The main dish of today’s bento is Shumai but my Shumai Bento is a colourful bento - the rice is covered with Japanese scrambled eggs and green peas, and decorated with the flower-shaped carrots. The pickled red cabbage adds an extra colour to the already colourful bento!
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.
Fill about half of the bento box with the rice, allowing for 1cm / ⅜” margin at the top (see the first photo in this post).
Place Shumai pieces next to the rice, filling most of the remaining space of the bento box.
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. Shumai can be made ahead and you can even freeze them. If frozen, reheat them in the microwave or a steamer before packing.
If your bento box is larger or the amount of rice you filled the bento box with is smaller, you may increase the number of Shumai pieces.
3. If you have a vegetable cutter in a flower shape (see the post Sanshoku Bento for samples), that would be the easiest. But if you don't, you can still make a flower carrot with a knife.
To make a plum flower shape with a knife: Slice one round slice (3mm / ⅛" thickness) taken from the length of the carrot. Make 5 small v-shaped cuts around the edge of the round slice in equal spacing. Shape the edges of the petals by removing pointy edges.
Boil or microwave the flowers to soften them.