In Which We Meet O-Bento‘s Korean Counterpart

Dosirak with Raw Tuna

I’m a major fan of o-bento or Japanese boxed lunch sets.  There’s always plenty of variety involved and, even if it’s a bento box you know well, it always seems fresh and new.

Now, the Koreans have something similar to a bento called a dosirak – a boxed lunch containing rice, relishes, and other goodies.  So far, Kaya has been the only Korean restaurant in these parts where I’ve actually encountered this particular set.

The standard dosirak consists of steamed white rice topped with black sesame, a good helping of kimchi, some sukju namul (delicately seasoned mung bean sprouts), some buttered veg, a few pieces of deep-fried tofu, and what appear to be dduk-galbi (fried meat patties).  As for the primary protein, one gets to choose from beef, chicken, pork, tuna, and squid.

Shown above is my cha chim hoe dosirak which features raw tuna as my protein of choice.  This boxed set comes with a sweet sesame dip for the meat patties and some soy and wasabi for the tuna.  The tuna used here was quite cold – almost frozen, as a matter of fact – but it made for an excellent contrast: the cold fish working wonderfully with the hot rice.  The meat patties were also quite good and the tofu was beautifully crisp on the outside, meltingly soft within.

If you find yourself getting bored with the conventional o-bento, I wholeheartedly recommend this to you.  😀