NoriBen with Renkon Patties

This is one of Ida’s favorite school lunches and I usually keep a batch of patties and portions of frozen rice in the freezer so i can quickly prepare it in the morning.

The ingredients are all available at the Hester/Mott street supermarket or other stores in Chinatown. The Japanese sunrise market on 9th street also has most, except they usually don’t have fresh Lotus roots.


What You Need

for Renkon (Lotus) patties


Lotus roots


Firm Tofu


Panko bread crumbs


Cabbage and onion


Tonkatsu sauce

Tonkatsu sauce (schnitzel sauce), made from Burdoch and Apples.
you also need
– Potatoes
– Flour
– Egg

for noriben (seaweed box lunch)

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Short-grain rice

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Nori dried seaweed sheets


Bonito flakes

and soy sauce

Prepare Renkon Patties


Use peeled lotus and potatoes


coarse in a food processor


mix in a large bowl

I chop the Lotus, Potatoes, Cabbage, Onion with a food processor into coarse pieces. Drain the firm tofu (squeeze extra water out) and then mix everything in a big bowl. I add some flour so it doesn’t get too liquid.
(Usually I make a big batch and then freeze the patties and later warm them up in the mornings by just re-frying them quickly)

Then form small flat patties with your hands squeezing out some of the extra liquid and start to bread them by rolling in flower, egg and panko breadcrumbs.

Fry them with vegetable oil. After they are crispy brown move them to set on kitchen paper.


use extra flour, egg and panko to “bread” the patties


fry and leave on napkin

Prepare NoriBen

Nori (seaweed) Bento (box lunch) is easy and fast to make.
On a layer of rice, sprinkle with Bonito flakes. Break the large sheet of nori into quarters, soak quickly in soy sauce on both sides, and lay on top the layer. Then make a second layer of rice, bonito flakes and nori again.


first a layer of rice


then some bonito flakes and the seaweed with some soy sauce


tip: to fill a small bottle with Tonkatsu sauce i squeeze the air out of it, dunk the opening into the sauce and let go when so that the vacuum sucks the sauce into the bottle.

finished lunch box with some mango
4ps; there is no mirin in this…

more recipes

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