Sometimes you get what you pay for. Sometimes, you get a lot more.
I was shopping at my local HMart getting my usual Korean food necessities, then ventured into the housewares section, which I already knew had a few bento boxes. I saw this two-box set sitting in a corner–Komax, a Korean brand–just waiting to go to a loving home. Who am I to refuse?
I love that:
- they stack.
- after stacked, they’re held together with an included band.
- the top box has three sections AND a sectioned lid so everything stays put.
- it’s the perfect size for school lunches.
- it was only $4.99.
For anyone who claims bento-ing is too expensive, this little gem can be had for less than the cost of an extra value meal.
And I have to confess: it’s one of my current favorites. It had me at sectioned lid. And $4.99, of course. I picked up two sets. All this to say, if you have an Asian grocery store nearby, it doesn’t hurt to check and see what kind of bento gear might be waiting for you.
Here are a couple examples of how I’ve used it so far:
Finger foods make a great school lunch for kids, especially if they’re busy chatting with friends. Contents:
- thick-cut salami
- Organic Valley cheddar cheese
- Trader Joe’s multigrain crackers
I roasted kabocha squash for the first time with some coconut oil and a bit of turbinado sugar and followed this recipe from nom nom paleo. The kids LOVED it, so I’m trying to sneak it in when I can: it’s packed with beta-carotene (iron, vitamin C, some B vitamins) and fiber.
- roasted kabocha squash
- pickled cucumber slices
- red pepper slices
- soba salad
For the soba dressing, I whisked together:
- 1/4c soy sauce
- 1/4c honey
- 1/8c rice vinegar
- 2 garlic gloves, peeled and finely grated
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated (use more if you like a strong ginger flavor)
- a steady stream of sesame oil to taste
This was plenty for three bundles of soba noodles.
Sadly, I don’t see that you can buy the Komax bento set online anywhere, but it may pop up on eBay here and there. Otherwise, get thee to an Asian market!