Make the plastic wrap, bamboo skewers and rubber bands ready as shown here before making your usual tamagoyaki. (I used a 2-egg tamagoyaki here!)
Put the piping hot tamagoyaki on the edge where you will start rolling. Leave a small gap, then line up the bamboo skewers evenly.
Roll the tamagoyaki in the plastic wrap 1-2 times before you get to the skewers. This is important, to prevent the skewers from cutting into the tamagoyaki. (It prevents the tamagoyaki from looking like an amoeba!)
Keep wrapping the tamagoyaki up, keeping the skewers evenly distributed!
The skewers may get shifted around depending on the original shape of the tamagoyaki, so check it from several angles to make sure they are evenly spaced and straight. Adjust them accordingly.
When the skewers are positioned correctly, secure both ends of the skewers with rubber bands. (If you try to put the rubber bands around the skewers only they may slip off, so put them around the ends of the tamagoyaki too.)
When putting on the rubber bands, keep securing it while wrapping the bands around tightly. This way the skewers are less likely to slip!
Leave to cool until just before packing them into a bento box.
Take the rubber bands, skewers and plastic wrap off and slice the tamagoyaki. It will look like this.
Fall special, for decorating Halloween bentos: Jack o' Lantern version! Recipe ID: 2361074
Here I separated the yolks from the whites and cooked the yolks first, then cooked the whites. Decorate with black sesame seeds to make them look more flower-like.
This version has nori seaweed in it.
Here the center is a fish sausage!
The flower shaped tamagoyaki look like this in a bento. These are a bit wobbly.
Even if they are wobbly, as long as they look like flowers they're fine!
This tamoyaki has komatsuna greens in it. I also made fish sausage roses. It's perfect for small bentos. Recipe ID: 2227418
For bentos for little children, 1-egg tamagoyaki flowers may be just right.
About the timing: On the left are flowers from a tamagoyaki that was wrapped after some time (5 minutes after cooking). On the right, flowers from one that was wrapped right after cooking.
Results: I think the one wrapped and formed right after cooking looks puffier and nicer. Be careful not to burn yourself!
Story Behind this Recipe
I've known about this method of forming tamagoyaki with bamboo skewers for some time, but I thought up this way of lining up the skewers on the plastic wrap first, so I made it into a recipe. It takes a little effort, but the results are really cute. Even if the flowers turn out a bit crooked, that's the charm of homemade.
When making the base tamagoyaki, try rolling it so that it is triangular or round or square in shape rather than long and thin. It's easier to space the bamboo skewers evenly I think. If you want to make the petals on the flower very distinct, press the skewers into the center firmly on your work surface before leaving it to cool! The center is the furthest away from the rubber bands after all!