Let’s pack my husband’s lunch box for the week together; we will make FIVE dishes and 1 hour.
I pack my husband’s lunch box every Sunday. I want to make sure his lunch box has two protein and 2-3 side dishes options.
The trick for me to cook fast is to utilize different kitchen appliances, so my stove top isn’t crowded, and I can make dishes while my air fryer and rice cooker are doing the work.
I included a grocery shopping list for this week’s lunch box at the bottom, along with links to the recipes so you can re-create it at home.
LUNCH BOX MENU THIS WEEK
Lunch Box #1 (Monday and Wednesday)
Lunch Box #2 (Tuesday & Thursday)
Lunch Box #3 (cold side dish for the week)
- Spicy Garlic Cucumber Salad
Lunch Box Dish #1: Spinach with Garlic Oil
5 minutes, makes 4 portion
My husband and I are both big fans of spinach; not only is it easy to prepare, but it is also super affordable. If you can’t find loose spinach, swap it with other loose leaves and green vegetables.
Any vegetable is delicious when paired with my homemade garlic oil. If you have ever wondered why Chinese restaurants always serve the BEST garlic recipes, that is because of their secret garlic oil that makes everything taste delicious!
Savory, delicious, and packed with umami flavor, my secret garlic oil is a staple family condiment that I have ready to go in the fridge at all times!
- 6 cups spinach
- 2 tablespoons homemade garlic oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Bring a pot of water to boil, and add in the spinach. Blanch for 30 seconds – 1 minute, drain, and set aside.
- Drizzle on garlic oil and salt, mix well and enjoy.
Lunch Box Dish #2: Sautee Mushrooms
10 minutes, makes 4 portion
It is no surprise that we are HUGE fans of mushrooms in this household.
Mushroom, similar to spinach, is affordable and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Since I am always making mushroom recipes throughout the week, I normally have alot of mushrooms in my fridge leftover on Sunday.
I am using shiitake mushroom and shemiji mushroom today, but you can swap out the mushroom with any of your choices, such as cremini and oyster mushrooms.
- 2 cups shiitake mushroom
- 2 cups shemiji mushroom
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup Gyudon sauce (dish #4)
- A pinch of black pepper
- In a pan, add shiitake mushroom and shemiji mushroom. Turn the heat high, and saute without any oil for 2-3 minutes. You can also swap to any mushroom of your choice.
- Drizzle in Gyudon sauce, turn the heat to high, and saute for another 1-2 minutes or until mushroom becomes soft.
- Drizzle on sesame oil and a pinch of black pepper, and saute on high heat for another 1 minute.
30 minutes, makes 2 portion
This recipe is the BEST Air Fryer Soy Sauce Chicken you will ever try, and the best part is it is also SUPER easy to make! The chicken is crispy on the outside, while the meat is super juicy and flavourful on the inside. It is the perfect dish for any lunch box!
An air fryer is something that saves me SO MUCH TIME in the kitchen.
I did a blog post trying to find the best air fryer on Amazon and tested 4 of the best-selling options to see which one is the best! Spoiler, I love my Cosori Air Fryer, but if you are in the market for a new air fryer, I highly recommend checking out my blog post breaking down the price, size, functions, and much more!
Quick Tip, marinate the chicken at the start, and while you are waiting for the chicken to marinate, prepare the ingredients for the other dishes.
- 2 pieces of boneless chicken thigh with the skin on
- 1.5 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 3 cloves of Garlic (minced)
- Marinate the chicken with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, five-spice powder, white pepper, sugar, and minced garlic for 30 minutes
- Add the chicken to the air fryer, skin side facing up. Set the air fryer at 380F for 15 minutes
Lunch Box Dish #4: Beef Gyudon
20 minutes, make 2-3 portion
One of my go-to recipes for my husband’s lunch box every week is Beef Gyudon.
Super easy to make at home, delicious, and affordable. You can swap thinly beef slices for pork if you don’t eat meat. You can find thinly sliced beef at most Asian grocery stores under the “hot pot” section.
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- ½ pound thinly sliced beef
- 1 cup dashi stock
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon mirin, or swap with water
- Add soy sauce, sugar, mirin, dashi stock, and onion to a pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring everything to a simmer.
- Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent
- Add thinly sliced beef, and simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until meat is cooked.
Lunch Box Dish #5: Spicy Cucumber Salad
30 minutes, makes 4 portions
Savory and garlicky smashed cucumber salad is refreshing and pairs perfectly with every meal, and that is why cucumber salad is always part of my weekly lunch box. Since it is a cold side dish, I like to store the cucumber salad in a metal container, and my husband can enjoy it by adding some on top of his daily lunch box.
The most important tip when making any cucumber salad is to always draw out the water with salt and sugar, so the cucumber stays crunchy throughout the week.
- 2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cloves garlic (minced/smashed)
- 1.5 tablespoon homemade chili oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons black vinegar
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Add sugar and salt to the cut-up cucumber. Mix together and let it sit aside for 20 minutes; this will help the cucumber stay nice and crunchy. After 20 minutes, dump out all the excess liquid.
- Pour in the marinade on top of the cucumber, and you are ready to enjoy!