Skater Lunch Box #44

This is one of my better eat-what-is-there experiments this week: Japanese potato salad (recipe below), some leftover broccoli (that was kind of sad, to be honest, but it made for a nice burst of green), a veganized version of Japanese mini hamburgers, a little piggy of sauce for the burgers (ketchup, soy sauce, and rice vinegar), and pineapple chunks.

This is an actual bento, as it includes all the requisite colors, incidentally. (To be a bento, you're supposed to have five colors: White, yellow, red/orange, green, and brown/black/purple. It's one reason bento lunches are so good for you without actually thinking a whole lot about nutrition.)

The mini hamburgers are made from Beyond Beef slider patties, which are gluten free (the whole meal is gluten free, incidentally). I just basted them with the sauce when I pan fried them. This used up the last of the box of sliders in the freezer; I am thus making progress! (Also I prefer this to using the patties for sliders.)

As I was looking for something to make with what I had while in the midst of this eating-down-the-stocks phase, I remembered Japanese potato salad. I had tried a recipe for it before but didn't care for it much. But I have been watching a lot of Japanese YouTube videos of people packing lunches when I'm too exhausted to do anything, and decided that the recipe I'd tried before might have been too Americanized and thus became too bland. So I took myself on a Google spree. I ultimately decided to make a vegan version of this one. It was a really good success! I might try it with a bit of smoked tofu or some eggy tofu sometime (though I worry about eggy tofu turning the whole thing yellow; turmeric is like that), if I want a main dish. This version is more of a side. It's quite different than American potato salads, as it is sweeter and uses a base of mashed potatoes, but it goes well with many of the same things as American potato salad.

Japanese Potato Salad 
Serves: 3

1 medium potato
1/2 medium carrot
About a 4-inch length of Persian or English cucumber
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4-inch slice of red onion
2-3 tablespoons vegan mayo
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

Peel and cube the potato. Put into a small saucepan and add cold water to cover. Salt the water a bit and bring to a boil. Boil until a fork easily goes through your potato chunks, about 10-15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pan. Quickly and stirring gently to avoid burning, put the pan over heat to evaporate the remaining water. You want the potatoes dry.

Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and mash with a fork. Don't overdo it--you want some texture--but this is not going to be a salad with well-defined potatoes in it. Go for about half or 3/4 mashed.

Peel and cut the carrot into 1/4 moons. Put into a small bowl and add a bit of water. Microwave for a few minutes, until the carrots are tender but will still hold their shape. (We don't want mashed carrots in this salad.) Drain the carrots and add to the potatoes.

Cut the cucumber into 1/2 moons. Salt a bit and toss to ensure all the cucumber pieces are a bit salty. Set aside. This will quick-pickle the cucumbers and give them a good texture in the salad.

Thaw the corn in the microwave, stirring once. For me this usually takes about 20 seconds.

Finely chop the red onion slice.

Mix mayo, vinegar, sugar, and a bit of salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Your potatoes and carrots should have cooled enough that you can be confident they won't cook anything added to them; if not, stop here and come back to them in a few minutes.

Mix everything together. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.


  1. This box sounds amazing! I had no idea that a proper bento has 5 colors, how interesting!

  2. The Japanese potato salad sounds really good, and the piggy container is so cute!


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