Lunch Box: Yubu Chobap (Inarizushi)
How are you my friends? Everything going peachy on your end of the world?
I took a little break…not a real break, but ones I start to read a book my nose cannot get unglued from the pages. Some books I can read many times, just like watching certain movies and it feels as I am reading it or watching it for the first time. I have few favorite movies that I think I watched at least 50 times, if not more… I am a sucker for the periodical English movies! But than again I can read Jane Austin books million times and never get tired. With few projects on my hand and a book, I kind of lost myself and neglected this corner.
OK! I know you came for food…and I am taking about books and movies! Sorry…
What is Yubu-Chobap Or Inarizushi?
- This is Korean style Inarizushi. It is originated in Japan, so it is Japanese type of sushi that Korea adapted. There is a slight difference but not much at all. If you never had it at the sushi bar or bought it already made, say in Publix or healthy food store, the taste is very delicious. Yubu = soybean curd (fried tofu) | Cho= vinegar | Bap = cooked grains (rice,beans,barley etc.).
Even though this is instant version, and I didn’t tuck the rice into the fried soybean as you would normally see, by the way I have explanation why -it was still delicious and perfect for lunch boxes and make great snack! Why didn’t I tuck it or turn around? I wanted you to see how pretty it looks on the inside.
So When you get instant one, like I did -fried tofu pouches are packed into plastic and in liquid, which you squeeze out before filling it with rice. I know, I took the easy way out but let me tell ya, it saves so much time. It also comes with dried seasoning, sauce (vinegar, sugar and salt),
What I like to do, is adding many different vegetables, sometimes even leftover minced meat and mixing it with rice. It is that much more flavorful, healthier and of course delicious but possibilities what you can mix with the rice are endless.
Where you can get instant fried tofu kit?
Korean, Japanese, Asian or International markets/stores.
Now, let’s get cookin’
Lunch Box: Yubu Chobap (Inarizushi)
2 lunch boxes
- 1 pk Instant Yubu Chobap kit
- 2 cups Rice
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- Vegetables(that I used):
- cooked peas (1/3 cup)
- shredded carrot (1/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup sweet peppers (green, yellow, orange, red), chopped/almost minced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- Rice: 2 cups rice, washed several times really good, then soak in water for 15 minutes and up to 45 minutes(drain after). You want water to be as clear as possible, and I do use short grain premium rice. Add about 1.5 cups of water, add 1/4 tsp salt, and cook on high until it boils. Do not take the lid off. Once it boils, turn the heat on low/simmer for 7 minutes. After 7 min. do not take the lid off, take the pot off the stove burner and let the rice steam for additional 3-5 minutes. Take the lid off, and fluff the rice. Should be perfectly cooked, but not over cooked or burnt. Cooking rice also depends what kind of rice you are using. I stick to my method for years and I never overcooked it or burned it, but stay close.
- Rice Mixture: Combine washed (cooked/peas) and chopped vegetables, add rice. Mix together then add sauce (vinegar, salt and sugar), and add half of the dried seasoning. The other half you can use to dip in after you fill/stuff fried tofu with rice filling. Mix it well to combine all the ingredients together. Open pouches, make balls out of the rice (usually the size of the pouches) and stuff it in the pouch.You can sprinkle seasoning on top or dip each stuffed pouch in the seasoning.
Lunch box option:
- Beef Meatballs
- 1 Boiled egg
- Hot dog (1/2)
- Grape Tomatoes
- Few slices of Eng. Cucumber
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- water for beverage
When you are making lunch box, please use what you have. It doesn’t take too much time to pack if you prepare at night, and if you have leftovers, lunch box will be done even faster.
Of course it doesn’t have to be exactly the same, I want to give you an idea and to entourage you to make it at least few days out of the working/school week. The expression on the child’s face is priceless, and this goes beyond PB&J sandwich.
Somebody recently said, it’s cute but how do I make my child a hot meal?
What I do after preparing everything at night, I preheat it in the morning what needs to be preheated. Then simply put it together. It is still warm, not hot as you would get after cooking it right away, but let me tell ya, even warm meal is better than over processed cafeteria food.
Offer a child color, choices for fresh fruits and vegetables, and last but not least talk to your child and see what would he/she would like to eat the next day. Communication is the key, because your child will be part and included in his healthy meal choices and it’s up to us parents to suggest healthier one.
Q: What Box is safe for me and my child?
A: Look for the boxes that have clear written label that they are BPA FREE just in case if they are plastic-
BPA stands for bisphenol. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960’s.
Seeking out BPA-free products may not always be easy to do. Some manufacturers do label their products as BPA-free, but some do not. If a product isn’t labeled, keep in mind that most aluminum cans or bottles have linings that contain BPA, while steel bottles or cans do not. Polycarbonate plastic is generally hard, clear, lightweight plastic. It often has the No. 7 recycling symbol on the bottom. (source Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.from Mayo-clinic)
- When you are making food at night for the next day lunch boxes make sure about the box like mentioned above. Always preheat food after taking it out of the fridge, let it cool down a bit then close the lid.
- IF you are using seasoned PANKO bread crumbs, be careful how much seasoning/salt you are using on chicken. If your bread crumbs are plain make sure to season it. TASTE and see!!!
- FOR this I used long grain rice, but it is the best if you use short grain premium rice. The best results.