Soba Gyoza Bento Lunch Box
I have been making packed dinner whenever my family member works the night shift. This 20-minute soba gyoza bento is made of supermarket frozen Japanese gyoza and seaweed chicken as the main meat protein. There is also cha soba (green tea buckwheat noodles) with a soba dipping sauce, cheesy sautéed kale-slaw (part of meal prep) & cherry tomatoes. With little experience in making packed meals, I used ‘safe’ food commonly seen in a Japanese bento. That will be food like soba, gyoza & fried chicken, so this was how this lunchbox came about. I’m assured that these foods keep well for a few hours and can be eaten when cold (room temperature) without reheating.
I am using an Ikea lunch box. I like that it comes with individual microwaveable compartments. The box also comes with a small section for garnishes. And when I remove all the inner compartments I used the outer box for sandwiches.
I also made a bento for myself at the same time. My box always comes with slight variations – no soba noodles, but more cheesy kale, cherry tomatoes and gyoza to make up for it.
LUNCH BOX COMPONENTS
1. PAN-FRIED SUPERMARKET GYOZA & JAPANESE SEAWEED CHICKEN
Pan fry supermarket frozen gyoza on the pan (pictured above). Use the same pan to fry some supermarket Japanese seaweed chicken.
Rest them on a wire rack to drain excess oil and cool down before putting into the bento.
2. CHEESY SAUTEED KALE
I made a big batch of experimental sautéed kale + cabbage for meal prep a few days ago. So I used my last container of leftover kale for this bento. First, pack the sautéed veg tightly in one of the compartments, cut one piece of cheese to fit nicely over the kale and microwave for 1 minute until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle some dried parsley flakes and wow, this cheesy kale is really delicious and bento-ready. You can use any sauteed kale recipe such as this & this.
3. SOBA DIPPING SAUCE
I’m using the instant soba sauce (tsuyu or つゆ) bought at Daiso. Dilute the noodle sauce with drinking water according to the instructions in the packaging. If you have time, you can make your soba sauce from scratch. To prevent leaks when carrying the sauce bottle around, I used a GoStak (contains my iHerb affiliate link) which is leakproof. I have been using this container on weekdays to bring my overnight oats breakfast to work.
4. CHERRY TOMATOES, LETTUCE & GARNISHES
I lined the bento compartment holding the fried food with romaine lettuce leaves. When eating, I used a lettuce leaf to wrap the gyoza and cheese kale. I filled empty spaces with cherry tomatoes.There is a lemon wedge to squeeze over the chicken. Since my lunch box has 2 mini compartment for garnishes, I put spring onions and picked red ginger (beni shoga). The noodles are also garnished with a naruto fish cake. Basically, you can use anything available in your fridge. Making a bento is fun so far (if I am not too tired) :P