When I’m not making bento usually I spend my time at home experimenting with new recipes or practicing and perfecting some recipes that I’ve done several times before. I don’t post many of them for several reasons, usually are because the results are just bad, or while the results have great taste but their shape are bad and not picture friendly.
Like this morning when I made mini pao (again). I think it’s already my 7th tries, and the previous ones were being total failure to quite good (eatable) but I still not happy with those results and I know that I can nail it someday (or after a few more tries). As for today’s result, I’m happy with the pao’s taste and texture but then I still have to figure out the best way of making them look cute. I hope that the 8th times bring me some luck (wishful thinking ^_^).
And after finishing with my mini pao experiment, I’ve got time to make a bento and will using this opportunity to try a new recipe. I wanted to make a Ben 10 bento for some time and just got the right time to do it today. I’ve found the good Ben 10 picture for some time and tried making it with some colored pasta.
After simplified the picture, the result was only using 5 colors, brown for the hair and eyebrows, light pink for the face and hand, and white, green, and black for the eyes and watch parts. Overall it’s easier than making the Princess Belle since making boy/male character usually is easier than making female character (those eyelashes are real killers =S).
For the filling, I don’t want to use bright colors like orange or red in this bento to match the Ben 10 overall design which mainly using dark and green color palette. So I didn’t use any carrots and strawberries and used crispy calamari rings, enoki mushroom shimmered with soyu and mirin (I like the mushroom for this Ben 10 bento since they look like some alien creature), broccoli chunks, and crispy black grapes (those grapes also look like some alien rocks).
I’ve only tried the crispy calamari recipe once. Usually I made them like chicken katsu and ebi furai (using 3 steps of flour, egg, and panko) but this time I tried a new method I’ve found on the web combined with other ingredients. Basically I made liquid batter first (flour, egg, water, seasoning) and mix the squids into it and after that mix the squid with dry mix of panko and potato starch before deep frying them. The result is golden crispy calamari rings, the best I had compared with all previous tries. And surprisingly those calamari rings fits into my Ben 10 alien theme ^_^