pork soboro), chopped omelet, two pieces of broccoli, two pieces of cheese flowers, two deli-meat flowers, one piece of radish, rucola and four mini cheese flowers.


I'd also like to use the chance now to announce the two lucky winners of my bento giveaway: Mieke (first winner) from the Netherlands and Lyn Trinix from Singapore (second winner) :D)! I wish everyone who has participated could get something, unfortunately, it's quite impossible...:(. Maybe, one day when I was a millionaire ;)!! All in all there were 75 people who participated including several people who contacted me through e-mail. So, thank you so much, everyone, for joining in this event :). I hope the people who don't win this time wouldn't get too upset, there will still be other giveaways or contests being held here in the future. So stay tuned :)!

Winners, you'll be contacted shortly, you'll have to provide me with your address so that CasaBento can send you the prize :).

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  1. Hi CG! Oh I love his expression! This deli meat flower tutorial is amazing! But looks difficult to make it like yours! It shows how delicate work you do... I'm so happy for my friend Lyn to win this giveaway! Congrats Lyn!

  2. CG, I have never heard of this character! I discover your beautiful bentos and at the same time the faire tales characters... I love it!
    If you look for a new bento character, I have my favourite one: Moomin. It's not famous all around the world, but I loved the books and still love, and also the cartoon was wonderful. I suppose it would be difficult to make, since he is light blue ;-)
    I appreciate a lot your tutorial. This looks like magic to me (I am a bit clumsy with such tiny complicated things) and impressing. If I manage doing something like this I will be very proud of myself!

  3. I can't believe it! U made that into a tiny flower!! You are soooo good with your hands!!!

    Oh question..the 3 awards are all for me? HEHE..and im supposed to write 7 things about I right?

  4. @ Nami - Thanks, Nami :). The Goddess of Fortune seems to be on her side for the time being ;), so many awards and now the giveaway prize ;), well, I hope she's going to be happy :)!

    @ FGF - Thank you :)!

    @ Sissi - I'll check out this character, I love learning new characters, because I am sure there are so many good ones out there which I don't know...! Sissi, you should try making this deli meat flower, it's really much easier than it looks...!

    @ Coraine - Thanks Coraine :). Yes, the 3 awards are ALL for you :D). And yup, the award rules are you have to write 7 things about yourself - but really, if you don't feel like doing so, you don't have to, I don't want anybody to feel pressured when they're supposed to be happy receiving some awards :). Rules are made to be broken anyway, right ;)? *NS* (naughty smile). So it's up to you :)!

  5. I never heard of cheburashka.
    Oh my, you are so talented. You must have patience of a saint, creating the flower and all. I really want to attempt at making bento box lunch/dinner sometime.

  6. What a cute story! And another great bento!

  7. oh thank you for the how-to-do on the little roses. Always wondered how to make them and they look so nice ^^

  8. Hi CG! Thank you so much for visiting my blog just to inform me of the gd news! I'm really very happy, extremely happy! xD
    I never heard of cheburashka too and I find that's a cute funny way of getting its name! However, the part of the story whereby it fell asleep in the crate & was being delivered to other place sounds very familiar, it's a storybook that I read to Cheeky before (quite similar) hee... :) You really can make almost anything, everything CG! I've been waiting for your deli-meat flower tutorial and tks for sharing! :D

    @Nami--Tks for your congrats! :D

  9. Oh this is so funny! Just a few weeks ago we had some visitors from Russia and they gave my children a little stuffed version of cheburashka. Apparently he is the mascot for the Russian Olympic team. So cute to see him here in your bento! It is always a pleasure to see what you are creating. :)

  10. The character is completely new to me, but you've done a wonderful job with it. This looks delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. @ Michael Toa - I don't think that Cheburashka is very well known, I didn't know it before either, but it's really quite cute :)! You should try making a bento lunch too, I'd love to see your bento creations, especially because there are not so many males who make bento, it'd be super exciting to see and I know you're a good cook...:D)!!

    @ Yummychunklet - Thank you :)!

    @ Cele - Thanks, Cele, I am glad it's helped :)!

    @ Lyn Trinix - Congrats again, Lyn! I hope you'll like the food picks and onigiri mold :), please let me know when they've arrived...:)!

    Freeeatsfood - Thank you :)! It was fun making this character and it wasn't hard at all, because I simply needed to make 3 round shapes ;).

    @ Mary - Thank you, Mary :)!

  12. That is adorable. i was thinking how cute those flowers were, i would never have guessed they were made from deli meat!

  13. Thank you for the tutorial, and for another beautiful bento. I don't eat ham but I may be able to find something else to make this flower. Any ideas?


  14. @ Muppy - Thanks, Muppy :). Bento makers use lots of cheese and deli meat to decorate our bento boxes ;).

    @ Alessandra - Maybe vegetarian deli meat made from, e.g. soy? You can also make it with eggsheet (very thin omelet), it'd be a nice yellow flower :).

  15. Dear Cooking Only I know is sooo cute and beauty, thanks step by step, I will show María Esperanza, LOL gloria

  16. I haven't heard of Cheburashaka...but your Bento box version of him (her?) is so cute. That is one adorable Bento!

  17. HEHE..CG! =) I will do it! afterall it's my first award~ hhehehe..thank u sooooo much!

  18. Oh, my...
    Too cute to eat! You must have the hands of God given talent to turn food into characters. Very artistic...

  19. ow, so cute, especially the eyes, make it look so adorable.

  20. Hi. Well, he's realy known, but especially by russian-speakers ;)
    Well, Great job, really gorgeous bento. But, after all... as usual ! I didn't expect to see him realised so quickly ! I always wondered how to do these deli flowers thanks... now, just have to pratice it. I tried your Indonesian dish (of rice) last week, tasty :).

  21. The step by step photos are perfect! Can I please have even a drop of your patience? :-) This is such a clever bento idea, I love it!

  22. Tks CG! Sure, I'll let you know once I receive them :)
    Tks again! ^.^

  23. I love his big ears and lovely face! :)

  24. CG, are you coming back this month? Today, I was at the Food Hall in Grand Indonesia, they are selling all those cute japanese cutters and shapers to make bentos! Definitely, you are the one who crossed in my mind directly :)

  25. hi, i think that's a very sweet story of how cheburashka got its name. BIG ears!!

  26. @ Gloria - Is Maria Esperanza your daughter :)? I hope the tutorial will be of help ..:)!

    @ Indie. Tea - It's a he and thank you :)!

    @ Elo' - Hi Elo', thank you for visiting my blog again and I am happy that you like the Cheburashka bento :)! I love that fried rice too, glad that you tried and enjoyed it :)!!

    @ Selba - No, I'll go there in July, I'll definitely check it out;), thanks for the info :)!!