Tanabata Bento – Cowherd and the Weaver Girl!
Tanabata is Japanese Star Festival, with its origins tracing back to the Chinese Qixi Festival. Held on July 7th every year, the festival celebrates the reunion of Hikoboshi (Cowherd) & Orihime (Weaver Girl), who were separated by the Milky Way and were allowed to meet just once a year.
What a sweet and touching love reunion, only once a year they met!!
Here is a traditional Tanabata song for you:
The bamboo leaves rustle,
shaking away in the eaves.
The stars twinkle
on the gold and silver grains of sand.
The five-colour paper strips
I have already written.
The stars twinkle,
they watch us from heaven.
To create the look of the milky way reunion, I cooked Japanese harusame noodles.
Harusame are transparent japanese noodles made from potato starch or mung bean starch. It is similar to glass noodles but more the taste texture is chewy and the noodles are thicker. They are really good for stir fry, soups, salads and even in dessert dishes! I personally prefer them to the usual thin glass noodles.
Beneath the harusame noodles is yummy minced meat and sauteed french beans and mushrooms. They matched perfectly with the noodles!
For the milky way, I used shredded Japanese cucumber. The stars were made from thin egg sheet, features were saweed and pink edible writing gel for the cheeks.
The side dishes were Japanese cherries, soft boiled egg (success!) and more of the minced meat and vegetables in the food cups.
The ingredients for the main characters were:
Hikoboshi (Cowherd) – quail egg, cheese, seaweed, egg sheet
Orihime (Weaver Girl) – quail egg, cheese, seaweed, egg sheet, shaved pink kamaboko, flower character furikake
How to color the eggs?
The quail eggs were colored with some food coloring, just very little. The technique is the same as the easter eggs recipe I blogged earlier.
See post and recipe here.