BY JAZMYNE PENNINGTON | STAFF WRITER
On Dec. 4, seven students from Kapi‘olani Community College and one from Leeward Community College were challenged to test their culinary skills in the 7-Eleven “On the Line” Healthy Bento Product development contest.
The winning dish was Sinigang Rice Noodle Soup by KCC Kainoa Reloza.
“I grew up eating Sinigang as a kid,” Reloza said. “It was always something that I asked my grandparents to make for me. My parents would do the same thing as well, but they would they would take the little Mama Sita’s packet, you know the pre-made stuff, and they’d make it. But I always preferred the homemade thing, so I wanted to try to recreate that.”
KCC student Brittany Soga took second place with her Chicken Hekka bento, and KCC’s Ritchie Wong’s Mabo Tofu Udon won The People’s Choice award.
The three winning bentos will soon be commercialized at 7-Eleven Hawai‘i locations.
The contest took place at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific and was organized by Kapi‘olani Community College in partnership with 7-Eleven.
Competitors were challenged with creating a healthy bento that met the following criteria:
- Fits in a standard 7-Eleven Hawai‘i entrée container
- Portion size should be comparable to similar products at 7-Eleven Hawai‘i
- Approximately 700 Calories and <10 grams of fat content per entrée
- Must have at least 3 components (i.e. protein, vegetable, grains or pasta)
- Must contain a minimum of TWO locally grown, caught, or raised product
- Must not contain rice
- <$4.00 Cost per serving, not including the packaging
- All ingredients must be cooked, chilled in the refrigerator in the container, heated in a microwave and able to sit under a heat lamp for 4 hours.
- Adheres to USDA/FDA food safety guidelines
- No loose liquid in the container, product must be able to be transported cold.
- Food may be of any ethnic cuisine.
Each competitor gave a short presentation on their bento, produced samples for the crowd, and their bento was tested on how it stood up under a heat lamp.