Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Doctor Who Dalek Bento & Nori Cutting Tips

Last week I wanted to make a Doctor Who bento. I immediately thought of either the TARDIS or a Dalek. Since I figured the Dalek would be seriously detailed, I went with the TARDIS (see my  Doctor Who TARDIS Bento). Today I was feeling more ambitious.

First, I chose an image online and printed it. I then manually reduced it to black and white with a pen (this can be done with photo-editing programs, or simply by choosing a black and white image to start with). Luckily I was able to find a mostly monochrome Dalek image.  I then traced it onto tracing paper (wax paper can be used as well).

My tools are an X-Acto knife, a pair of tweezers, and a pair of small scissors, all dedicated to food. Remember, clean and thoroughly dry these tools after using them to prevent rusting.

Next, I put the image over a sheet of nori and used the knife to cut out all the internal white areas. Remember to save the internal black areas that you remove during this part.

This may take some practice. Nori rips easily and can be brittle. I suggest starting with less detailed images. Next, I cut along the outside and immediately place the image on my food surface (in this case, a piece of rice-cheese).

You will notice that there are some areas where the nori ripped during the cutting. I also don't like how the bottom right came out. So, using small pieces which I cut out with scissors, I use the tweezers to fill in the mistakes. It is much easier than redoing the whole thing.

So, here is the final product again. After cutting out the rest of those tiny dots (so hard!) I cut the excess cheese from around the outside and placed the whole thing on top of a vegetarian BLT sandwich. The lunch also includes a small salad with half a hard-boiled egg, some vegetarian "beef tips," asparagus, and broccoli sauteed in a garlic sauce, and two cherries for dessert. The cat pick is a nod to the New Earth cat-people, since I didn't really have any Doctor Who related food picks.

So, this was definitely challenging to cut out, and I'm reasonably satisfied with the result.

Check out a few more details at the Kawaii Bento Club. 

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