Have a fun time with Hello Kitty! Hayashi rice, a popular Japanese dish.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
To Cook in the Rice Cooker:
For Coloring: (may substitute with blue food color)
For Decoration (for 2 servings):
You will need dinner plates about 10" each.
Slice the meat. To thinly slice the meat easily, use partially frozen meat. If the meat is raw, wrap meat with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer overnight. Defrost 2-3 hours in the refrigerator until semi-frozen. Slice the beef wafer-thin. Place in a bowl and season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper.
Cook the rice. Measure rice accurately using the measuring cup that came with your rice cooker. Rinse rice until water clears, drain and place in the inner cooking pan.
Add water to water level 2 for “WHITE RICE.” Cook the rice using the “REGULAR” (if available), or the "WHITE RICE" setting.
While rice is cooking, prepare the blue coloring for Hello Kitty’s overall. Place red cabbage and water in a small saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Strain cabbage and mix in baking soda to the liquid. Set aside.
Prepare Hello Kitty’s ribbon and nose. Boil water (not included in the ingredient’s list) in a sauce pan 1-inch deep, place red and yellow bell peppers, skin side down, cook for 6 minutes. Transfer peppers to a bowl of cold water (not included in the ingredients list) and chill for 3 minutes. Drain water and peel off the bell peppers’ thin skin. Set aside.
Make the overalls. In a small bowl, mix one teaspoon colored liquid from step 4 with corn starch. Whisk egg white well. Using a strainer, strain egg white to the bowl with colored liquid and mix well.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium low heat and spread vegetable oil with a paper towel. When the pan is hot, turn heat off and add colored egg white. Tilt the pan with a circular motion to make about a 6” circle. Cook at low heat. Carefully flip the crepe and flash cook the other side. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the sauce. Slice onion as 1/4-inch wide strips vertically with the grain. Mix all ingredients for Sauce, except red wine, bay leaf and salt.
Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large fry pan. Add sliced onions and 1/8 teaspoon of salt and sauté. When the onion is tender, sprinkle all-purpose flour and stir for a minute. Add wine and cook off the alcohol for 1 minute.
Add bay leaf, beef from step 1, mushrooms and the sauce mixture to the pan and stir once. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to simmer and, and simmer for 8 minutes. Turn heat off and set aside until plating.
Make the Hello Kitty parts. Draw Hello Kitty on a piece of paper (approx. 6” h x 5” w), to use as a template. For each decoration prepare:
For whiskers and eyes: Cut nori sheet in half, layer sheets and carefully cut out 6 whiskers and 2 eyes.
For the nose: From a yellow pepper, cut out an oval for the nose.
For the large bow: From a red bell pepper, cut 2 bow parts and 1 center knot.
For the small bow: From a red bell pepper, cut 2 bow parts and 1 center knot.
Shape the rice. Cover the Hello Kitty drawing with parchment paper. Using the drawing as a guide, place warm rice on face area of the parchment paper, cover rice with plastic wrap over, adjust shape and transfer with plastic wrap to the plating dish.
Mold rice cylinders for the body. Cut blue egg white crepe from step 7 in half for her overall. Cover rice with the crepe and place two corn kernels for buttons.
Mold rice cylinders for legs using plastic wrap, and attach to each head on the serving plate. Make small rice balls for her hands.
Place all parts together to complete Hello Kitty.
Pour the Hayashi stew around Hello Kitty (reheat if necessary).
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