Packed lunches in Japan, or bento, are arguably more exciting than an anywhere else in the world. While such delicacies as cheese sandwiches, chips, and so-not-real-food-it’s-scary “snack packs” reign supreme in the West, typical bento lunches in Japan almost always involve things like rice, vegetables, fish, fried chicken, and potato salad. You name it, if it’s decent food it’s in there, and very often crafted into some cute character or artistic arrangement by a loving parent or spouse.
Today, thanks to a Twitter user in Japan, we’re going to learn how to turn the humble wiener or cocktail sausage into something far cooler: a mini version of a giant isopod.
Quite why Japan is so fond of these creatures, we’re not entirely sure. It could be because they look so freakishly otherworldly. Or perhaps it could be that, in the wake of the amazing giant isopod that was until recently on display in a Mie Prefecture aquarium and became famous after refusing to eat a single thing for almost five years, they’re at the top of the “cool bugs” list in kids’ estimations.
Regardless, Twitter user Yoshida_xxx recently shared a simple technique for turning the humble cocktail sausage into something that looks startlingly like one of these crazy crustaceans. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends entirely on your or your kid’s tastes, but there’s no denying that this is a very cool, and surprisingly easy, trick to brighten up a lunch.
▼ “Giant isopod”
Sure, it’s the wrong colour for a giant isopod, but look at its legs! Look at its feelers and beady eyes! Imagine being an elementary school kid (heck, imagine being a 31-year-old web-based writer) and finding a couple of these in your lunch box! Wow!
Here are Yoshida’s extremely cute how-to diagrams.
It’s probably self-explanatory, but here are Yoshida’s instructions in brief:
1. First, make an incision along your sausage’s edge. Don’t cut so deeply that it breaks apart.
2. Next, make small horizontal incisions in the beast’s back. This will make its “shell”.
3. On the underside, notch out your legs and antennae.
4. Cook. Add sesame seed eyes to give it that realistic look.
As the crafty cook notes, it’s probably easier to use a paper-cutter or craft knife of some sort to make the incisions, but this looks like something even we could manage without destroying too many sausages.
If you’ve got a couple of wieners going spare, be sure to give this a go and let us know if you’re able to recreate Yoshida’s creation!