Bento | Doshirak |Lunch Box | 도시락

Lunchbox Ideas Using Leftovers


When I have to pack a lunchbox, I often use leftovers. If I made grilled fish the night before, I will make a fish sandwich the next day for lunch; adding fresh arugula or baby sprouts will enhance the flavor of the fish. Meatloaf sandwich is always one of my favorites. Chicken Cutlet and leftover Green Bean Stir-fry to make Kimbap. With leftover rice, after warming it up in the microwave, I can easily make rice balls or Inari sushi and pack it with sweet vegetables pickles. Here are just a few of them to share with you.

 

Tri-Colored Rice Rolls

 
Bento

Transfer finely chopped carrot, broccoli florets and roasted sesame seeds individually to small bowls.

Season the rice and divide into bite size balls. Coat each ball separately in the bowls.

 

Rice Seasoning

1 cup cooked rice
1 tablespoon white vinegar or rice vinegar
1 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

In a bowl, mix the rice dressing. If the rice is cold, warm it up in the microwave. Pour the dressing over hot rice and mix the rice in a circular motion. If making more than 1 cup, adjust the recipe proportionately.

 
 

Roasted Chicken Sandwich

 
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Split apart a hamburger bun. Remove the crust from the top and bottom of the bun and toast them lightly in olive oil.

Wrap avocado slices in lettuce. This helps the avocado keep inside the bun. Spread olive oil mayonnaise on the bun. Assemble the sandwich; bun + avocado/lettuce + roasted chicken (or meat of your choice) + top with the bun.

Cut the sandwich in half. Wrap each piece halfway up with parchment paper.

 

Rice Rolls and Tamagoyaki Rolls

 
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Seasoned rice balls rolled in roasted sesame seeds and finely chopped parsley. The rolls are accompanied with Tamagoyaki rolled in roasted seaweed and boston bib lettuce.

 
 

Lettuce Rolls

 
Bento

Remove the rigid part of the stem from 2 pieces of lettuce. Place the leaves on top of each other overlapping in the middle. Place the avocado, and meat.

Roll the lettuce into a log. Place toothpicks spaced an inch apart. Cut in between the toothpicks so that you have bite size pieces. Pack with baby tomatoes and home-made biscuits on the side.

 
 

Fried Rice Eggs Rolls

 
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Make the eggs as shown on Omu Rice. Lay the egg sheet on a sushi mat. Place the fried rice and roll into a log. Cut to 1 inch pieces. Sides: Asian pears and seedless grapes

 
 

Baked Trout Sandwich

 
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Prepare a hamburger bun as shown in “Roasted Chicken Sandwich”. Spread aioli or mayonnaise + mustard + relish.

I like using trout to make a sandwich because it doesn’t have the typical fishy smell. I had made it the night before so I decided to use it to pack lunch.

If the fish has been refrigerated, warm the fish in the microwave and sprinkle lime juice. Assemble the sandwich; bun + aioli or mayonnaise + baby greens or arugula + trout + bun. Wrap the bottom half of the sandwich with parchment paper.

 
 

Inari Sushi with Egg Apple

 

Season the rice with the Rice Dressing. Place a piece of fried bean curd in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze the excess juice. Carefully open the fried bean curd. Take about 1 1/2 tablespoons of rice and stuff the pocket. The brand of seasoned fried bean curd I like is Hime Inarizushi-No-Moto.

 
 

Stuffed Rice Rolls

 

Season the rice with the Rice Dressing. Take about a tablespoon of rice and create a pouch in the center. Place cheese, pickles, or chopped leftover meat in the center. Top with 3/4 tablespoons of rice. Shape it into a ball. Coat with roasted sesame seeds and/or finely chopped parsley.

 
 

Meatloaf Sandwich

 

 
 

Leftover Kimbap

 
Bento5

Kimbap made with leftover Chicken Cutlet and Green Bean Stir-fry. I added fresh cucumbers and pickled radish.

 
 

Meeyukgook | Korean Birthday Soup | 미역국

Meeyukgook17Meeyukgook is always served on a birthday; soup is a must as part of a birthday meal. This tradition may have begun as a symbolic rememberance of the day we were born.
 
It is customary to serve Meeyukgook when a woman gives birth. She’s served Meeyukgook from the day of the child-birth until weeks thereafter. I often wondered if this is the reason why we have Meeyukgook on our birthdays; to celebrate by recreating the day we were born. Years past, beef was too expensive and was not accessible for majority of the population. Seaweed on the other hand was abundant and affordable for most people. Seaweed provided nutrients needed to fortify the bones and replenish blood loss during child-birth with it’s high content in calcium and iron.


Old wive’s tale we must know… One occasion Meeyukguk should not be served is on a day of an important exam. The tale goes because seaweed is slippery, the test will “slip away” from the test taker and he/she will fail the test. Instead, anything “sticky”, such as sweet rice cake is served. Of course there’s no statistics to prove this one way or another but ’til this day, this rule is rigidly followed in a traditional Korean household.

