Three Tuna Bento Recipes | Pink Wings


Hubs and I are currently over in Europe for a few weeks. At the time I'm writing this we just wrapped up four days in London and are on a train bound for Paris. While in London we biked past Buckingham Palace, enjoyed Afternoon Tea, and waved a wand at Platform 9 and 3/4. It was fun, and we're excited for the rest of our trip, though we do miss our fur babies at home. For me, the best part of traveling is experiencing new cultures and foods, but the best part of going home is getting back to a comfortable house and routine.

A few months ago I started a new routine doing weekly meal preps. At the beginning of the week I create my meal plan, do all my grocery shopping, and cook the whole week's meals in one go. It not only has helped me eat more healthfully and consciously, but also is super convenient. When the clock turns 5pm I don't have to stress about what to make for dinner, but can just pull a container out of the fridge and warm it up. I don't do this every week (it works best when hubby's on the road) but I'll do it at least every other. It's a great tradition to start during back to school time because it cuts down on the stress of this busy season. So today I'm sharing some of my favorite lunch meals: three different tuna bentos.

We use tuna a TON in our house, it's one of those things I literally always keep stocked in the pantry. Hubby is constantly trying to pump himself full of protein because he's always trying to "get them gains," and tuna is the most convenient way to get lean protein and all the other healthy fats and nutrients in there. Since we use it so much, I like to buy the good stuff, aka albacore. I was converted to albacore at the beginning of this year ever since hubby brought an uneaten can home from one of his trips. The thing is, it has this thick, flaky texture that puts it a whole level above chunk light tuna. It's kinda like the Prada of the tuna world. In my three recipes I exclusively used Bumble Bee®'s Solid White Albacore Tuna. Do that and your dishes will be a cut above, promise.

I hope I've convinced you of albacore's superiority by now. Below are my three bento recipes: tuna fried rice, tuna kimbap (sushi rolls), and tuna rice balls. The recipes make more than enough for a week's worth of lunches and I used simple, fresh ingredients to complement the hearty tuna. If you plan on doing a weekly meal prep like me, I included a shopping list below for making all three recipes. And here is my recommendation: the kimbap and rice balls are best made day of (not things you want to heat up), so I say only fully make the fried rice ahead of time. For the kimbap and rice balls, just prep the ingredients ahead of time (including the rice), then on the day of, all you have to do is warm up your rice and add all your pre-made ingredients. Easy cheese.

Check out the recipes below, and take a look at Bumble Bee®'s site for more info on albacore and a full nutritional list HERE









Bento Ingredient List:
  • 4 cups short-grain rice
  • 3-4 cans (5 oz.) Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 large carrots
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 cucumber
  • pickled radish (opt.)
  • Japanese mayonnaise (normal mayo is fine too)
  • 4-5 sushi seaweed sheets
  • oyster sauce
  • soy sauce
  • salt + pepper
  • oil for frying
  • sesame oil (opt.)
  • rice vinegar (opt.)
  • fruits + vegetables for sides 

    Tuna Fried Rice
    Serves 2
    • 1 can (5 oz.) Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna, drained
    • 1/4 cup diced carrots
    • 1/4 cup chopped onions
    • 1/4 cup frozen peas
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup cooked short-grain rice
    • 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
    • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
    • salt + pepper
    • oil
    • sesame oil (opt.) 
    • plastic disposable gloves (opt.)

    Directions:

    Warm about 1 Tbsp of oil in a pan or wok over medium heat. Add the garlic, carrots and onions, and fry until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Clear a spot in the middle of the pan and add another 1/2 Tbsp of oil. Crack one egg into the middle of the pan and scramble until almost completely cooked. Add the rice, oyster sauce and soy sauce, peas and albacore tuna, and stir to combine. Add frying oil or sesame oil as needed. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and pour into your bento boxes. Use the same pan to fry the leftover 2 eggs sunny side up. Serve on top of your rice.


    Tuna Kimbap
    Makes 4 rolls
    • 2 cans Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna, drained
    • Japanese mayonnaise (or normal mayonnaise)
    • 2 cups rice, cooked
    • rice vinegar (opt.)
    • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into long strips
    • 2 carrots, cut into long strips
    • Japanese pickled radish (opt.), cut into long strips
    • 1 bunch spinach, steamed
    • 3 eggs, whisked together
    • salt + pepper
    • oil for frying
    • sesame oil (opt.)
    • 4 pieces dried sushi seaweed 

     Directions:

    Place a large skillet over medium heat with about 1/2 Tbsp of oil. Saute the carrots until tender; set aside. Using the same pan, spray with oil and pour your eggs in. Cook a couple minutes, then flip to cook the other side. Once done, remove from heat. Cut the egg into 1-inch strips.

    For the tuna, in a small bowl combine the tuna and a large spoonful of mayonnaise. Add more mayo as desired, you want it to stick together well but not be too wet.

    If desired, season rice with rice vinegar. Start with one teaspoon and add more to taste.

    To assemble:
    Place one piece of seaweed on a bamboo rolling mat or clean surface. Spread a thin layer of rice 3/4 of the way up. Take some grains of rice and smush them along the top edge of the seaweed (so that the end will stick after you roll it). In the middle of the rice, place a slice of egg, cucumber, carrot,  and pickled radish. Spread a thin layer of spinach and a generous line of tuna. Roll, squeezing tightly as you go. Brush with sesame oil (opt.). Repeat for remaining rolls. Use a sharp knife to cut 1/2-inch pieces. Best eaten within the day. *if you have leftover tuna, save it for the rice balls


    Tuna Rice Balls
    Makes 2 rice balls

    • 1 cup short-grain rice, cooked
    • 1 can Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna
    • Japanese mayonnaise (or normal mayonnaise)
    • rice vinegar (opt.)
    • plastic disposable gloves (opt.)
    • 1 piece sushi seaweed, for decorating (opt.)

    Directions:

    In a small bowl, combine the tuna and a spoonful of mayonnaise. Add more mayo as needed, the mixture should stick together well but not be too wet.

    If desired, mix rice vinegar into your rice. Start with 1/2 teaspoon, taste, then add more if needed.

    Here is where you may want disposable kitchen gloves: Take about 1/4 cup of rice and shape into a round disk. Press the center to make a divot, then fill the divot with tuna. Take another 1/4 cup of rice and cover the tuna. Gently but firmly squeeze and shape the rice into a ball. If desired, decorate with seaweed pieces to make animal faces. Repeat for all rice balls. Best eaten within the day.


    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

    4 comments

    1. Yummy, I love bento boxes and yes for tuna!! I'm all for albacore as well!! Hope you're having fun in Paris!! Loving all your IG pics!!

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    2. Hope you are having a blast in Europe! :) These are the cutest! I forget about tuna, we don't buy a lot of canned or packaged foods, but I used to love it in college and high school. hehe Maybe I'll have to try to work more seafood into our menus coming up. :) I just love these darling boxes. I want to do more meal prep, we've done the jarred salads and loved them.... but it's hard to do too much because we never know what our weeks will look like. We've just been exhaustingly busy, and over-prepping or buying always ends up with food going bad for us. Hoping that as things calm down in the fall we can get into more of a prep routine. :) XO - Alexandra

      Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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    3. Sp true. There's such a difference between tuna and tuna. We don't have Bumble Bee tuna in Dubai, but it looks like the right kind of tuna for me:) The bento boxes look really cute.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Wow this looks too great to eat, you did such a great job.

      http://www.itsshania.com/

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