As you know, I'm a huge fan of Bento. Part of the fun of Bento is to see how cute and creative you can get your food to look. I have gotten a few requests for Bento Tutorials, so I thought this would be a good time to start! Let's start with something easy, that even non-Bento makers can do: Apple Cutting!
The equipment and supplies you need:
All you need to cut your apples are shown here. A cutting board, a sharp small knife (here I have a serrated one, but a smooth bladed one is better really), a toothpick, and a bowl filled with acidulated water (cold water with some lemon juice in it) to dunk the apple slices in to stop them from turning brown.
Apple bunnies (Usagi Ringo)
Apple bunnies, or usagi ringo (うさぎりんご）are the most commonly seen decorative apple cut. It’s also one of the most simple, so I thought I’d go over it, and explain how to establish some basics of decorative apple cutting.
First, cut out a wedge from the apple, and cut out the core. Score the skin with a V shape with your knife, as shown.
Carefully lift out the center V point (the part you’re going to cut away) with your knife. This helps to make a clean point there.
Cut under the outer points (the ears) fairly close to the skin. Cut them all the way down to the center V point.
Peel away the center skin, taking care not to cut into the ears.
Voilà, your apple bunny! You can cut eyes in, stick in cloves there, or just leave the ‘face’ bare, for a modern minimalist bunny.
After you’ve finished cutting, dunk the apple wedge into the bowl of acidulated water. You might want to dip the wedge while you’re working on it, if you see it turning brownish. This will also make the bunny ears stick up and curl up a bit.
So to review, here are the basics of decorative apple cutting:
· Cut out a wedge and cut away the core.
· Score the surface with a sharp knife.
· Cut away the parts you don’t want, working from the corners first.
· Dunk in acidulated water to stop it from turning brown.
I hope that helps those of you who want to add a bit of fun and cheer to an everyday snack. I find that most people I meet while snacking on these love them, and it seems to help some of those more picky eating kids too.
Love and Lightning Bugs,