Packed lunches in Korea, dosirak 도시락, are a bit more flavourful than those you might have once taken to school. You won’t find many sandwiches here, but a colourful mix of meat, fresh veg and rice. Students and office workers alike might pack lunch from their leftovers – or get one lovingly made by mum – to save some won at the convenience store.

Unlike Japanese bentos, where veg are separated by colour to create a harmonious look, before being eaten portion by portion, dosirak are often shaken up in the box before eating to create a more haphazard, colourful, tasty mix of a meal. You can sometimes order them as a side dish at Korean restaurants to shake up and enjoy.

Wanja jeon, tofu and meat patties, are a great dosirak staple. They’re easy to make with just a few ingredients, and you can make a huge batch, and just freeze some for another day.

Whip some up with Maangchi here (includes a vegetarian version)

Take a look here at some good side dishes you can pack along with them into a dosirak.
See how dosirak looks at a Korean restaurant here.


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.