Wednesday, September 30, 2009

my kitchen/japanese: cute seaweed smiley faces from HANDS TAILUNG

Have you ever seen those pictures of those really creative bentos? Just google "cute Japanese bento" and you'll see what I mean. So when I happened upon the plethora of kawaii! plastic goodies from Japan at Hands Tailung, I oohed and aahed and giggled.

You could make Winnie the Pooh or Hello Kitty shaped toast...

Bear, bunny, fish or car shaped hard boiled eggs...

Or as you could see up top, smiley faces for your rice balls, inari sushi or whatever the heck you want.

You can see which one I picked. I would have bought more, but the Sogo price was a bit steeper than I would have liked to have paid.

Not that creative? You could just put the food in a kawaii bento box and be done with it.

For all my panda friends...

When I was a kid growing up in Indiana and Southern California, my lunch was leftovers from dinner before, usually rice and veggies and some meat. Other kids would say, what's that? Sometimes in curiosity and sometimes in faux disgust. I remember trading nori seaweed strips for Doritos.

But then I worked in my elementary school's cafeteria as a student helper in exchange for free lunch everyday and giving extra crinkle cut french fries to my friends. I ended up growing up on sloppy joes, country fried steak, pepperoni pizza lunches and 15 cent ice cream sandwiches, in addition to the fried dumplings and braised pork and mushrooms over rice my parents would make for dinner.

So making these smiley faces brings out the kid in me...

Sure you could spend hours cutting them out by hand, but a sharp punch is much faster... Just punch, punch, punch and assemble. You could also mix and match the eyes and smiles. You could use a regular craft punch too, but I've never seen smiley face ones before.

When I make the boiled eggs, I'll give it a post as well. I ended up buying these at a much cheaper price at a little discount store on ZhongXiao near Pizza Hut that I like to shop at.

You can find a lot of other cute and random stuff here that you never knew you needed- browse at your own risk.


Breeze Center
No. 39 FuXing S Rd, Sec. 1, 6F

Xinyi Mistsukoshi A4, 5F
No. 19, Song Gao Rd

Nan-Xi Mitsucoshi
No. 12 NangJing W Rd, 9F

ZhongXiao Sogo
No. 45, ZhongXiao E Rd, Sec 4,10F

TienMu Sogo department store
No77, Zhong-Shan N Rd, Sec 6,7F


EatTravelEat said...

How cute! I have not seen this being available in my area yet. Was it easy to punch out the seaweed?

joanh said...

eattraveleat: super easy. i was worried about this too... but you have to use the non seasoned kind so it's more dry/paper-like. and you can use the leftover strip too

Unknown said...

If you want inexpensive bento stuff you can try the DAISO chain (you know, those Japanese shops where everything is 39 NT$) Good luck and thanks for your blog, I always get many ideas!

kirbie said...

So cute!! let me know if the hard boiled eggs shapers work out for you. I bought some at Daiso and it didn't work at all cuz the egg didn't fit into the mold completely.

joanh said...

xavi: thanks! I think I've seen those around and I do have a place like that that I go to, but it's not Daiso.

kirbie: ok! I'll let you know!

Roger said...

KAWAII OVERLOAD! My ultra-girlie pals would love these.

Also, guess who's finally back in Taiwan? :D I can't wait to put your blog to good use. VERY excited about the next two weeks!

Anonymous said...

Hello, the nori cutters are really cute! I remember eating the inari sushi on field trips growing up in Taiwan. Good memories! Japanese bentos are really awesome and delicately compartmentalized. My mom also bought two of the hard boiled egg molds (star and heart), she thought it was for shaping rice balls. We tried it with hard boiled eggs but the complete shape did not form. It was pretty neat to use nevertheless. :)

joanh said...

roger: thanks! sorry it's been mostly raining since you got here! we should meet up and eat together if you are free.

anonymous: i've heard that the egg molders take some practice to get right. i've heard you should take them right after boiling, mold and then soak in ice cold water.. i'll let you know if i have any better luck!

Jimmy said...

hi...found ur site accidentally but its pretty usefull since I am planing to go Taipei this June but would like to know it June is the right month to visit?

I'd prefer winter season though...hope you'd reply me..thx a bunch!

theHeartcake said...

wow, I found this blog when google for smiley icons, but it's okay since I still learn how to make a delicious and delight onigiri :D

Anonymous said...

Hello! I always visit this blog with my little girl in arms, and she always relaxing this food with the mine... I hope learn more thing about this. Seriously keep like this way.