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Soy-Lime Tofu & Rice Bento Lunch

YIELD 1 serving


ACTIVE TIME 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME 1 hour 50 minutes

Tofu, rice and vegetables are classic bento ingredients. Make extra rice for dinner and roll leftovers into balls for lunch. To keep green veggies vibrant and crisp, cook them briefly and immediately dunk them into a bowl of ice water. You can also use cubed store-bought baked tofu in place of the roasted tofu.


Tofu & Dipping Sauce

  • 1 14-ounce package extra-firm, water-packed tofu, drained
  • ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon prepared peanut sauce
  • 1 tablespoon “lite” coconut milk

Rice Balls

  • ⅔ cup cooked short-grain brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds (optional)

Fruit & Vegetables

  • 1 cup steamed sugar snap peas
  • 6 strawberries, hulled
  • 6 orange wedges


  1. To prepare tofu: Pat tofu dry and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes. Combine soy sauce, lime juice and oil in a medium shallow dish or large sealable plastic bag. Add the tofu; gently toss to combine. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 4 hours, gently stirring once or twice.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  3. Remove the tofu from the marinade with a slotted spoon (discard marinade). Spread out on a large baking sheet, making sure the pieces are not touching. Roast, gently turning halfway through, until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine peanut sauce and coconut milk to make dipping sauce and fill a small container with it.
  5. To prepare rice balls: Combine rice, vinegar and salt in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until the rice is a little sticky. With slightly wet hands, press and squeeze the rice into 4 balls. Sprinkle each ball with sesame seeds, if using.
  6. Pack 1/2 cup of the tofu, the rice balls and snap peas in a medium container. (Cover and refrigerate the remaining 1 1/2 cups roasted tofu for up to 3 days.) Nestle the container of dipping sauce in the same container.
  7. Pack strawberries and orange wedges in another medium container.



  • Marinate the tofu (Step 1) for up to 4 hours. Cover and refrigerate roasted tofu (Steps 2-3) for up to 3 days. Cover and refrigerate the rice balls (Step 5) for up to 2 days.


  • Refrigerate leftover coconut milk for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months. It will appear separated when thawed; simply mix until smooth.


  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled “gluten-free,” as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.


Per serving 393 Calories, Total Fat: 11 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 58 g, Fiber: 9 g, Total Sugars: 17 g, Added Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 17 g, Sodium: 293 mg, Potassium: 497 mg, Folate: 62 mcg, Calcium: 332 mg

Carbohydrate Servings 3 1/2

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