Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

bento_71a.jpg

Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 510 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 25-30 minutes to decorate the muffins (muffins are pre-made and frozen)

Type: Not Japanese, theme bento, vegetarian

I have been pretty sick the whole week with the flu, and have not been doing any cooking, or eating for that matter. This is the first day that I’ve felt like even getting up and puttering around the house. The Guy needed lunch though, and fortunately I had a small stash of homemade vegetable soup concentrate and Buttermilk Corn Muffins in the freezer. Now, if I had just put the two together in a box it would have been a less-than-5-minute assembly bento. But the golden brown color of the muffins somehow inspired me to turn them into tigers, to commemorate the Year Of The Tiger. (I’m refraining from mentioning that other Tiger. Well, maybe 2010 will be his year again or something. Anyway.)

Year Of The Tiger Muffin bento closeup

The faces are simple, though a bit fiddly. They are cut out using scissors and the Niko Niko Face Punch 3 nori punches. I had some trouble making the nori stick to the slightly rough surface of the muffins, so I tried a sort of ‘glue’ made by mixing a spoonful of clear honey with a spoonful of water. I just dipped the nori pieces in the honey-water, then laid them carefully on the muffin top. It worked. (I used tweezers.) Since there is so little nori, you can barely taste it so it doesn’t really affect the overall taste of the muffins. Incidentally, I took the muffins out of the silicon liners to decorate them, but slipped them back in to protect them from the greenery that cushioned them in the box. (I think the frilly yellow makes them look like baby bonnets. Well, the Year of the Tiger is still very young, so why not baby tigers?)

Note: To make this bento really nutritionally complete, you may want to add a wedge of cheese.

The Guy loved this lunch, even though he laughed at the tigers. Pfff.

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19 comments

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Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

Lovely - and I love the instant soup concentrate idea!
I've just started making bentos and pledged to make my husband D one twice a week. He laughs at the animal themed accessories and the neat packing up, and claims his colleagues tease him, but also loves the food & had told me not to stop making them. I think maybe a little smile is a good thing in the middle of a work day :)

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

I love the tigers! They are so cute.

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

I forgot to add ... Feel better soon!

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

So sorry you are ill! It's just miserable to have the flu.
I adore the baby tigers!

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

I love reading your posts, Bento (Btw: I hope you healed from your flu by now).
That tiger corn muffin is very interesting: here in Canada, we are fans of muffins and have a lot of them, all kind, but I never saw one like that one you wrote about.
Just a question: I love your pictures. With what Digital SLR + lens did you take them?

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

I'm flattered that you like my photos :) For this shot as for most indoor 'food porn' shots I used a Nikon D700 with Nikon/Nikkor 55-200mm lens (sometimes I use a macro lens or 50mm), and in this case I used an external flash.

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

Yep... love those cute little tigers. Makes me want to stop being so lazy and make something cute myself. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

Hi - Cute muffins. What did you use for the tiger stripes?

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

http://epicute.com/2010/01/11/tiger-muffins They love this over on the Epicute blog. :)

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

They don't seem to get the soup concentrate though....hah

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

Yeah, but I don't think they looked at this page before asking what it was. I tried to explain it to them! :)

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

These are so cute! And I just got those same nori stamps for Christmas, so I can't wait to try making my first bento with them!

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

Your baby tiggers are so cute! great photo too. What about the book? Is it written? Can we buy it? Any news?

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

Thank you so much for this great recipe! I made the corn/pumpkin ones this afternoon and they came out lovely!

I did alter some things, added 100 gr of parmesan cheese and replaced the spices for freshly ground ginger. Also I didn't have cornflower and I used whole groats flower. I dubbeled the amount of baking powder for I didn't have baking soda.

Now I'm going to fiddle with the nori ;)

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

Hello,
made the buttermilk muffins yesterday. They taste great! But are they supposed to raise in the oven? I only filled the cups half full expecting them to get bigger but they didn't, so they came out a bit flat...

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

Mine did actually raise, for a quarter or so... Shame yours didn't!

I fiddled with the nori and it became an angry one:

http://community.livejournal.com/bentolunch/4095055.html

Re: Bento No. 71: Tiger Corn Muffin and Soup Bento

OMG, you're a real catch. Your husband and childrens must be happy to have you in their life. I wish I could have woman that can cook like u. Nowadays women in my age simply doesn't care about the importants in the household anymore. It's sad. Well, thank u for sharing all the photos. Happy to see them :)

Alternate method of making tiger faces

Since I can't buy nori in the town I'm currently living in, I decided to experiment with various ideas to make tiger faces. (Yes, the bento I was making with tomato soup and little mozzarella wedges was cute and tasty, but darn it I wanted tiger faces!) Gluing poppy seeds on with honey did not work. Then one of my roommates loaned me her dark chocolate syrup. Success! I could paint pretty much anything I wanted onto a muffin with a toothpick lightly dipped into a little cup of syrup, and once it chilled overnight, it was fairly solid. (After a long trip on the bike, the faces had made little imprints on the bento lid, but were still distinguishably adorable.)

Re: Alternate method of making tiger faces

I hope you can post pics somewhere of your chocolate-face tigers ^_^

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