Bento, Recipes
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Bento Series #1– Cuban Meatballs

I started this Bento Series in order to fulfill my new year’s resolution of making more homecooked meals for my family.

I had an idea of what the plan was going to be:

1- Homecooked food.

2- As healthy as possible.

3- Visually appealing.

4- But above else it had to be delicious!

At the beginning I focused mostly on cooking a tasty meal, not so much on decorations or making it super healthy but after a while I have hit my stride.

This was the first bento I made when I started this series. It was nothing extremely innovative, it was nice and simple but it tasted good.

Bento Components:

– Sushi Rice

– Steamed Broccoli

– Cuban Meatballs

– Cereal Snacks

– Carrot Flowers

Sushi Rice Recipe–


– Just Cooked Sushi Rice

– 2 Tbsp rice vinegar per 1/2 cup rice

– 1 Tbsp sugar per 1/2 cup rice

– 1 tsp salt

– Sesame seeds

I have a rice cooker, which makes life easier. But if you don’t have one you can follow the instructions on the package.

Mix vinegar, sugar, and salt. Warm up until sugar and salt dissolves. (Can complete this step in the microwave, just do it in 20 second increments until completely dissolved.)

Once rice is cooked (still warm) sprinkle with vinegar mixture.

Now, the key is to not clump the rice together. You want it to be sticky but fluffy. Therefore as you add the vinegar mixture fold the rice  from the edges to the center. Try not to apply too much pressure.

Note: Let the rice cool to room temperature before you put it in the bento box. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Cuban Meatballs–


– 1 pound ground beef

– 1/2 a red onion, diced

– 1/3 a green pepper, diced

– 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

– 1 tsp cumin

– Juice of 1 lime

– 1 egg

– 1/2 cup panko

– 1 can tomato sauce

– Parsley

– 1/4 cup white wine

– olive oil for cooking

– salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl mix ground beef, diced onion (reserve a tablespoon of chopped onion), all the diced green pepper, half of the chopped garlic, cumin, half of the lime juice, egg, salt & pepper to taste, and the panko. Mix everything really well. Shape meatballs to desired size. For a Bento try to keep them relatively small.

Place meatballs in an oiled baking tray and bake for 25 minutes. We are just trying to brown the outside. If you want to do it the really authentic Cuban way, fry the meatballs instead of baking them.

In a saucepan add some olive oil and sautée remaining onions and garlic for about a minute. Immediately add tomato sauce and salt & pepper to taste. Add the remaining lime juice and white wine. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add meatballs to sauce and let simmer in medium heat for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Note: Let cool to room temperature before putting in Bento box.

This entry was posted in: Bento, Recipes


This is my recipe book. A collection of the meals I make for my loved ones.


  1. Pingback: Bento Series #12 — Salmon Fillet | DIY Bento

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