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Black Bean Bento Mini-Burgers (and a Monbento Review!)

easy bento recipes

I love Bento lunch boxes. They’re cute so kids like them, but best of all, they make using up leftovers easier.

Monbento recently sent me a sample Bento box and ridiculously adorable matching chop sticks. They also have fork/spoon sets, but I couldn’t pass up the chopsticks …


and I wasn’t the only one who thought they were pretty cool looking.bento1

The Monbento box is awesome. They’re not paying me to say that, either; it’s my completely honest opinion. Here are some reasons:

  • The plastic is really sturdy and high-quality feeling.
  • It’s large enough for an adult to use (even though it’s actually very compact looking).
  • The colors are vibrant (and there are lots of them to chose from).
  • There’s a cool adjustable/removable divider to keep things separate.
  • The vacuum-seal lids seem like they would stand up to just about any liquid.

They’re expensive for Americans since the dollars-to-pounds conversion rate isn’t exactly in our favor, but this seems like a really durable Bento that should last for a long time.

I filled this bento with vegan black bean mini-burgers, carrot and rice salad (recipe coming soon), pickled green beans, and a clementine. The burgers are easy to prepare and should freeze very well if you want to double or quadruple the recipe.

Black beans may seem like they belong more in Mexican dishes than Asian, but since fermented black bean paste is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine, I don’t think it’s weird to make Asian-themed black bean burgers. And they’re kid-friendly and easy to eat.


Yield: Makes about 10 mini burgers

Black Bean Bento Mini-Burgers

Vegan mini-burgers for lunch


2 c. black beans (rinsed and drained)
half of an onion
1 clove of garlic
1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 T. soy sauce*
squeeze of sriracha hot sauce
sesame or olive oil to sauté


1. In a blender or food processor, pulse the garlic and onion until it's minced looking.
2. Add the black beans and purée until you have a nice thick paste.
3. Stir soy sauce, sriracha, and flour into the beans. Add more flour if the mixture is overly sticky.
4. Warm oil to cover the bottom of a skillet. While it's heating up, scoop out spoonfuls of the black bean paste and shape into small hamburgers. Sauté over medium heat until the bottoms brown and then gently flip over.

vegan black bean



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