Koi Fish Bento with Mapo Tofu and Gyoza

Koi fish bento with gyoza and mapo tofu

No fish was harmed in the making of this bento

Hi guys! Did you all have a good weekend?

This week’s bento was sort of an experimental bento. I bought a different brand of vegetarian mince (I normally eat Quorn, but decided to give Neal’s Yard soy protein a try) and decided to cook it two ways: mushroom and veggie mince yaki-gyoza (grilled dumplings), and vegetarian mapo doufu or mapo tofu (Szechuan style tofu in a spicy bean sauce). I added to my bento two koi (Japanese carp) rice balls decorated with nori and carrot peel, radish stars, and omelette strips to create a lattice effect over the tofu.

Mapo doufu is like chilli or bolognese; everyone’s got their own recipe. It is usually cooked with pork, but as I don’t eat meat, I needed to add some depth to the dish, hence the miso paste. Unlike pork, vegetarian mince does not add any flavour to the dish, only texture. Here’s my recipe:

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Gyoza Bunny Kyaraben Bento + Recipe for Nira Tamagoyaki

Gyoza Bunny Bento

Assembled a quick and healthy bento for dinner last night. The gyoza (dumplings) were meant to be the bunny’s ears. I was steaming the rice in my bamboo steamer when I decided to eat out of the steamer itself (so I didn’t have to wash another dish!). The bento was constructed from sushi rice, two oven-baked vegetarian Quorn gyoza left over from night before, lettuce, pan-fried tofu cubes, savoury nira tamagoyaki (Chinese chive rolled omelette), red/purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and mukimame (shelled edamame). I used flaxseeds for the bunny’s eyes, nori for its mouth, and a little chilli sauce on the cheeks.

You can find my gyoza filling recipe and wrapping instructions here.

See below for recipe for nira tamagoyaki.

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Recipe: Quorn Gyoza


Gyoza are Chinese inspired part-pan fried, part steamed dumplings called jiao zi, also known as ‘pot stickers’ – as they stick to the pan whilst being pan-fried. In Mandarin, they are also known as guo tie – guo meaning ’pot’, and tie meaning ‘to stick’ – hence ‘pot stickers’. Don’t you just love direct translations?

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