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Hello Kitty Bento (326)

I’ve been told by my cousin’s husband’s aunty who reads my blog that she can’t find bento boxes in Hilo. Well! I must respectfully beg to differ. We went to eat saimin at Nori’s before Baby Girl and I hopped back onto the plane and next door to the restaurant was a store called Nori’s Omiyage Store. I walked in and there were two bento boxes right there. One was a bamboo steamer (okay, not technically a bento box, but like that’s going to stop me) and the other was a Hello Kitty head box.

I’m actually kinda cheating when I say this because you can technically get bento boxes at any Sanrio store. I was at a hotel in LA and went to the gift shop to buy sunglasses and found a bento box in their Sanrio merchandise. I went to a florist in Mililani and in their Sanrio section, I found some bento boxes. The shaped ones are usually pretty cheap, but I was never really into them so I only have this one.

To use my new box, I made a Hello Kitty themed bento and in it I have a product review as well! Woo!

The box looks like this:

It took me longer than expected to make this because my sketch was actually counting on a larger box than I remembered. I had to improvise and as a result this took me about 40 minutes to do. Waaaay too long!

For starters, I made two onigiri wrapped in the Hello Kitty onigiri wrappers from J-List, which is the product I’m reviewing today. I did encounter a problem, but it was totally my fault. I used too much rice and had to keep taking it out to re-size and then wrap again. The wrappers come with 18 in a pack with six of each color (blue, orange, pink). Included in the package are matching stickers that say “Happy Lunch Time” on them for “tying” up the wrappers at the top. Since I had to re-open one, the sticker lost it’s stickiness and I had to put a small piece of tape in the back. On the wrapper is a dotted circle which is basically the landing pad for your onigiri. It’s meant for small onigiri, so it’s great for kids or dieters looking to keep rice consumption at a minimum. Anyway, I ended up putting the orange one in the fridge for tomorrow because it just didn’t fit in this little box. J-List only has three left in stock, so better grab them up!

My bentorials are back and this time with better lighting! First, I used the last of my organic green leaf lettuce that I bought from Nijiya Market. I made some Kani & Pea Scrambled Eggs, which is something I saw forever ago on Kitchen Cow and just adored. I added a little bit to a butterfly silicone cup and added that into the box along with a pork hash patty cut in half. Grandma J made these last night and I think she said she just globbed oyster sauce into the meat and then fried them as patties. They taste even awesomer than they did before.

Next, the wrapped onigiri went in. I salted it pretty heavily since it was just plain white rice. I ate the parts I had to take out while sizing it and oh man, I had forgotten how good perfectly salted white rice tastes. Mmmm! Next I put in a cherry tomato, then added potato scraps in between that and the egg. On top of the scraps I put a Hello Kitty shaped potato slice. I made them using the Hello Kitty vegetable cutters, also available on J-List. When I first saw that thing last year, it was just one of those bento items that made me feel like life was incomplete without it. I really should take it to Grandma J’s house to freak out my niece. She’d go ballistic over them, even though I think she doesn’t even like sweet potato.

To fill spaces, I cut two sugar snap peas in half diagonally and tucked them in. In the last step, I added tangerine slices (bottoms cut off for height) and then did some embellishing with parsley and tiny carrot stars.

All done! Oh, I ripped a yellow sushi grass in half to stick under and next to the tangerine slices so that there wouldn’t be cross juicing. I wonder how fast it would be for me to make one of my already-designed bentos again later… I really should test that out and see how quick I can be with all the thinking out of the way.

Yesterday, my badass, awesome brother flew home from Hilo and brought me Y’s Lunch Shop food!!! I had myself a spam musubi, fish, fried chicken, potato fritters, and Okinawan donut. Mmmm! I forgot it at Grandma J’s, so it’ll probably be in tomorrow’s bento or eaten in a frenzy tonight.

Actually, I shall test it on the kids. If they don’t eat the fish and love it, I will have to disown them immediately.

I’ve finally regained interest in American Idol now that the finals are here. Last night was really good and Simon Cowell announced that there would be a new twist tonight. Just to say now, I think the twist will be that the judges get to save one of the bottom three, but without knowing who has the lowest amount of votes. That should make things reaaally interesting.

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