 

Ingredients

1/2 oz Meeyuk (dried seaweed)
1/4 pound beef, beef brisket preferred
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon gukganjang – Korean soup soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon green onions, chopped
5 cups water or Basic Dashi
green onions for garnish, optional
kosher salt to taste

Beef Marinade:
1 teaspoon soup soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons chopped green onions
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
pinch freshly ground black pepper

No Beef Option:
Omit the beef. Use Basic Dashi in place of water.

Meeyukgook14Gukganjang; Korean Soup Soy Sauce can be found in the soy sauce section in a Korean market. It has a different taste than a regular soy sauce; thinner and less sweet. When flavoring soups, Gugkganjang is almost always used. There are many brands and taste vary. I try to find those that are naturally brewed and have the least amount of sodium and additives.

 
 

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In a large bowl, put the dried seaweed and fill it with water.

 
 

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Set aside at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

 
 

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After the dried seaweed is rehydrated, rinse several times in water, each time with clean water. Rinse until there’s no longer sand settling in the bottom of the bowl.

 
 

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Drain in a colander.

 
 

Gather in a bunch, slice in 3 inch sections. Set aside.

 
 

Marinade

In a small bowl, combine the beef marinade ingredients. Julienne the beef and season with the meat marinade. Set aside.

 
 

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Heat a pot. When the pot is hot, add the sesame seed oil.

 
 

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Cook the beef, stirring constantly, breaking each pieces apart.

 
 

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Cook until most of the pieces are cooked, but not completely.

 
 

Meeyukgook10c

Add the seaweed and sauté quickly.

 
 

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Add the garlic, green onions and gukganjang. Cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minutes.

 
 

Meeyukgook10d

Add the water or Basic Dashi. Bring to a boil on high heat. Using a large spoon or a fine sieve, remove the foam rising to the top.

I like to use Basic Dashi instead of water because it adds a deeper flavor to the broth.

 
 

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Cover and lower the heat to low to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.

 
 

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Turn up the heat to high. Taste and season with kosher salt if necessary. Add freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil.

 
 

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Ladle onto a soup bowl. Garnish with green onions if desired. Serve hot.

 
 

Related Recipe

 
 

Korean Birthday Soup | Meeyukgook
 
Makes: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ oz Meeyuk (dried seaweed)
  • ¼ pound beef, beef brisket preferred
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon gukganjang - Korean soup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon green onions, chopped
  • 5 cups water
  • green onions for garnish, optional
  • kosher salt
Beef Marinade
  • 1 teaspoon soup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Soak the dried seaweed in water for about 20 minutes.
  2. After the dried seaweed is rehydrated, rinse several times in water, each time with clean water. Rinse until there's no longer sand settling in the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Drain in a colander.
  4. Gather in a bunch, slice in 3 inch sections. Set aside.
  5. If using beef, julienne the beef and season with the meat marinade. Set aside.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the beef marinade ingredients. Julienne the beef and season with the meat marinade. Set aside.
  7. Heat a pot. When the pot is hot, add the oil.
  8. Cook the beef, stirring constantly, breaking each pieces apart. Cook until most of the pieces are cooked, but not completely.
  9. Add the seaweed and sauté quickly.
  10. Add the garlic, green onions and gukganjang. Cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minutes.
  11. Add the water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Using a large spoon or a fine sieve, remove the foam rising to the top.
  12. Lower the heat to low to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  13. Turn up the heat to high. Taste and season with kosher salt if necessary. Add freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil.
  14. Ladle onto a soup bowl. Garnish with green onions if desired. Serve hot.
Notes
If you don't want to use beef, omit the beef. In lieu of water, use the Basic Dashi. How-To Make Basic Dash available on NotJustRice.com

Omu Rice | Fried Rice Omelette | 오무 라이스

OmuRice20Growing up, it was a treat when my Mom made Omu Rice for us. It was not only delicious but a fun food to have as a child. When I became a Mom, I too made this dish for my children. Every child in a Korean household is familiar with this dish. It is a tasty way to use leftover rice and transform it into a beautiful appetizing dish, especially appealing to a child. I am using these vegetables in this recipe but you can use any vegetables. Often times, I will grab leftover vegetables or meats in the refrigerator, chop an onion and make the fried rice. Try it for yourself, I am sure the dish will be a hit with everyone in the family.

 

Ingredients

2 eggs
3 – 4 cups Fried Rice
3 – 4 teaspoons canola oil or oil of your choice
1/3 cup ketchup

Fried Rice
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup sweet peas, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 link cooked chicken sausage, finely chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil or oil or your choice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Making the Fried Rice

 

OmuRice1

Chop the sweet peas, onions, carrots and sausage in equal sizes.

I am using these vegetables and sausage for this recipe but I will use whatever I have in the refrigerator or freezer to make the fried rice. To name just a few; leftover stir-fried vegetables and meats, green and red bell peppers, fresh or frozen green beans, frozen corn, frozen peas, celery, kimchee, fish cake, shrimp and bacon.

