Bento no. 66: Vegan Iridofu Donburi Bento

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Bento contents:

  • 1 cup (240ml, about 150g) brown rice, 240 calories
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) vegan iri dofu, 225 calories
  • Snow peas and pickled red ginger (beni shouga) for garnish

Total calories (approx): 465 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 15 minutes the night before; 5 minutes in the morning

Type: Traditional Japanese, vegan

Donburi style bentos are so easy and quick to assemble, especially if you've made whatever goes on top of the rice in advance. The vegan iri dofu recipe is best made the night before; in the morning, you just need to pile it on top of the rice (cooked in a rice cooker with a timer, or made and frozen in advance), add some garnish, and you're ready to go.

Nutrtion tip: When you are making a vegan bento, always try to use brown rice or zakkokumai (rice with mixed grains), for added nutritional value. The protein in the brown rice, coupled with the iri dofu, gives you as much protein as a meaty bento.

Assembly steps

This bento is so easy, I'm skipping the usual timeline, but here are the assembly steps.

  1. Quickly boil a few snow peas in a little bit of boiling water; drain and cool rapidly under running water. Pat dry. (You can do this the night before too of course.)
  2. Fill your bento box or bowl about 2/3rds full with rice, making the top even.
  3. Fill up to the rim with the iri dofu.
  4. Garnish with the snow peas and a bit of pickled ginger (beni shouga).

The box I used here is a hand turned wooden box made by a relative of my stepfather. It's absolutely beautiful and so tactile. It goes well with the beige tones of the tofu.