Bento Your Gold Seas with Tuna Cakes

When I learned how to do bento several years ago, I've been on and off with my efforts to prepare bento-style baon for the kids. Well, the boy couldn't care less, haha, so no more bento for him. For the girl, it's only when I'm in the mood and have enough time to be more creative. I had the pleasure of attending yet another bento-making event that gave me fresh ideas to try. And this time, it's with our favorite ready-to-eat canned tuna -- Gold Seas Tuna Chunks.

I discovered Gold Seas Tuna Chunks last year at the grocery, and ever since we tried their Tuna Chunks in Olive Oil and Tuna Chunks in Herb and Garlic, Gold Seas has been a staple in our pantry. It goes in my pasta dishes, omelettes, or straight-out-of-the-can rice toppings. Taste matters. Masarap kasi talaga.

Gold Seas Tuna Chunks are from real cuts of tuna loin, which is firmer and meatier than flakes, and has no extenders. Their bold, rich gourmet flavors make it more appetizing to serve.

And because we are already true-blue consumers of their premium tuna chunks, I did not hesitate to participate in a cooking event last year when they invited me. Yesterday, it was #BentoYourGoldSeas event naman with Kat Maderazo of @bentobykat fame. Another fun activity that I was lucky enough to be a part of.

In brief, Bento is:
Bento is a single-portion take-out or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine.
A traditional bento holds rice or noodles, fish or meat, with pickled and cooked vegetables, in a box. Containers range from disposable mass-produced to hand-crafted lacquerware.
Japanese homemakers often spend time and energy on a carefully prepared lunch box for their spouse, child, or themselves. Bentos can be elaborately arranged in a style called "kyaraben" - character bento. Kyaraben are typically decorated to look like popular characters from Japanese animation (anime), comic books (manga), or video games.  - wikipedia.org/wiki/Bento

The beauty of bento is it provides a variety of food choices in one pack, plus, it's visually appealing. As a mom, siyempre I want  everything healthy, but it's not easy. Mas challenging pa with picky eaters! In my case, I try to get baon ideas from friends and online sites. For my kids, I got them a Yumbox coz its multi-compartment food tray allows for assortment -- that's instant bento box na.

At the event, I got another Yumbox, yay! Meanwhile, Kat prepared all the ingredients and tools so we can create a cute bento with these delicious Gold Seas Tuna Cakes.  

Save and print this recipe card.

What's great about the Gold Seas Tuna Cakes?
They can be served on its own as finger food, as ulam with rice and dipping sauce, or sandwiched like a tuna burger. Try niyo, it's simple and it's good!

Such a healthy and tasty alternative that's also convenient to send as baon.

Here's the rest of the project to complete the Tuna Cakes bento box. All the moms present were challenged to create our own snail rice and grape hearts. Buti na lang pre-cooked na yung tuna cakes and veggies, hehe!

Tools; cooked veggies and tuna cakes for assembly

Molding the white rice for the body; red coloring (beet juice) of rice for the shell. 
Used cling plastic wrap to shape and roll the Japanese rice.

Add features to the face of the snail by punching a nori and cheese for eyes, and mouth.
Decorating the "grass".
Skewer grape hearts -- cut grape diagonally and turn one half upside-down to form a heart.

Assemble in the Yumbox.

Bonus project: Animal sandwich and watermelon cut-ups

The design looked intimidating at first, but was quite easy while we're doing it. It's all in the details. But the food has to be yummy to begin with. When you want to bento, it's best to prepare all the tools, and pre-cut all the parts beforehand, especially the tiny details, so assembly will be faster on the day you will need it. 

Super cute no? :) I felt so accomplished, hahaha! Here, I just rearranged my box to fit in everything I made. Thank you, Gold Seas Tuna Chunks, for this healthy bento meal and inspiring me to be more creative with my food preparations. 

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