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A variety of Dosirak (packed meal)
Korean name (South Korea)
Revised Romanizationdosirak
Korean name (North Korea)
Revised Romanizationgwakbap

Dosirak (Hangul: 도시락; Hanja: 道食樂), also known as gwakpap (Hangul: 곽밥; Hanja: 打包) refers to a packed meal, often for lunch. It usually consists of bap (, cooked rice) and several banchan (side dishes).[1][2] The lunch boxes, also called dosirak or dosirak-tong (dosirak case), are typically plastic or thermo-steel containers with or without compartments or tiers.[3] Dosirak is often home-made, but is also sold in train stations and convenience stores.[4][5]

Dosirak in its current iteration was introduced to Korea during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910–1945) by the Japanese who had called their variation of a packed meal as bento (弁当, bentō), itself from the Chinese term biandang (便當, pinyin: biàndāng), which means "convenient" or "convenience". During this period, Korean cuisine adopted foreign cuisines as well as Japanese food items such as bento or sushi rolled in sheets of seaweed, popularized in Korea under the name of gimbap.[6]


Home-made dosirak is often packed in tiered lunch boxes that can separate bap (cooked rice) and banchan (side dishes).[7] The guk (soup) tier, if included, is usually kept warm by insulation.[8] Plastic or thermo-steel containers are most common, but combinations of wood and lacquer, ceramics and bamboo, as well as other materials, are also used.[9]

Yennal-dosirak (옛날 도시락; "old-time dosirak") consists of bap (rice), stir-fried kimchi, egg-washed and pan-fried sausages, fried eggs, and shredded gim (seaweed), typically packed in a rectangular lunchbox made of tinplate or German silver. It is shaken with the lid on, thereby mixing the ingredients prior to eating.[3][8]

Gimbap-dosirak (김밥 도시락; "packed gimbap"), made with sliced gimbap (seaweed rolls), is often packed for picnics.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "dosirak" 도시락. Standard Korean Language Dictionary (in Korean). National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  2. ^ "gwakbap" 곽밥. Standard Korean Language Dictionary (in Korean). National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b "What the world eats for lunch". The Daily Meal. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2017 – via Fox News.
  4. ^ Hong, Ji-yeon (17 February 2016). "Local specialties take train travel to a new level". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  5. ^ Park, Han-na (15 October 2015). "Convenience stores vie for lunch box market". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  6. ^ Levinson, David; Christensen, Karen (2002). Encyclopedia of Modern Asia: China-India relations to Hyogo. Charles Scribner's Sons. ISBN 0-684-80617-7. This process was initiated during the Japanese occupation (1910-1945), when Western food and drink, such as bread, confectionery, and beer, became popular in Korean cities, and a Western-style food processing industry in Korea began. Some Japanese food items were also adopted into Korean cuisine at that time, such as tosirak (the assorted lunch box) and sushi rolled in sheets of seaweed, which was popular in Korea under the name of kimbap.
  7. ^ Frizzell, Nell (24 July 2014). "Store-Bought Lunch Is Stupid and Wasteful". Munchies. VICE. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  8. ^ a b Williams, Maxwell (30 March 2017). "5 Best Lunches In the World". GOOD magazine. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  9. ^ Kim, Hyung-eun (2 May 2017). "Korean dining on view in London : Craft Week showcases fine objects used in eating and drinking". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  10. ^ Kayal, Michele (3 July 2012). "Thinking Outside The Bento Box". NPR. Retrieved 12 May 2017.