Hinomaru Bento is a bento that consists of just white rice and a umeboshi (pickled plum) in the middle. Today’s bento consists of Hinomaru Bento and my favourite, Saikyo Yaki. Other dishes compliment the Saikyo Yaki fish.
Because bento is usually made mostly from left-over dishes or make-ahead dishes, the time indicated in this recipe only shows the time to pack the bento box and the minimum cooking time that is required before packing.
Put the rice in the second large compartment and place an umeboshi in the centre of the rice (note 6).
Place a bunch of spinach in a corner of the largest compartment, away from the rice. If you want, you can put a few drops of soy sauce on to give a flavour to the spinach.
Spread the lettuce along the spinach and place the fish. The lettuce is placed between the two dishes so that they don’t interfere with each other.
Place the daikon in the second smallest compartment.
1. It is best to pack the cooked rice in a bento box while hot or warm as it is easier to shape the rice into the bento box.
2. There are different kinds of umeboshi sold at Japanese/Asian grocery stores. You can use any of them. If you don’t like umeboshi, you can omit it but then it won’t be Hinomaru Bento!
3. My halibut fillet was about 150g / 5.3oz. You can use one of the other fish fillet that are recommended in my post Saikyo Yaki Fish. You will need a few days to get the fish marinated. You can also use frozen Saikyo Miso marinated fish.
4. The recipe card in my post Pickled Chrysanthemum Radish explains how to make it with a turnip.
5. If you don't have a large bento box with partitions, you can still pack bento using okazu cups to separate the dishes. Please see the sample photo of packing a bento in a plastic take away container in the post.
6. I used a plastic bento box that you often get from Japanese take away bento shops. The box is partitioned into sections for rice, main dish, and side dishes. If you are using a bento box without partitions, you can use okazu cups to place the dishes to avoid getting two different flavours mixed up.