In the spirit of celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival, I decided to make a bento dinner. The plan was to take our dinner to Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, one of the locations around HK where people gather with their children to carry lanterns. However, by the time I'd finished making the bentos, it was 8pm, I was exhausted and did not feel like stepping out the door. As YH had work to do, he was quite happy to stay home as well.
Despite it being a mid-autumn bento, which for me evokes images of pumpkins and orange-red leaves, the weather here in HK is still so warm that I decided to make sushi and salad. I rolled some maki (sushi rolls) with an egg and rice circle design to represent the full moon, and mixed salmon flakes with the rice for the outer circle to add colour and flavour.
The salad which accompanies the sushi celebrates the summer harvest. Yellow and green zucchini and snow peas were lightly stir-fried with sesame oil, then cooled, and mixed together with grilled chicken. I also added some ponzu (citrus soy vinegar) dressing in a little squeeze container, and topped the salad with some cherry tomatoes and rabbit-shaped carrots (to follow the Mid-Autumn Festival theme). All the colours put together ended up looking a little garish (also quite appropriate, I thought!)
Here are the completed dinner bentos, with some Japanese apple juice:
For dessert, I packed a separate fruit bento, with grapes, starfruit and pomelo.
The starfruit was a gift from a friend for the Mid-Autumn Festival. In Hong Kong, it is common for people to give each other fresh fruits or mooncakes during this time of year. The starfruit I received is one of the largest I've ever seen. It was around 20cm long. I've not eaten starfruit for a while although it is sometimes available in Hong Kong. Starfruit is very common in South East Asia, especially in Malaysia and Singapore, and is a little tart, juicy and very refreshing. (Apparently, starfuit isn't good for people with kidney problems, due to its high content of oxalic acid.)