We’ve seen plenty of amazing food art recently, in a variety of forms. From 3D latte art to avocado pit carvings, there seems to be no shortage of creativity when food is the canvas. The latest culinary craft to catch our eye is Masanori Kono’s adorable animal sculptures made from grated daikon radishes.
Between working at a photobooth company and running a flea market at the weekends, Kono gets creative with grated daikon radishes, making adorable sculptures placed in nabe—a Japanese version of a hot pot. Typically served during cold winter months, nabe is a wholesome meal that keeps you warm. Taking inspiration from kyaraben bento art—where food is styled to look like animals, people, or pop-culture icons—Kono’s creations not only warm your belly, but also warm your heart.
Kono’s first project involved a grated radish polar bear sitting in a steaming pot of chopped pork belly and Chinese cabbage. After posting a picture on Twitter, his creation quickly became popular, and he posted his recipe on CookPad. Soon after, many other radish creations were born, including a laid-back llama, a panda sitting among steamy leaves, and a family of capybaras chilling in a hot nabe bath.
If you love Kono’s nabe creations, he has a book titled Daikon Oroshi Art that’s full of pictures and recipes. It’s currently available to purchase on Amazon.