Bento no. 53: Sesame beef and vegetable bento

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Bento contents:

  • Approx. 1 cup of brown rice - 240 cal
  • 60 g / 2 oz. (about 3 heaping tablespoons) Sesame flavored beef made with lean beef, 130 cal
  • About 1/3 cup carrot kinpira, 50 cal
  • Blanched greens flavored with oyster sauce and bean sprouts flavored with salt and sansho pepper, 20 cal

Total calories (approx): 440 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 10-15 minutes in the morning

The star of this bento is the Sesame Flavored Beef, but it's still loaded with vegetables and fiber. You might think "2 ounces of meat? No way is that going to fill me up!" but it really does in a bento like this.

Since the beef and the carrot kinpira are both strongly flavored, I only added a tiny bit of oyster sauce to the blanched greens (Chinese broccoli or gai lan in this case) and salt and pepper to the bean sprouts. It's all layered on top of a bed of brown rice. If you want your greens to have more flavor, you can try this namul recipe.

I made all of the components ready the night before. Actually, I used the greens and the bean sprouts in a stir-fry, and just set aside a bit for the next day's bento. I had a batch of carrot kinpira already made, and the beef was marinated. It only takes a couple of minutes to cook the beef and blanch the vegetables. You could cook both the night before just ready to pack, though the flavor will be a bit fresher if the finishing cooking is done in the morning.

Here's the man-sized version (taken with a cellphone so please forgive the slight wonkiness). It just has a bit more beef, about 1 1/2 cups of rice, and more vegetables (mainly more bean sprouts) for a total of about 600 calories - since the Guy does need to watch the waistline too.

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Timeline

If you can prep the vegetables and the beef the night before, you can do this bento in under 10 minutes. One trick that will save you a crucial 2-3 minutes is to use the same boiling water to blanch the greens and the bean sprouts: just do one first, fish it all out (or use a sieve and drain the water into another pot), then do the other.

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