Friday 17 June 2011

Bento box: Little Elves

This is my first post using a CasaBento bento box. It's adorable. Soooo adorable. Look!

Loook! :D

(It's the Little Kokeshi Hanako Bento Box in case you're interested).

It has three compartments that you can split, like I've done in the photo above. In all honesty, I'm surprised at how good quality this box was. Compared to the things my parents bought me from their holiday in China (sorry mum), this box here wasn't about to fall apart any time soon. The decorations on this box are really good. Really really good.

It also has a black strap that you can put across the box when it's closed (like in the photo below), so food doesn't fall out in your bag and make it smell of fish. I mean, unless you like that kind of thing, in which case the strap is optional.

Also, the 'head' is actually meant to be a soup bowl, but I've used it for dessert. Because I like fruit.


Actually, if you head over to CasaBento now, you'll see that they have revamped site. I think it's really nifty.

Basically it's now easier to search (and for those of you who are busy bees, it's pretty convenient!) If you only want to find a bento box, you click on "bento boxes" then you select the type of model you want (modern, traditional...). If you really like a bento, you can see all the items (furoshiki, chopsticks, bags, molds...) of its collection in "Collections". I think that the delivery on their site is pretty reasonable too. So go ahead, click it, you know you want to.

Annnnddd you can 'like' it on Facebook (and Twitter too, but that confuses me). But uh, you can also like my blog on Facebook. So um, yeah, go ahead :)

Oh yes, they also have a new 'Modern Bento Boxes' part, which have really shiny new (did I mention shiny?) boxes to choose from. There's also a 'Bento Fashion' category, with boxes in block colours. I would be pretty proud to bring that for lunch in the library. Brightens up my day!

And lastly, CasaBento are hosting a little game: 


This little Onigiri has lost his way, he's someone on the site and you have to find him. Pronto! There are lots of prizes to be won but you have to hurry because you only have until the 22nd June to find him! So go on, search around the site or read more about it here!

And below you can find a tutorial (sorta) on how to make the rice elf I made. Yes, it's an elf. Not an old man. Not even a young man. It's an elf, okay?

Rice Ball Elf

You will need:
  • Sushi nori
  • Tofu skin
  • Ham
  • Sushi or glutinous rice, boiled
  • A trip to the Asian supermarket
  • Cling film
  • Scissors
  • A LOT of patience
  • Spoon the rice (whilst hot) into the cling film, and wrap it up to shape it into a ball. Leave in the fridge until cold.
  • Use scissors to cut a fringe, two eyes and a smile out of nori seaweed. There are sushi hole punches you can get, but scissors are cheaper and just as effective :)
  • Cut out cheeks from ham.
  • Stick these onto the face like I've done If it doesn't stick, add some water as adhesive.
  • Soak the tofu skin in hot (but not boiling water), for about 30 seconds. Wrap it around the elf like a hat.
  • Et voila! A cute elf thing!

p.s. sorry sorry again for being slow at catching up on your blogs, it's currently May Week in Cambridge University right now (I know, May Week is in June, don't ask me why), it's all pretty hectic, and I'll be blogging about it all soon! There will be May Balls, oysters and champagne punts, so watch this space!


  1. Ok, I got it! An elf! And a cute one too! :)
    Your bento is absolutely adorable! I love to see bento boxes and sets, they are all so cute and pretty! I should really try at making a proper Bento one day!

  2. These are SO DARN CUTE! I can tell you're done withyour exams! And bento boxes are just the coolest little lunch boxes going!

  3. PS - Track back to the Alice Waters post for our discussion on Nigella ... sorry, I forgot to state that in the previous post ... just call me dtizy.

  4. How cute! I love the elves' tofu skin hats!

  5. Almost too cute to eat! Thinking of getting myself a bento-box, though I prefer the traditional styles! I must give sushi a go again, I made some at a food fstivla in Nottingham but haven't tried it since! Your little elf must have taken a lot of time and patience!

  6. ahhhh ADORABLE!! love this idea! :)

  7. The elf is so cute! Love the bento box too - very cool.

  8. This is just too cute! My youngest has just taken a look at your photos and said - ooh, pleeeease can we do that, too? Well you've got another fan! Look at these little adorable cheeks. On top of it, we love sticky rice. We need bento boxes like this! (notice need rather than want...)
    Good luck coping with "May Week" - somebody has to do it ;-)

  9. AWWWWWW... SO CUTE! I love tofu skin and now they become hats! What a cleaver idea. I love their expressions too!

  10. That is so cute! You have done a fabulous job... I love sticky rice and I bet I would love this... You are so talented & creative :)

  11. Hello,

    I'm Daniel, I'm from Brazil

    This is a beautiful and wonderful recipe. This little elf is a delight.

    see you

    Daniel Deywes - Brazil

  12. I have the same bento box :)! I also have the Ichiro one, but I don't use them very often, just because I find the shape of the box rather tricky to fill in. It's nevertheless a very cute bento box and I love the cute little elves :).

  13. I love them! First time here and these cute elves won me over :-), I will + you and follow you!


  14. I love these bento boxes. I had never seen them before until your last post about them. Love that little elf"_

  15. These are so amazingly cute! I wish I could make stuff like this! Id feel slightly cruel eating the poor little elves though eheh!

  16. Their faces are so expressive! Gorgeous job on your bento! :D

  17. Oh my, they are just adorable!! How to eat them?! So so cute!!

  18. How adorable! They even have a cute fun expression :)
    US Masala

  19. Xinmei, you are so amazingly creative! These little bento box elves are adorable and very artistic. Great job on them!

  20. No way this is too cute! I love coming to your site I always leave smiling and saying, awww lol Thanks for sharing and stopping by my site as always it's a pleasure =]

  21. What patience and creativity went into this incredibly amusing bento box.
    We all do have our very particular talents ;o)

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,

  22. How cute! They're smiling at me :) You are so creative, I'm sure anyone would love to dine on these adorable bento boxes! I hope you're enjoying the start of summer!

  23. These little elves are darling! Such a great idea.


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