love bears bento and contest winner

8 02 2010

tomorrow’s bento features kong bap (frozen several weeks ago for my bento stash and then thawed tonight), sesame tofu, cheese-and-vegetarian-ham bears, cheese-and-nori hearts, a tamagoyaki heart, broccoli, carrot sticks, tomatoes, pea pods, and a strawberry mochi with a strawberry heart (in a valentine’s food cup you can’t really see from this angle).  the background paper is from a sweet bento pal, and the cool see-through fork is from a recyclable kids’ set!

[as seen on carnet diaphane: the japanese tradition of bento]

— ♥ —

since the sesame tofu — leftover from dinner — is buried under the kong bap, i thought i’d include a picture of that as well…

here’s my quick and easy recipe:

super simple, not-too-sweet sesame tofu

  • 1 package extra firm tofu, cubed (i like 1/2″ cubes)
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • canola oil to coat a frying pan
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. gochu garu (korean red pepper flakes)
  • 2 scallion stems, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  1. in a seal-able container, mix the cornstarch, garlic powder, ginger and cayenne.  once those ingredients are evenly combined, add the tofu and press the lid onto the container to seal it tightly.  shake the container vigorously until the cubes are evenly coated with the spice-and-cornstarch mixture.
  2. add the canola oil to your frying pan and heat it up.  you don’t need to deep fry this tofu, but once the oil is hot add the coated cubes in one even layer.  (if your frying pan is too small to fit all the tofu, fry in batches.)  when the bottom side of the cube layer has browned, use a spatula to turn multiple cubes at a time.  fry for about 1 minute on each side until the cubes are crispy and evenly browned.  move the cubes onto paper towels so that some of the surface oil can be absorbed.
  3. in the frying pan you used for the tofu cubes (no need to clean), add the soy sauce, honey, fresh garlic, sesame oil and pepper flakes.  once the honey warms up it will thin out, and then you will be able to stir these ingredients together.  once they’re mixed, add the tofu cubes back in and jiggle them around to coat with the glaze.
  4. once the cubes are glazed, add the sesame seeds (the cubes will now be sticky enough to hold them).  the sesame tofu is now ready to serve — garnish with chopped scallions, and serve with rice and veggies of your choosing!

— ♥ —

thanks to everyone who participated in the vacation contest!  you all shared such beautiful bentos and wonderful recipes and bento ideas in the comments, i have really enjoyed reading them (and will definitely be referring back to this list when i need inspiration)!  we had 74 entries (not counting incorrect destination guesses), and the winner proved that playing the odds can really pay off.  she had the most correct entries of all the participants, and so i wasn’t that surprised when the random integer generator picked one of her numbers!  (i had already used the list randomizer to assign numbers to all the correct entries; a portion of the list is visible below.)

congratulations to angelene t.!!  please get in touch with your address information so that i can ship out your prize package.  and to all the other participants, sorry you didn’t win this time, but i hope you enjoyed the links everyone shared… and stay tuned, there will be more bento zen contests in the future!



31 responses

8 02 2010

Congrats angelene and thanks gamene! It was a fun contest!
Super cute bento, and the tamagoyaki heart is a great idea! I don’t know how you can pack that plump strawberry mochi with its dainty heart.. I would have just concluded that it doesn’t fit, and “put it away”…

8 02 2010

Congrats Angelene! What a fun contest, so great to see what everyone is making for lunch. Hope you had a good trip – waiting for details. Welcome home.

8 02 2010

Welcome back! Thanks for sharing the recipe for the tofu, as it is just what I needed to dress up a block of tofu that’s sitting in the fridge. I also enjoyed playing your contest . . . congrats Angelene!

8 02 2010
Lia Chen

Can’t stand for the cuteness in your bento box. You are back with great bento and beautiful heart details 🙂 And congrats for Angelene!

8 02 2010

Welcome back! Awesome Korean recipe…and veggie too! Thanks for a super fun contest and I look forward to seeing exotic Icelandic photos. How was the preserved shark? Any sharky bentos in the future… hehehe. Anyways…congrats to Angelene. What a score of cute bento stuff.

8 02 2010

Hey there! I liked your tofu recipe. It looks so yummy! Congrats to Angelene!

Until next time … ninja judy

8 02 2010

Oh my goodness! My mouth is literally watering looking at the tofu!

8 02 2010
Susan Yuen

Congrats to Angelene and thanks to gamene for a fun bento contest! Can’t wait to try out the tofu recipe, sounds yummy! And your bento is beary cute! 😀

8 02 2010
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9 02 2010

thanks for all your welcoming greetings, bento friends! the trip was great, but i never did try the preserved shark… i was too busy running around the southwest portion of the country visiting its natural wonders! (we mostly just grabbed simple sandwiches on the go.)

9 02 2010

Congrats to Angelene!

The tofu recipe seems awesome, gotta try it sometime… 🙂

9 02 2010

AWwwWWW…THANKS all for the wishes…the ultimate thanks must go to
Gamene for organising such a wonderful contest!

I’m so excited when i saw the results!! It’s my very first time participating in such event because i just started getting involve in it! it’s indeed a JOY to make bento! and it definitely put a smile on my face when it’s lunch time:)

thanks all for sharing your bentoS as well..u all are really good at making them and they gave me much inspirations! Looking forward for more bentos..

Happy bento-making all:)

God bless…


9 02 2010

Welcome back Megan!
I’m afraid I couldn’t participate in the contest…
What lovely cuties! And so healthy and yummy bento as always.
The appetizing sesame tofu…. my mouth is actually watering now. I’d love to put on the rice then eat it!!

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9 02 2010

Welcome back gamene, congrats Angelene and wow what a great tofu recipe!

9 02 2010

I just made the Sesame Tofu for dinner tonight. Thank you sooo much for sharing it. The whole family loved it, no leftovers for bentos though:D

9 02 2010

i’m so glad you guys liked it! next time make 2 packages 🙂

10 02 2010
Tata Bonita

Awww, the only word for this bento is “adorable!”

6 04 2010

My husband was stationed in Korea for a year and I fell in love with Korean flavors. Thanks for this recipe!

6 04 2010

you are so welcome alex – hope you like how it turns out. and your stitch work is absolutely beautiful!

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