Tofu Tonkatsu Bento Box
with rice / edamame / cucumber salad
Smarts #1: Be sure to get the tofu very dry during prep so that the breading will stick. Also be sure to season it with salt and pepper before adding breading - that's the only step where it will be seasoned.
Smarts #2: We wanted to fill the bento box with plenty of delicious options, but don't hesitate to skip one or more components if you prefer to simplify the meal.
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
- Tofu, extra-firm - 16 oz, sliced into "steaks", 1 per serving (vacuum-packed preferable)
- Flour, all-purpose - 3/4 cup
- Eggs - 2, whisked
- Panko breadcrumbs - 1 1/2 cups
- Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp
- Ketchup - 4 Tbsp
- Hoisin sauce - 1 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 tsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Ginger, fresh - 1 1/2 tsp, grated
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
- Sugar - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Sesame seeds, white - 1/2 tsp
- Cucumbers - 6 oz, diced
- Lettuce, romaine - 1 heart, chopped (sub butterhead lettuce)
- Edamame, preferably in the pods - 12 oz
- Salt (opt) - for topping
- Tofu - If tofu is packaged in water, press out liquid first. Then slice into even slices (one per serving). (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Rice - For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make sauce - Whisk together ketchup, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce (portion for sauce), and sugar (portion for sauce). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make dressing - Grate ginger. Whisk together ginger, vinegar, soy sauce (portion for salad), and sugar (portion for salad). Add oil (portion for salad) while whisking. Stir in sesame seeds. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cucumbers / Lettuce - Prep as directed.
- Prep breading stations - Set out three shallow bowls. Place flour in one, whisk eggs in the second, and place panko in the third.
- Heat a skillet or frying pan with oil (for tofu) over low-medium heat.
- Set out all of the tofu slices and season them well on both sides with some salt and pepper.
- Working with one piece of tofu at a time, dredge tofu in flour, shaking off excess. Dip tofu in whisked egg to coat and then press firmly into panko to coat in breadcrumbs. Sear tofu on both sides until breading is golden brown and tofu is heated all the way through, 6 to 12 minutes total. Do this in batches until all of the tofu is cooked, adding more oil if the pan looks dry.
- Transfer tofu to a cutting board.
- Just before serving, place edamame in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high until warm, 1 to 4 minutes (use the shorter end of the time if the edamame is refrigerated and the longer end if frozen). Sprinkle with some salt if you’d like.
- If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Toss cucumbers and lettuce in dressing.
- Slice tofu and serve over rice with sauce for drizzling over top. Enjoy salad and edamame on the side.
The pork was excellent and the salad dressing was good. The edamame didn't do it for us. Issue for us is that the calories were higher than the usual for Cook Smarts.1 Helpful
Not our favorite. My son liked the pork and rice, but my husband and I were not huge fans. We thought the salad was too ginger-y.0 Helpful
Surprisingly we didn’t like this meal which is unusual for Cook Smart recipe.0 Helpful
Used rice noodles. Kids really liked!0 Helpful
Delicious and easy. Used bone in chops cuz they were on sale. Didnt have oyster sauce so subbed hoisin and omitted sugar for tonkatsu sauce and it was great.0 Helpful