If you are using frozen peas, rinse them over tap water in a strainer, add them right before adding the freshly ground black pepper and cook until warmed through.

 
 

OmuRice10

Heat a pan on high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil.

 
 

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Add the chopped vegetables and sausage and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent and the vegetables are cooked.

 
 

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Add the soy sauce. Stir and cook for a couple of seconds.

 
 

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Add the salt. Stir to mix well. Lower the heat to medium low.

 
 

Add the rice and break it apart with a back of a wooden spoon. Stir and combine well.

 
 

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Add the freshly ground pepper. Taste the rice and season with kosher salt, if necessary. Set aside.

 
 

Making the Omu Rice

 

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Heat a 10 to 12 inch non-stick pan on medium high heat. Add about 2 teaspoons of oil or enough to coat the pan. These steps will need to be repeated with each serving.

 
 

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While the oil is heating, break an egg in a a small bowl. Using a fork, beat the egg.

 
 

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When the oil is hot, using a paper towel, gently wipe off any excess oil. Lower the heat to low and return the pan to the stove.

 
 

OmuRice12

Pour the beaten egg into the pan.

 
 

OmuRice13

Immediately lift the pan by the handle and swirl the pan to spread the egg evenly. The pan has to be hot enough so the egg will coat the pan but low enough not to burn.

Lower the heat to the lowest setting and place the pan back on the stove. Move quickly on to the next step while the egg is barely set.

 
 

Place half of the fried rice in the center of the egg. Flatten and spread the rice leaving 2 inches around the perimeter. Fold the edges over the rice and using a spatula, apply gentle pressure to crease so that the edges stay folded.

 
 

OmuRice16

Place a serving dish on top of the rice upside down inside the pan.

 
 

OmuRice17

Place your hand on the bottom of the plate as you carefully invert the pan.

Don’t worry if the sides of the egg comes undone during the process, once the omu rice is on the serving plate, tuck the egg under the rice.

 
 

Drizzle the ketchup on top and serve.

 
 

Quick Pastry Bag to Drizzle Ketchup

Pour about 1/3 cup of ketchup in a corner of a plastic bag. Cut the tip. Create a pattern befitting the occasion; geometric to heart shape.

 
 

Omu Rice | 오무 라이스
 
Makes: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 – 4 cups Fried Rice
  • 3 – 4 teaspoons canola oil or oil of your choice
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
Fried Rice
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup sweet peas, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 link cooked chicken sausage, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or oil or your choice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
Making the Fried Rice
  1. Chop the sweet peas, onions, carrots and sausage in equal sizes.
  2. Heat a pan on high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables and sausage and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent and the vegetables are cooked.
  4. Add the soy sauce. Stir and cook for a couple of seconds. Add the salt. Stir to mix well. Lower the heat to medium low.
  5. Add the rice and break it apart with a back of a wooden spoon. Stir and combine well.
  6. Add the freshly ground pepper. Taste the rice and season with kosher salt, if necessary. Set aside.
Making the Omu Rice
  1. Heat a 10 to 12 inch non-stick pan on medium high heat. Add about 2 teaspoons of oil or enough to coat the pan. These steps will need to be repeated with each serving.
  2. While the oil is heating, break an egg in a a small bowl. Using a fork, beat the egg.
  3. When the oil is hot, using a paper towel, gently wipe off any excess oil. Lower the heat to low and return the pan to the stove.
  4. Pour the beaten egg into the pan.
  5. Immediately lift the pan by the handle and swirl the pan to spread the egg evenly. The pan has to be hot enough so the egg will coat the pan but low enough not to burn. Lower the heat to the lowest setting and place the pan back on the stove. Move quickly on to the next step while the egg is barely set.
  6. Place half of the fried rice in the center of the egg. Flatten and spread the rice leaving 2 inches around the perimeter. Fold the edges over the rice and using a spatula, apply gentle pressure to crease so that the edges stay folded.
  7. Place a serving dish on top of the rice upside down inside the pan.
  8. Place your hand on the bottom of the plate as you carefully invert the pan. Don’t worry if the sides of the egg comes undone during the process, once the omu rice is on the serving plate, tuck the egg under the rice.
  9. Drizzle ketchup on top and serve. Quick Pastry Bag to Drizzle Ketchup: Pour about ⅓ cup of ketchup in a corner of a plastic bag. Cut the tip. Create a pattern befitting the occasion; geometric to heart shape.
Notes
I am using these vegetables and sausage for this recipe but I will use whatever I have in the refrigerator or freezer to make the fried rice. To name just a few; leftover stir-fried vegetables and meats, green and red bell peppers, fresh or frozen green beans, frozen corn, frozen peas, celery, kimchee, fish cake, shrimp and bacon. If you are using frozen peas, rinse them over tap water in a strainer, add them right before adding the freshly ground black pepper and cook until warmed through.