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Shumai “burger” lunches
Posted By Biggie On March 23, 2007 @ 8:33 pm In bento, dumplings or buns, for kids, pasta or noodles, recipe, tips, tutorial or how to | 25 Comments
Morning prep time: 5 minutes (10 minutes for two lunches). We’ve got leftover spaghetti puttanesca (with tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil), steamed broccoli and kabocha squash (cooked together quickly in a  microwave mini steamer, speeding up cook time 50%), and pan-fried frozen shumai (a.k.a. siomai or siumai). I saw the pan-fried shumai in a Japanese bento cookbook, described as a “Chinese hamburger” — I got a chuckle out of that. I keep a few sauce bottles pre-filled with dipping sauces we use a lot (such as soy, dumpling dipping sauce, hot sauce, Lizano, etc.), so I was able to just grab a couple and throw them into our lunches. Tiny green grapes and a cherry tomato act as “gap fillers” to stabilize the lunch for transport.
The shumai “burgers” were fast and easy, using frozen shumai (Chinese dumplings). I microwaved the frozen shumai until soft (30 seconds on high in my 1100W microwave), heated a nonstick frying pan on medium heat, sprayed it with vegetable oil, and pan-fried the dumplings until crispy, mashing them down with a spatula throughout.
Bug does better if I cut up his spaghetti for him, so I did this quickly with clean kitchen scissors after putting the pasta in the bento box. Bug actually doesn’t like olives or capers, so I pulled those out of his puttanesca so he’d eat the whole thing. Success! He made a beeline for the finger food shumai “burgers” first, grabbed one of mine, then attacked all of the broccoli and pasta. He wasn’t interested in the kabocha, though — you never can tell (he usually likes it). Bug’s lunch is packed in a 350ml container, just about right according to the  Japanese nutrition and bento box size guidelines. I used a little plastic divider (”baran”) to keep the crispy shumai away from the moist broccoli, and threw in a tiny pick for the kabocha.
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URL to article: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/03/23/shumai-burger-lunches/
URLs in this post:
 microwave mini steamer: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/388209604/in/set-72157594150632817/
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/431757928/
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lunchinabox/431757929/
 Japanese nutrition and bento box size guidelines.: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/03/07/guide-to-choosing-the-right-size-bento-box/
 Need for speed: A mommyâ€™s lunch manifesto: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/04/23/need-for-speed-a-mommys-lunch-manifesto/
 Food safety for packed lunches: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/05/08/food-safety-for-packed-lunches-updated/
 How to pack a bento lunch and use â€œgap fillersâ€: http://lunchinabox.net/2007/06/11/guide-to-bento-packing-and-gap-fillers/
 Biggieâ€™s list of top speed tips, tutorials and equipment reviews: http://lunchinabox.net/top-tips/
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