Road Trip Bento: Edamame Walnut KimBap, Berries, Apricots, and Turkey

When I was a kid, my dad traveled every so often for business. Destinations like Phoenix sounded like a far away and exotic local to my little ears.

passing by on 1-5 near Fort Lewis

I don’t travel all that often for work, and when I do, I’m trotting around the PNW, my home territory. It almost feels like I’m not traveling I know these parts so well. No plane trips to mysterious Phoenix, just long early morning car trips up the 1-5 corridor fueled by pastries and coffee

Last week I was on the road to Vancouver, B.C., one of my favorite cities. I made this little KimBab bento to keep me on track, how easy it is to chow down vacation style when traveling for work.

KimBab is like sushi, in that it is rice, seaweed, and fillings sliced into rounds, but more utilitarian than the deftly seasoned Japanese variety. The Korean PB&J if you will. Fillings include carrots, steamed spinach, and pickled vegetables, and a protein or two. It is a lunch box and picnic favorite for families all over Korea- and for green ESL Teachers toeing their way into Korean cuisine – I speak from experience.

This KimBab recipe from NYC’s Momofuku’s Chef David Chang features walnuts and edamame in a finger licking molasses soy mixture. I‘ve included his recipe here, don’t fret if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand. I used basil instead of shiso, and kimchi instead of pickled daikon. A quick tip for those Julienne carrots- use your potato peeler to get long thin strips- so much easier because KimBap can seem like a lot of work, lots of prep, lots of ingredients. I would recommend waiting until you are going to serve rice a s aside dish (KimBap is an excellent way to use up leftovers!) use that rice and the package of seaweed you have in your cupboard from that one time you made sushi- I know you have it.

top box: blueberries, sliced turkey rolled around itself, apricot

bottom box: Edamame and Walnut Brown Rice KimBap.

A couple other tips for eating well on the road include-

  • Bring along your favorite nutrition bar. Keep them in your bag- not your luggage for serious snack attacks.
  • Pack a bento of whole fruit for hotel breakfasts. Berries perish quickly, but small whole fruit, generally stone fruit, a banana, orange, kept in a bento will keep the fruit safe from bruises.
  • Finally, organic beef or turkey jerky keeps hunger pains away.

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