Friday, May 11, 2012


I was kind of disappointed with the school's lunch this semester, so I decided on bringing my own lunch (도시락 in Korean) instead of eating the poorly cooked, overly salty food in our cafeteria. I was a little worried about the extra time that this would take, but I am so glad I made this decision. Some of my co-workers have been doing 도시락 the entire time, so they invited me to join them. It is similar to having a potluck lunch everyday; each teacher brings their own rice plus a banchan (side dish), and all of us share what we have brought. This has resulted in a gigantic improvement on my lunch, which is now not only tasty, but also healthy as well. Look at this spread:

Lots of greens, roots and vegetables. It is a bit salty, but I'm young so I don't have to worry about that too much. The variety is fantastic, and even if there is something I don't like, such as the little anchovies, there is always enough to go around. I've switched to whole grain rice (현미) as well and I think my body is agreeing to my choices.

The ladies at lunch all speak in Korean, but I kind of enjoy it. Even though I only catch about 25% of the words being said, it is good listening practice and if I'm tired I can zone out and just enjoy some lotus root or fish cake. When they are talking (or complaining) about the students, I usually can follow the conversation and I speak up every once in a while to ask about the ingredients of a specific dish. One of the women at 도시락 is an English teacher and she translates sometimes, but I'm happy it isn't a constant thing. I don't want to be a burden to part of the day that these ladies obviously enjoy.

Lunch time! With my co-teacher Mrs. Jin on the far left.
 Of course, I have to cook as well. I can't make these deliciously preserved banchan, so I end up making dinner and bringing the leftovers to school. I hope my co-workers are enjoying these meals... I brought some peanut curry the other day and tofu scramble today. I really should start using my Korean cookbook... Hopefully I can get some good recipes out of school lunch as well!

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