Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mauna Kea Korean Chicken Bento

Actually this is not exactly Mauna Kea Korean Chicken, since it's not deep fried... but it still uses the same Korean barbeque sauce. It's sweet, so the kids like it.
Here's how I made it:
1/2 C shoyu
1/2 C sugar (I used raw sugar)
1T sesame oil
1T toasted sesame seeds
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1T ginger, grated
green onion, chopped
Traditionally, you should add Korean Kochujang (chili) sauce, but I omitted it since my kids are sort of intolerant of too much spice. It's still good without it!
If you were making kalbi you would marinate the meat and then grill. For the original chicken recipe you would deep fry the chicken so it's crispy, but instead I simply broiled the chicken after marinating. I precut the chicken into smaller pieces so it's easier for my kids to eat. If you do this, you should watch to see when the chicken is done. It might take about 30 minutes or so. Flip to brown the other side. You can serve with extra sauce for dipping, which kids love to do. The sauce is also excellent for dipping assorted other vegetables that happen to be around, which greatly increases the likelihood that your kids will eat them. In this case, broccoli and squash.

The broccoli is simply steamed, and the sweet dumpling squash is roasted. I added brown sugar to the squash and my 2 year old girl gobbled it up. It didn't go over very well with my boy, but with the barbeque sauce the taste seems to improve :)

I also put in two mini onigiri because I really think chicken should go with rice, even though my 6 year old often doesn't agree. I think he doesn't like to take the time to eat rice when he'd rather eat more interesting foods during their short lunch period. We'll see if he goes for it. I am so short on fruits that all he gets is cherries! Carrot stars complete this bento.
Luckily it's the end of the week and maybe I can find more interesting fruits this weekend at the farmers markets. Happy weekend friends! ^_^


  1. another yummy colourful bento :) tks for sharing the sauce recipe, will give it a go soon - grill/broil/roast is definitely healthier than deep frying. sonny also doesn't seem to prefer rice - is it a boy or kids thing??

  2. Thanks javapot. Healthier and easier too! Dunno about the rice but both my kids prefer noodles by far! I like rice much better myself :)

  3. Thanks for sharing the interesting recipe Sheri ... Anything simple and doesn't require too much ingredients then I'm on hehehe :) Wonderful bento, it's great to see your posting again.

  4. Hi Lia! Thanks very much! We're still adjusting back to local time, so simple is best :) Glad you're home too, and look forward to your next posting!

  5. thx for the recipe! :D I will try this on tofu, too <3

  6. This looks so delicious! Thanks a lot for the recipe =) I surely will try it.

  7. Token, thanks! And.... you're welcome :)

    Thanks Lil'chan! Hope you can try it soon :)

  8. Hmm, I've never heard of Mauna Kea chicken before! Where does the name come from?

    Your bentos are always so bright and colorful. Thanks for posting it on Bento Central! :D

  9. Thanks Pikko...
    I don't know the origin,,,ack! I have it handwritten on a recipe index card, which means it was probably copied from some ancient newspaper clipping. We always just called it that. Maybe my mom knows?
    Thanks for providing Bento Central, to get our bento fix all in one place :)

  10. Sounds like a savory and delicious recipe, served up in such colorful and pretty style! I also love the combination of chicken and rice...

  11. Thanks bentobird! It's really very yummy, with the salty sweet flavors. Chicken and rice is the ultimate comfort food combo!

  12. You haven't lost your touch! Your bentos still look delicious and beautiful as always. :)

  13. I stumbled across your blog from your bento entry over at Just Bento and, in browsing around, came across this recipe. It sounds really good, how much chicken do you think it would comfortably acommodate? 1-2 lbs?

  14. flamingobread,
    Yes! Just make sure you have enough to cover all the chicken. It's pretty easy to double if you need to. Hope you like it!
    Thanks for linking over!