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Braided Chikuwa Flowers

Braided Chikuwa Flowers

These chikuwa flowers are great in bento! Stuff the centers with all kinds of things to vary the look of the flowers.

Ingredients: 2 braided flowers made out of 1 chikuwa fish stick

Chikuwa
1
Ham
1/2 slice
Cheese
a small amount

Steps

1. Cut the chikuwa in half lengthwise. Make 2 long cuts from the back or side, whichever you prefer, as shown.
2. Braid the chikuwa. As you braid them, they will curl up.
3. Secure temporarily with a toothpick, so that the braided ends are hidden under the other end.
4. The one on the left is one that was braided with the back-side up, and the one on the right was braided with the front-side up.
5. Make 1 to 1.5 cm cuts in the 1/4 slice of ham, and roll up with a piece of cheese.
6. Stuff the ham-flower in the braided chikuwa hole. Cut any excess from the back of the ham-flower. Remove the toothpick and secure the whole thing with a bento pick to finish.
7. I used these leaf-shaped picks to keep my flowers in place.
8. For bentos.
9. Variation: I used a crab stick to fill the hole. I shredded a bit of it after fitting it into my lunchbox.

Story Behind this Recipe

When I was thinking of things to make for bentos, I thought of braided bread, and tried making something similar with chikuwa fish sticks. Once it was braided it curled up with a hole in the middle, which I stuffed with a ham flower. (Is it human psychology to want to fill up holes.) Personally, I quite like it