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Posted on Aug 18, 2007 in Bento, Fish or Seafood, For Kids, Sandwich or Wrap, SF Bay Area Local | 18 comments

Lox and cheese mini bagel sandwiches

Lox and cheese mini bagel sandwiches


On short notice, we were invited to go out with a group of Japanese women who all brought bento lunches for themselves and their preschoolers, so I quickly threw these together on our way out the door. It was interesting to see everyone else’s mother/child lunches, trade preschool and lunch tips, and talk about places to buy bento gear in the San Francisco Bay Area. Afterwards another mom showed me around Ocean View Supermarket, a newly opened pan-Asian market near Daly City that’s huge, clean, cheap, with parking, and even has colored mamenori soy paper for making food art (US$2.59 for 5 large sheets). I’ve updated the SF Bay Area guide to ethnic markets with store info; it’s worth checking out for locals.

Salmon mini bagel sandwich lunch for prschooler

Contents of preschooler lunch: Mini bagel sandwich with cream cheese and smoked salmon, broccoli and orange cauliflower florets with red wine vinaigrette, and cherries. The orange cauliflower tasted just like regular white cauliflower to me; I bought it and a bag of mini bagels (perfect for little hands) at Safeway.

Geki Ranger bento box

Morning prep time: 10 minutes to make the sandwich on an untoasted bagel, and quickly cook the broccoli and orange cauliflower in my microwave mini steamer (speeds cook time by 50%). I nuked the cream cheese briefly to make it easy to spread on the bagel.

Packing: I didn’t want the vinaigrette on the broccoli and cauliflower to get onto the bagel and make it soggy, so after cooking and dressing the vegetables I tossed them into my mini strainer and bowl to drain and cool quickly. A short rest of a minute or so did the trick, then I took out extra insurance against leaking by packing them in a coated food cup. If I had the larger size silicone baking cups , those would have been a good waste-free alternative here. One of these days… The lunch is packed in a 350ml Power Rangers (“Geki Rangers”) box that I actually found abandoned near my house!!! Manna from the skies — bizarre.

Salmon mini bagel sandwich lunch

My lunch has the same food, but with the addition of capers in the bagel sandwich and a couple of Concord grapes that act as gap fillers to stabilize the lunch for transport.



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  1. Not to add to the busy chores of a mom, but you know that you can make gravlax fairly easy at home?
    Not that smoked salmon doesn’t do really well too :).

    I’m still trying to find an amazon affiliated store that offers international shipping on bento boxes and general supplies. To my disappointment I haven’t found any yet. There’s ebay, quite pricy though, but indeed international shipping.

  2. LOL!!!! Manna from heaven…
    great lunch it all looks tasty… I am so excited to pack lunches for my little one! I have a list of foods ready to go, school just hasn’t started..ah well

  3. @1 from Jessica: Yes, I remember your mentioning pointers on making gravlax in an earlier thread. I’d love to try it at some point when I’ve got time; I’ve never made that before.

  4. @2 from Natesgirl: No one was more surprised than me when I found that box — bizarre! Good luck to you on school lunches; I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of opportunity for you to pack lunches going forward!

  5. Random thought: I like how the bagel looks sitting in Bug’s little lunch box; it creates a striking image.

  6. Smoked salmon and cream cheese is one of the best combos ever! I also love to make sandwiches with a little ruccola-salad along with the salmon and cream cheese-filling.

  7. It figures that there would be Super Sentai bento boxes. I kind of enjoyed Mahou Sentai Majiranger for the family soap-opera aspect of it.

    Reminds me of the lunchboxes of my youth (back when they were metal).

  8. @5 from commoi: Hey, thanks. Sometimes the arrangements really work visually (sometimes they don’t). I never know until it’s all packed what it’s going to look like.

  9. @6 from amvn: Mmm, ruccola (arugula, rocket) salad sounds delicious along with salmon & cream cheese. I’d eat it, but Bug’d probably reject it.

  10. @7 from Jeff: I’m glad someone here know the ins and outs of the Power Rangers, as I certainly don’t yet! I think that’s one of the next characters for boys to get into — a little early for Bug. Can you recommend a URL with a good snapshot for a Power Rangers-challenged mom?

  11. Great site….I’m adding it to my foodie list. I was on a search yesterday for bento boxes for my 5 year olds that are going to kindergarten. It’s a bento wasteland here in the East. Couldn’t find much on the web but I did luck into a quasi-bento at the grocery store. It will do for now, I guess.

  12. @11 from Leendaluu: Hey, thanks for the add, and nice blog (moo!). Great that you found a makeshift bento box at the grocery store — it’s probably cheaper than ordering via eBay! Did you check out the geographic shopping guide on the LifeJournal bentolunch community? It’s linked on my Shop page and has a lot of good local info from all over the world for bento gear.

  13. @10 from Biggie: Well, there’s the Super Sentai home page ( which is in Japanese and has lots of information on the current series (Juuken Sentai Gekiranger) as well as a listing of all 31 Super Sentai series. You can also get tons of information on both Super Sentai and Power Rangers in English on Wikipedia.

  14. @13 from Jeff: Thanks for the resources, Jeff — I’ll check ‘em out.

  15. I was thinking of putting a bagel with cream cheese in my lunch and was just curious if the cream cheese makes the bagel soggy at all?

  16. @15 from Sai: I didn’t experience any sogginess issues — is your cream cheese particularly wet?

  17. Hee! I love that this entry on your site came up in the top five sites when searching for “orange cauliflower”. I was looking for an image to post on my own blog because I just found orange cauliflower at the $.99 store for…well, you know. But I couldn’t believe it! I had just passed it up at Vons over the weekend because it was $3.49 a pound!!

    Anyway, thought I’d share that with you, in case you had a 99 Cents Only store around you!

  18. @17 from Brandi: That is funny that it’s in the top 5 for “orange cauliflower” — who woulda thunk? Thanks for the heads up about orange cauliflower at 99 Cents Only!