The Japanese love to cook their version of hotpot called nabe during winter. It is mainly composed of meat or seafood and vegetables simmered in a pot. This is cooked on a portable stove that is placed on top of a kotatsu, a low, wooden table with a heater attached to the underside of it. The table is often seen covered by a puffy blanket called the futon, and secured then by another wooden table piece. So there you have it. A nice family gathering eating and sharing a warm pot of nabe while making themselves warm during winter.
However, someone got a little too creative in preparing nabe. Early December 2013, Masanori Kono started grating daikon radish and created amazing and adorable sculptures to garnish the warm pot.
Kono, who works in a purikura (photobooth) company and runs a flea market in Nakameguro, Tokyo on weekends, started to have fun and sculpted the grated radish into a polar bear, adding its eyes and nose made of nori (roasted seaweed sheet). The polar bear that submerged in the pot of nabe went viral when Kono posted a photo of it via Twitter. Because of its popularity, Kono decided to share the recipe on CookPad, a Japanese recipe website.
After the polar bear, panda bears, lambs, cats and even humans made of grated radish were all created, making each as the center of the spotlight on each served pot. The spotlight then pointed to Kono that made him sign a book deal. The “Grated Daikon Art” (daikon oroshi art) was then published, featuring his edible artworks and recipes.
Aren’t these adorable? It’ll be a pain to crush and eat them though!