Halloween Charaben (Character Bento) Little Witch Girl
Instructions for making a little witch girl with a peaked witch hat that would be perfect for a Halloween-themed charaben ("character bento" elaborately constructed lunchboxes). You can vary it to make more characters.
Mix furikake (rice flavoring) or something into the rice to turn it into the right color for your character. I added soft tarako (salted cod roe) furikake this time.
Wrap the rice in plastic wrap and form it into a teardrop shaped onigiri rice ball.
Cut a piece of nori seaweed a little bit longer than the top half of the onigiri.
Stick the nori seaweed on the onigiri, wrap up with plastic again and leave until the nori has settled on the rice.
When the nori has settled on the rice, place the onigiri in a bento box.
Make the face parts with nori seaweed, and stick them on.
Make the brim of the witch hat with nori seaweed. Stack two sheets of nori together, fold in half again and cut with scissors.
Cut a curve that's a bit bigger than the circumference of the rice ball. Cut a thin strip too. The photo here shows 1 hat worth.
Stick the nori from step 7 on to the sliced cheese. Cut the cheese with a toothpick following the lines of the nori.
Stick the other piece of nori on the back side of the cheese.
Stick the thin strip of nori on the side of the cheese.
Apply the brim while checking the balance. If you need to make adjustments, just cut off any cheese that is bigger than the nori.
Make a hat band with strips of crab stick and they're done. I made a little fringe for the girls using leftover usuyaki tamago (thin omelette) used for other items in the bento.
Here I rolled up very thin ham slices to make the curly hair.
You can vary the angle of the hat and the shape of the onigiri.
This version cuts corners by not applying a strip of nori to the hat brim edge. I also forgot to add Minnie's ears.
For characters with ears, add them after the hat is done.
Any bento can be a Halloween bento as long as you add a witch hat.
Story Behind this Recipe
You need a pointed witch hat for Halloween bentos. I got a lot of questions about how to make one on my blog, so I created a recipe.
When cutting out the nori for the hat brim, stack two layers together, and fold in half again before cutting. Make the curve a bit bigger than the circumference of the onigiri. Make a thin strip of nori to cover the edge of the cheese too.