carved carrot flowers

27 04 2010

after posting my “before and after” bento last night, i received several comments about the carved carrot flowers it featured.  i thought it might be helpful to post a quick tutorial on how to make those.

what you’ll need

  • about 1/3 of a fat carrot (or more, if you want more than a few flowers!)
  • a small, sharp paring knife and a cutting board
  • a flower shaped cutter (there are both plastic and metal ones available; i like the round-petal one from this set)

what to do

1. on your cutting board, carefully cut your carrot into thick (about 1/2″) rounds.

2. steam the rounds for about 3 minutes on each side (because these are thick they take a while to get soft); i salt mine before steaming but you don’t have to do so.

3. when they are done steaming, shock them in extremely cold water, to stop the cooking process and keep them brightly colored.  i find that the easiest way to do this is to set them in a small bowl in the sink, and then turn the tap on as cold as it will go, letting the water run over them for a few moments.

4. bring the cooled rounds back to your cutting board, and using the flower-shaped cutter, cut a flower from the center of each round.  (save the scraps for omurice, fried rice, tamagoyaki, or any other cooked dish!)

here’s what you should have done so far:

now let’s keep going:

5.  with your paring knife, cut a curved line around the right side of one of the petals.  you want to cut straight down, and pretty deep, but no more than half-way through the carrot round.  you essentially want to outline the right side of the petal with an incision.  here is a photo showing a drawn line (drawn on the photo, not on the carrot!) where the incision should be made:

6.  in your mind, mark a vertical line dividing the next petal (to the right of your incision) into two halves.  slide the blade of the paring knife, on an angle, starting at that imaginary line, and cutting towards the incision you already made (e.g. from right to left).  the blade should start shallow at the imaginary line, and cut deeper towards the real incision, so that you end up cutting a diagonal wedge out of the petal.  here’s another photo-drawing showing the line where you need to cut, and the actual cut taking place:

7.  on the petal from which you just cut a diagonal wedge, repeat step 5, “outlining” the right side of the petal with a deep incision.

8. on the next petal to the right, repeat step 6, cutting a diagonal wedge that gets deeper moving towards the last incision you made.

9.  repeat until you’ve carved all the petals.  that’s it!

here’s what the final flowers look like:

i hope you find these instructions clear, but if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments!

[as seen on be my bento]


Actions

Information

54 responses

27 04 2010
mils

How clever is that! I was so impressed at the fact that I can use a cutter for carrot flowers – but the carved flowers looks so much better…nice. I just need a paring knife now – and more patience!

Thanks for this simple guide!

27 04 2010
gamene

you’re very welcome mils, hope you enjoy!

27 04 2010
Susan Yuen

Wow, so that’s how you do it! Great tutorial, especially with all of the pictures! It’s really hard to just do something like that just by reading instructions, but with pictures it makes it so much easier.😀

27 04 2010
gamene

yay, i’m glad the pictures are helpful!!

27 04 2010
Laura @ PARING DOWN

I love the photos. I’m a total bento novice, so I appreciate the step by step photo tutorials. Thanks!

27 04 2010
gamene

you’re welcome laura! good luck, and remember everyone starts as a novice🙂

27 04 2010
sheri

Oh, a bunch of wedges! I think I can manage that! Thanks for sharing. I too love photutorials😀

27 04 2010
gamene

you can totally manage it sheri, i’ve seen you carve mini jack-o-lanterns out of TINY peppers, this is cake next to that🙂

27 04 2010
LauraBento

oh megan this tutorial is really good with the photos and detailed instructions. i knew you would do it soon but not this soon!, you are just so fast at everything!! i have a lot to learn from you because i am a slowpoke at everything lol. thanks for the tutorial, i can’t wait to try it out =D

27 04 2010
gamene

yay, i’m glad you found this laura, i was going to email you directly… see, i’m not fast at *everything* haha! hope this is helpful, after seeing all the different details and techniques in your spring contest bento i know this will be a cinch for you though!

27 04 2010
Debra

Woo hoo!!! Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve been eyeing your flowers and never dreamed I could do it myself. They really look pretty and makes your bentos pop!

27 04 2010
gamene

aww thanks debra – of course you can do it! not that your bentos need any more pop, they’re already gorgeous!

27 04 2010
Lia Chen

Thanks a lot for sharing this tutorial with a great pictures Megan! Your step-by-step photos just make it easy for us to see how to make this beautiful carrot flowers🙂

27 04 2010
gamene

thanks lia, i’m glad you like this tutorial! i think it’s great that we can share tips like this – your egg sheet tutorial was amazing!

27 04 2010
Amy

Very clear instructions! I’ll try this soon!

27 04 2010
gamene

thanks amy, i’ll look for these in your bentos😉

27 04 2010
Bentobird/Jenn

Great tutorial, really enjoyed the sharp, pretty photos and layout of this post, as well as the fab information! (Virgos are natural teachers:))

27 04 2010
gamene

thanks jenn! i think i’m probably a little more OCD than the average virgo, but sometimes it works out for me, haha😉

27 04 2010
Karen N.

