When you’ve been in the deranged-crafts business as long as we have, you start to see some recurring themes floating around: hot dog octopi, for instance, or miniature football stadiums made entirely out of meat. One such craft that’s been following us since we started plunging ourselves into the depths of Pinterest is the sleeping rice bear.
The sleeping rice bear is arguably the most adorable food item in existence. It consists of a tiny bear molded out of rice who is peacefully asleep under a warm and cozy egg blanket. It’s based off the popular Japanese character Rilakkuma—“relax bear”—and there are numerous variations to try out. There’s the classic, attempted by BuzzFeed. There’s a bear asleep with a small friend tucked in beside it, and another bear who’s a stomach sleeper. You can even make a whole squad of rice bears.
Why, exactly, is a sleeping bear made out of rice so popular? Well, as the official description for Rilakkuma reads, “At all time and everywhere he goes he is continuously lazy and relaxed. He is totally stress-free and also doing things on his own pace.” Sleeping rice bear may be our first aspirational deranged craft.
What You’ll Need:
-2 cups of cooked rice, seasoned with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil
-A slice of white cheese
1. Scoop up about 1/3 of the rice. Form it into a mound that will serve as the rice bear’s body and place it on a plate.
2. Whisk the eggs together and cook them into a thin omelet in a well-oiled pan over medium heat. Cut approximately one fifth off the top horizontally, roll it up, and place it at the top of your rice-bear body. This will be the bear’s plush little egg pillow.
3. Form a nice round rice-bear head and place it on top of the pillow. Add two tiny rice ears and two rice-bear arms.
4. Cover your rice bear in its egg blanket.
5. Cut two thin circles out of cheese. Place one on your rice bear’s face to make a snout, then cut the other in half and place the semicircles on your rice bear’s ears. Finally, slice up some small pieces of seaweed to make eyes and a mouth.
6. Sing your sleeping rice bear a lullaby, then give it a kiss on the cheek and whisper, “Good night sweet prince.”
What we learned:
It’s pretty hard to sculpt things out of rice. The whole endeavor involves a lot of precarious balancing and unexpected crumbling. The key to keep this snoozy guy’s ears intact is to prop one up on the pillow, and to prop the other one directly on top of the head so that it won’t slide off.