Recently, I tagged along with my friends to the Rilakkuma Cafe in Taipei. The food was abysmal, but the presentation was irresistible. So even though the rice was dry, the chicken hard and flavorless, everything tasted more exciting because it was molded into the face of Rilakkuma.
In the end, I was so charmed by the effect that I decided to recreate the experience at home with my favorite cartoon character…Miffy. I did a quick search online, and found a Miffy rice mold.
The mold is plastic, and comes with a few additional shapes, including Miffy’s eyes and mouth.
I rolled up my sleeves and got to work (which really meant, I pressed the button on the rice cooker) After the rice was done, I lightly coated the mold to ensure that the rice didn’t stick to the mold. I packed the rice in quite compactly to ensure that Miffy’s face would be nice and round. The rice emerged from the mold exactly as it should.
Then disaster struck. Try as I might, I couldn’t get the plastic cutters to cut the nori into the shape of Miffy’s eyes and mouth (The plastic cutter is as blunt as a spoon). Three sheets of nori later, I only got a few pathetic shreds of damp nori for my efforts. Luckily for me, I was cooking with two friends, one of whom is a dentist with extremely dexterous hands. He grabbed a pair of kitchen scissors and cut out the eyes and mouth free hand, and peace was temporarily restored in Miffy land.
The next challenge was spooning the curry onto the plate, without dripping onto Miffy’s face. Luckily, that job went to my other, extremely patient friend, who managed to ladle the curry around Miffy with a steady hand. Then all was well in Miffy land.
Ta-da! That cute face makes all the anxiety worth it, don’t you think?
We experimented, and found that Miffy can also survive a trip to work in a bento box (just make sure that the lid doesn’t press against her face, otherwise you’ll accidentally give her a (literal) face lift…
In such a short span of time, the Miffy rice mold has brought so much joy to our everyday meals~ we even decided to serve it some elderly guests at a recent dinner party and they were quite amused and delighted.