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Posted on May 28, 2007 in Bento, Eggs, For Kids, Gluten Free, Leftover Remake, Meat, Onigiri or Sushi, Recipe, Rice, Sandwich or Wrap | 29 comments

Scrapple bento lunches

Scrapple bento lunches



Contents: Butternut squash with Korean barbeque sauce (recipe below), mini pudding cup, rolled egg (tamagoyaki: full tutorial here) with sauteed leftover broccoli stems and green onions, star cut-out sandwich with cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto, crispy fried scrapple, and ketchup in the little container for the scrapple. Under the sandwich is a cheese triangle and a sauce container of Lizano sauce for the rolled egg (just my personal preference).

Morning prep time:
15 minutes, mostly frying the scrapple (10 minutes) and the rolled egg (5 minutes). I used a frozen sandwich that I’d made previously, and let it defrost naturally in the lunch.

Packing: There’s a tiny reusable plastic spoon tucked alongside the egg for the pudding cup, and I put both dry dishes (sandwich and scrapple) in the same container away from the moist items.

Scrapple is a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty of pork, cornmeal and flour that elicits strong opinions — you either love it or you hate it. It elicits childhood breakfast memories for me (at grandma’s house!), but my husband has no such fond memories and gives it a pass. You cut the loaf into 1/4″ slices and fry them in a pan until crispy, then serve with a condiment like ketchup, maple syrup, apple butter, etc. A while back I was surprised to find several loaves of frozen Dietz & Watson scrapple in a local Safeway, and I snatched it all up. I thought it was unusual to find scrapple as far away from the East Coast as San Francisco, but I’m definitely not complaining! Bug had it for the first time today, and it turns out that he loves it too (what a oddly omnivorous child). So it looks like I’m not the only scrapple-eater in the family after all. :-)




Contents of Bug’s lunch: Mini rice balls (onigiri) mixed with furikake (flavored sprinkles for rice), cheese wheel, grapes, rolled egg with broccoli stems and green onions, and crispy fried scrapple.

Morning prep time: 15 minutes. I nuked a large frozen onigiri and reshaped it into mini rice balls with a mold. The nori for the rice balls was pre-cut and stored in a freezer bag with dessicant, which saved time this morning.

Packing: This wound up being all finger food, and Bug dipped the scrapple (cut into quarters for small hands) into my little container of ketchup. I used a little plastic divider between the rolled egg and the crispy scrapple. This is in a 350ml bento box, so just about right for a two-and-a-half-year-old, according to the bento box size guidelines.

Fast Butternut Squash Recipe

  1. Cut a 1″ slice of butternut squash, peel and cut into cubes.
  2. Place into a microwave steamer or a microwave-safe covered bowl with a couple tablespoons of water.
  3. Microwave on high for 2.5 minutes (for a 1100W microwave, times may vary), then let it stand covered for another minute.
  4. Drain the squash, toss with a premade sauce (such as Korean barbeque “yakiniku” sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc.), and serve. If packing in a lunch container, drain again after tossing with sauce and allow to cool before packing.

Lunch in a Box is nominated for Best Food Blog in the Blogger’s Choice Awards. If you’d like to cast your vote for speedy lunch packing, click here (you can vote for multiple blogs in the same category).


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  1. I love the sound of that tamagoyaki (I have to try to use broccoli stems in it) and that butternut squash recipe sounds fab too! I haven’t had scrapple before, but it reminds me a bit of a meatloaf only with different kinds of meats in it :) I’m sure it’s delicious!

  2. do you have a recipe for tamagoyaki? I’ve never made it before and would like to give it a go - thanks :)

  3. Found you from the Daily Tiffin and have just spent ages reading your great tips & ideas. Meeta just kindly asked me to come on board at the DT which I’m really pleased to do so hopefully we’ll speak more. I love your blog, it’s fantastic!! I wish we could get some of those bento boxes in the UK. Maybe we can I’ll have to go on a hunt.
    Amanda at

  4. Scrapple was a Sundays only treat for us (it’s so fattening). My mother bought in Northern California from a butcher’s shop, and she dredged it in flour first, and then pan fried it in butter and oil until crispy. It was some kind of good, let me tell you. I’ve seen frozen blocks of scrapple in Safeway freezers for over a decade, but have not bought it. The numbers just scared me. I’m already too pudgy. But, thanks for the trip down memory lane! — Kate on Flickr

  5. mm the squash sounds so tasty!

  6. Hello, I am into food, and I’ve seen some of what you’ve posted so I’ll add you to my friend list.

  7. Augh, your tamagoyaki looks so nice and together, I’m almost ashamed to point you at my pictures here. I finally got around to trying out my new pan, and documented it fairly well.

    My layers didn’t stick. :( Obviously, I have a timing problem here. However, I found if I tried to start rolling it sooner, I then had a problem with the egg falling apart at the touch of my rolling tools (a salad fork and the handle of a silicone basting brush).

    Huh. I’ve heard of scrapple, but never seen it. I keep having a mental image of something like pork rinds, somehow.

    BTW, I have to mention how surprised I was to find out one post that Bug’s only two! My kids all have four legs and full-body hair, so when puppies kids can manage all these different kinds of food and utensils and stuff at that young an age, I boggle a little. ^_^

  8. Thanks amvn! Scrapple is somewhat like meatloaf, but with other parts of the pig involved… Some people hate it, others love it. I love it as long as it’s crispy-fried and has ketchup. If not, eh.

