Bread for breakfast may be commonplace but toast decorated with … more miniature toasts and tiny eggs over easy? That's a specialty of Eiko Mori -- and that’s not all the Japanese food stylist is decorating her toast with.
“I first experimented with a strawberry pattern on some toast, just for fun,” Mori says, explaining how her toast art series began earlier this year. It has since become an adorable internet sensation. “Then I started thinking it would be fun to try other fruit designs like tiny kiwis, peaches, and tangerines.” Soon, her fruity designs transformed into miniature vegetables, bowls of ramen, and ice cream cones. “I never expected I would get such a huge response from creating these patterns on toast, just for my own enjoyment!”
While she tries to create a new piece every morning, Mori admits it’s more often every other day as the detailed work can be time consuming (but oh-so-cute!) “I mainly use a spoon and a toothpick,” she says, on her must-have tools. “I also use a tiny piping bag which I make with parchment paper.” Some of her designs even involve placing on sesame seeds one at a time with a pair of tweezers.
For the white background that defines most of her toasts, Mori spreads a homemade sour cream. “It’s just the right thickness that’s easy to ‘draw’ on and it won’t get dry or crack for a while,” she explains. She uses Japanese ingredients such as black sesame paste and peanut cream (not butter!) as well as more familar foods like mango paste and custard sauce for her decorations. For the toast, “I mostly use shoku-pan (a Japanese-style milk bread),” she says. Sometimes she uses store-bought bread, but also makes her own from scratch; recently, she has started experimenting with colored breads: "chocolate for brown and spinach to color it green.”
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To add texture to her mini food designs, like her tiny shrimp tempura, Mori gets creative. “Sometimes I will crush up or grate a frozen piece of sponge cake to represent the crunchy texture,” she says. "I always use tasty and edible ingredients because everything will eventually be eaten!”
Interview translation courtesy of Yoshiko Nakamura-Atlakson
Craving a more creative breakfast? Try our recipe for parmesan fried eggs with Sarah Carey's how-to here: