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Glazed Meatball Bento

Time 25 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Glazed Meatball Bento
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Meatballs

1

Combine the ground meat, soy sauce, sake, ginger, onion, salt and starch and mix well. Form into 16 (1-inch) balls.

2

Heat the oil in a wok or deep saucepan to 350 degrees. Fry the meatballs until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or Chinese deep-fry ladle. Drain on paper towels.

Sweet and sour glaze

1

Combine the broth, sugar, soy sauce, salt and rice vinegar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Dissolve the starch in 1 teaspoon of water and add to the broth mixture. Continue cooking until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, about 1 minute.

Assembly

1

Dip the meatballs in the Sweet and Sour Glaze. Place the meatballs on skewers if you wish.

2

Place some rice in each bento box. Arrange the meatballs next to the rice.

Make the meatballs the night before you plan to fix the bento boxes. Usually most of the meatballs will disappear before they reach the bento box, so you might want to double the recipe and serve them as appetizers before dinner. For side dishes, arrange steamed green beans or snow peas alongside. Put a slice of apple or strawberries next to the green vegetables. Sake is available at Asian markets and well-stocked liquor stores.

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