I’m so impressed. The pictures and instruction are perfect.

27 04 2010
gamene

thanks karen — i think d is rubbing off on me, the drawn-line shots in particular seemed like something he would approve of!

27 04 2010
Fuji Mama

Great post! I always include carrot flowers in Squirrel’s bento. I know that if I do, it’s a guarantee that she’ll get some veggies into her day!

28 04 2010
gamene

thanks rachael! yup, guaranteed vitamins, and steaming keeps most of ’em in!

28 04 2010
Lil'chan

Thank you so much for this instruction! I tried to make them different times before, but never did it right. Great!

28 04 2010
gamene

no problem lil’chan, glad you liked the post, and thanks for your nice comment!

28 04 2010
Ingrid

Thanks for sharing this tutorial Megan. I usually just use the cutter, but these additional cuts give them a bit more texture and well, let’s face it, they are just prettier :o)

28 04 2010
gamene

thanks ingrid – yeah, i think a little bit of texture goes a long way here, and you are GREAT at cutting, so i’m sure it’ll be a snap for you!

28 04 2010
tatabonita

I’ve been wondering on how to make this flowers, but it’s over now. Thanks a lot for your tutorials Megan😀

28 04 2010
gamene

you are super welcome tata! can’t wait to see what clever ways you use tgese flowers in your cute meals!

28 04 2010
gnoegnoe

That’s awesome gamene! Thank you so much! *scurries off to tweet about it*

28 04 2010
gamene

tee hee, thanks gnoe! :o)

28 04 2010
sushi stu

like it, have you seen the frogs made from cucumber?

28 04 2010
Pipaw

Wow! thanks for showing us how you do that. I really need to get a good knife and try this!

28 04 2010
gamene

thanks for your comment pipaw, good luck with the technique, i’m so glad you enjoyed it!

30 04 2010
Tutorial: Carving Carrot Flowers – Bento Central

[…] the simple steps to carving three-dimensional carrot flowers, at bento zen! Share and […]

3 05 2010
mook

I really have to try this!
thanks for the tutorial!

3 05 2010
gamene

thanks mook, glad you liked the tutorial🙂

3 05 2010
Asfora

Thanks for the tutorial Megan! – I would like to have a go at this but I envisage accidents – I am not too good with carving, and you know what happened last time I tried to stick food on a pick – I got it jammed down my nail… oooouch! – I am a bit too clumsy! Though it would be interesting to see if this could be done with a needle pen! I really like your result!

4 05 2010
gamene

thanks asfora — i hope you try it carefully! definitely let us know if it works with the needle pen🙂

6 05 2010
Lyndsey

I can’t believe I missed this. I love your tutorial. Thanks! You did such a nice job on it! I am building more confidence just reading yours and all these great bento blogs!

7 05 2010
gamene

thanks lyndsey, glad to hear you are psyching yourself up — you can do it, haha!

8 05 2010
hippo mum

Megan, u’re really great
Now i know how this beautiful carrot flower being done
Thanks for sharing ^^

have a nice weekend

8 05 2010
gamene

thanks so much for visiting my blog hippo mum – such a big honor! glad you like the tutorial🙂

8 05 2010
Arii

Oh! this is a wonderfull idea to put a carrot-flower cutting guide! I will try it as soon as I will find big carrots ^^ (nowadays, they are a bit too small)

8 05 2010
gamene

hope you find some big fat ones soon arii! :o)

11 05 2010
Alicelily

That is amazing! Your guide is so clear and easy-to-follow. I love reading your posts – your bentos look so yummy and colorful!

11 05 2010
gamene

thanks so much alicelily :o)

14 05 2010
Nour

Lol i read this.. then went nd did it.. had a hard time cuz ive never tried smthng like this nd i was cutting the flower shape as well … i look at this again XDno wonder! lol i was doing the 1st cut in the middle of the petal and the 2nd cut from the side clockwise😄
hehe i improvised tho😛 to fix it up a bit .. just did a mid dip instead of the slope-y thing haha

can’t wait to eat it tmmrw ^u^ my first bento yay!!😄

15 05 2010
EmbemoVub

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Cheers
Christian, iwspo.net

9 07 2010
discojing » Blog Archive » Show ‘n Tell Issue 14

[…] Carved Carrot Flowers (Bento Zen) […]

25 09 2010
Tutorials

I’m so impressed. The pictures and instruction are perfect.

24 11 2010
lose weight

Thanks buddy. Awesome submissions you have here. Have some extra websites to link to with a bit more info?

22 09 2011
Stunning Garnishes That You Can Create! | Yummly

[…] Carrot Flowers (from bento zen) […]

22 09 2011
Stunning Garnishes That You Can Create! | Yummly

[…] Carrot Flowers (from bento zen) […]

29 02 2012
ika

cool..! thanks for share..wanna try this for my sons bento..🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: