Ahh, Dosirak! How your cheap delicious boxed self has saved us on so many hiking and camping outings. These little lunchboxes are a staple in Korea and are the perfect size to take with you while you are on the go. Recently, however, we found out that there is an old style of Dosirak that we had never tried before after living in Korea for nearly five years. What?! How did we let that happen? Suddenly we feel like Korean newbies all over again.
The traditional style of Dosirak is pretty cool. They come in theses tinplate boxes and there are no separate compartments, but rather the ingredients are all just put on top of each other. A rice bed with old fried kimchi, dried anchovy, seaweed slices, egg washed fried spam, soy braised black beans, and a fried egg on top. To get the full experience of it you have to shake the ever living shit out of it so the contents of the box mix together. Beautiful? No. Delicious? Yes! It’s basically like stir fried rice and it tastes salty and oh so savory. Don’t let the anchovies or the spam turn you off because seriously, we have never enjoyed the two so much.
For more information about dosirak, or to simply see us struggle to shake the ever living fire out of those tricky dosirak boxes, be sure to check out our newest video! Seriously though, I think I might have given myself tennis elbow from shaking the box approximately a million times. There must be some sort of Korean trick to it that I’m not getting.
Where to Find Dosirak?
If you are looking for old style Dosirak like the ones we ate, try the amazing restaurant Ibadom (이바돔). They have incredible Gamjatang soup, which you should definitely eat, and on the side menu you can find Dosirak. Some other restaurants do it as well, but so far we haven’t found any others. Ibadom is a large franchise, so no matter what city you live in, you should be able to find one near you!
For cheap dosirak for picnics or hikes, try checking out the selection at your local convenience stores or make your own at Emart or Lotte Mart! They cost around 3,000-5,000 won for a variety of rice and side dish style food. Ever see a group of Korean hikers with all the food having those epic picnics on the tops of mountains? DOSIRAK!
Another place you should check out is Seoul’s Tong-in Market. We have heard stories of the dosirak ajummas serving up all kinds of yummy foods. Just select the ones you like and they will pack them up for you in a lunchbox to go or to eat at one of the nearby tables. Other markets usually have a similar dosirak ajumma, but Tong-in Market is definitely the most famous.
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