Monday, October 19, 2009

Bento (23) - Fun with Food Coloring

Prepare to laugh maniacally - at me, NOT with me. Today's top bento lesson is: Do not assume that because food coloring is edible, it will wash off your hands. ACK! I almost had to explain to everyone at work why I had been petting smurfs. Fortunately, applying large amounts of soap and friction removed most of the blue from my skin - though there were still tell-tale signs under my nails. But I got my blue rice (MU HA HA)! And for everyone who is horrified that I use food coloring - if you've ever eaten a frosted cookie from the bakery, you have no right to yell at me. So, there!

Aquarium bento! I'm still learning how to use my crab cutter, so we had a few crab casualities. Apparently the artificial ocean is a very dangerous place! (And yes, they are crabs - NOT LOGS.) The ocean is white rice with blue food coloring, the "sand" is brown rice, the seaweed is kale, and the two white objects are shell noodles - though you can't see their cute little lines in the photo. The yellow and pink "urchins" are a sugar candy I found at Pacific Mercantile. And the gold fishies are goldfish crackers! (I probably put too many things in - but I couldn't help myself!) The green triangle is a sauce holder that has ketchup and mustard for Goose's crabs.

T.'s bento looked just like Goose's - except I gave him a serving of edamame and carrot flowers instead of extra crabs! The right lower container has sweet potato/apple salad - which I overcooked and ended up with sweet potato/applesauce salad. Still nummy. I topped the salad with a fishie filled with dumpling sauce for the technocolor rice.

And to make my bento special, I had a penguin sauce holder to put my ketchup in! I love the penguin, but it is slightly large for the two tier bento boxes and makes it hard to put on the lid. Overall, I was very pleased with how cute these turned out (although I definitely need to practice with my crab cutter!), but the flavor was fairly bland. I'll have to think of more "textured" items that I can add that will compliment the way an aquarium bento actually TASTES. Goose ate all the toppings, but left his blue and brown rice - after he mixed it up and it really did look like the gravel in my aquarium. LOL!


  1. Have you tried using the crab cutter on raw/unheated dogs, and then putting them in boiling water? I wonder if the heating will make their legs and eyes splay out a bit more and look more like a crab.

  2. I have had no luck with my crab cutter either. I think maybe my hot dogs were too fat. They just shredded and looked terrible! At least yours still have legs!

  3. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who is crab-cutter challenged! Masahide - heat is supposed to make the legs splay out - I tried a frying pan, but didn't think about throwing the little guys in boiling water. i'll do that next time! Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. @Pigs - A friend of mine who has an octopus one said that it depends on the dogs. All beef seems to shred or fall apart. You might want to try cheaper dogs like combo chicken/pork ones.

  5. I can't believe I'm discussing the merits of different hot-dog blends. Tee hee! My crabs are of the turkey-dog variety. If the boiling water doesn't work, maybe I'll buy a random selection of hot dogs to experiment with.