  9. Thanks for the kind words, Jessica!

  10. Hi Amanda! Look forward to reading your stuff on the Daily Tiffin — I’ve read your blog before and enjoyed it mucho!

  11. My pleasure, Kate! At my rate, it’s a once-a-year treat for me, so I’m not afraid of the numbers. Back to yogurt and fruit this morning…

  12. Thanks gwennierocks! It was super-fast and easy — I had a hole in the bento and was looking for another veggie dish.

  13. Thanks for the friending, cap_scaleman! Very flattering — I hope you enjoy.

  14. Okay, I get it — I need to put together an entry on tamagoyaki-making with photos (I’ll need to draft my husband to take the photos, then, as I’ll need both hands for the egg). Looking at your photos, I think you have the heat too high, which is totally cooking the egg through and keeping it from adhering from the rest of the egg mass when rolled. Start rolling it sooner when the top is still a little liquidy. Personally, I use a rubber spatula to roll the egg as I had a similar issue when using chopsticks like in the bento cookbooks. Once it’s all rolled up at the end, give it a little extra time on all four sides to make sure everything inside is heated through, and remove to a bamboo rolling mat (or plastic wrap) to tidy up the shape if it needs it. Letting it cool naturally before slicing it gives residual heat a chance to finish cooking any remaining raw egg inside, and helps all of the layers to adhere.

    Yup, Bug is only two and a half. The pictures of his food may be misleading about his utensil skill, though, because he eats his lunch with me and I help him when necessary. He’ll start going to preschool this fall, though, so expect an increase in finger foods in his lunches then.

  15. I hear you on tamagoyaki! I’ll work on an entry about tamagoyaki-making and get my husband to help take pictures as I use both hands to cook. Are you oiling the pan for each layer? That definitely helps.

  16. I’ll put together an entry on tamagoyaki with a tutorial — enough people are having problems with it. Look for it next week or so as it’s going to take a while to put together right.

  17. I don’t know the exact temperature, but a few drops of the egg will look a certain way on the pan when you test it. I’ll take a photo and include it in the tutorial. Look for it on my new fancy website next week…

  18. ‘Wellllll… when it’s hot enough, that’s when.’ ;) Ahhh, right-brain cooking.

    I’m looking forward to your tutorial. Thanks for taking that on!

  19. that’s great, thanks! :) :)

  20. Does Bug know how good he has it? If not, then can you be my mom? :(

  21. At just under three years old, Bug’s pretty nonplussed about the whole thing. If you’re under one year old I’ll adopt you, though! ;-)

  22. Hello, I’m a stranger who stumbled unto your blog. Just wanted to say - what beautiful and absolutely scrumptious lunches!!! Yes, Bug and your hubby have certainly been blessed to have a lady like you in their lives! :D I think it’s so sweet and caring of you to not only worry about their caloric needs but also the aesthetics of their meals!

    Oh yea, one question: If Bug (or you) leave the house, don’t you have to keep the cheese wheels you always pack sorta cool? Or does it not matter, since the wheel’s wrapped in wax and all already? I’m a big fan of Babybel, so if it turns out I don’t have to keep it cool, I’m taking it to school with me next semester!

  23. Thank you for the kind comments! I haven’t had any problems with leaving the Babybel cheese unrefrigerated for a few hours either (not in direct sunlight or anything, just room temperature).

  24. there is hope!
    i have been searching for scrapple since moving to portland. i have even spoken to pig farmers, who never even heard of the stuff. i will keep my eyes peeled in safeway :)

    • I had never heard of Scrapple until my bf’s mom made it (ex-bf now, but I wish I could have kept his mom…). She always made it with boiled corn meal (a bit like polenta) and boiled bulk breakfast sausage to get the fat out then mixed it. She’d pour the mixture into bread pans lined with plastic wrap, then refigerate. it slices well, and cooks up wonderfully. I always thought it was a southern thing, but could never find it already made in stores here.

      Thanks for the wonderfully informative blog!

      • Hey, that sounds pretty straightforward! If I can’t find any more locally I may try it. Thanks for the tip!

  25. Hi Biggie!

    Did you buy the mini pudding cup somewhere? I’ve never seen them before; how cute and convenient!

    I can’t wait until you post your tamagoyaki tutorial. It will probably be the first, most thorough one the net. I compared several recipes I found online, but none of them were very detailed in how to properly roll the egg and such.

    I added you as a contact on Flickr (ms. bubbletea). You can view my first attmempt at tamago :)
    Your work is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!!

    • I got the mini pudding cup (Kiku-brand “Petit Pudding”) at a local Asian market in San Francisco. (For locals, you can get them at the Japanese markets in my SF Bay Area shopping guide linked in Top Speed Tips above, and also at Sunset Supermarket or Richmond New May Wah Supermarket.) I’ve also seen a green tea version, but haven’t tried it yet.

      My bottleneck on the tamagoyaki tutorial is getting my husband to take the photos during daylight (as my hands will be otherwise occupied making the tamagoyaki). Our photo-taking will probably need to happen on a weekend… I’ve got lots of ideas for visuals, though — it’s on the to-do list!