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A variety of Dosirak (packed meal)
Korean name
Revised Romanizationdosirak

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

Dosirak is derived from the Early Modern Korean word "도슭".[5] Records dating to the 18th century attest to this as well as other variations such as "밥고리", and "밥동고리".[6] The practice of packing food as done with dosirak isn't a unique practice to Korean Cuisine, and the modern dosirak can be seen as the Korean form of lunch boxes.


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.[2][8] [10] Gimbap-dosirak (김밥 도시락; "packed gimbap"), made with sliced gimbap (seaweed rolls), is often packed for picnics.[11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "dosirak" 도시락. Standard Korean Language Dictionary (in Korean). National Institute of Korean Language. Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b "What the world eats for lunch". The Daily Meal. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2017 – via Fox News.
  3. ^ Hong, Ji-yeon (17 February 2016). "Local specialties take train travel to a new level". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  4. ^ Park, Han-na (15 October 2015). "Convenience stores vie for lunch box market". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  5. ^ The dictionary definition of 도시락 at Wiktionary
  6. ^ "홈 > 소장 자료 (상세보기) - 『청구영언』 김천택 편, 영인편 | 국립한글박물관 NATIONAL HANGEUL MUSEUM". www.hangeul.go.kr. Retrieved 2023-10-12.
  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. ^ Bolat, Jeff. "Oversigt over danske måltidskasser". Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  11. ^ Kayal, Michele (3 July 2012). "Thinking Outside The Bento Box". NPR. Retrieved 12 May 2017.