From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."



I love cooking. Sometimes I cook too much food that my husband and I can’t finish. Instead of letting the food spoil or keeping it in the fridge for days, I sometimes give the rest of it to my husband’s brothers or friends who live nearby.

Last week, I made mapo tofu for lunch, put some of the dish in a 도시락 (dosilag: lunchbox) and told my husband to bring it to the bar, so 작은 아주버님 (chagun ajubonim or brother-in-law) and their cook can try it, too. When the lunchbox was returned to me, it contained one their cook’s specialties in the bar, 떡볶이 (tteokbokki: spicy rice cake). There was also お好み焼き (okonomiyaki: Japanese pancake), one of my favorite food in the bar.

According to my husband, it is common courtesy  in Korea to return someone’s lunchbox with food in it. If somebody gives you food in a 도시락, you should not return the lunchbox empty. You don’t have to replace the food that was given to you with expensive food. Simple snacks, lunchbox food or fruit will do. (For simple Korean lunchbox recipes, visit

9 thoughts on “Lunchbox

  1. Well. I hope you will post about some of your bento. Will look into forward to reading about it, will follow your blog as also saw some nice information on Korean food!


  2. Yes, dosirak or doshirak is the Korean term for lunch box. ^^


  3. Hmm, that is quite interesting.

    I sort of have the approach that Bento is the Japanese word for lunch box and Dosirak is the Korean word for lunch box, so both are more the “vehicle” and not perse the content.
    I do try to make both my bento’s and my dosirak’s (or combination) balanced in content/variety/colour etc.

    I also think that Bento is a more commonly known/familiar term, also because of the huge amount of kawaii/character bento blogs.


  4. I kinda noticed that, too. Maybe it’s because dosirak preparation is a lot simpler than bento preparation. Making bento meals is more elaborate from what I have read and seen in the internet. Bento meal is a complete package which should have meat, veggies, fruits/desserts and rice or bread, but dosirak meal can be just snacks put all together or simple lunch/dinner with some banchan or side dishes.


  5. Succes with your business. Have a look at my blog roll, I only very recently started making dosirak/bento but there are a lot more experienced bento blogggers. As far as I can see less bloggers about Dosirak or maybe they blog in Korean…which I can’t read…


  6. Hi there! ^^ My husband told me it’s just a way to say, “Thank you”. By the way, I checked your blog and I’m glad I did. I could get a lot of tips on preparing bentos. My husband and I started a bento business and we are thinking of other bento dishes to include in our menu. ^^


  7. O wow, How interesting to learn this about returning a lunch box filled with food. I wonder if there is a special what thought behind this.


  8. Yes, it’s very thoughtful. ^^


  9. What a wonderful idea to return a lunch box with food in it:)


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