A Week in Korean School Lunches 식판

At the school that I work at in Gimpo, South Korea I am provided with a school style lunch everyday. It is called 식판, after the name of the plate the food is served on. I thought it might be a little interesting to see what a typical school age child’s lunch would look like in Korea. The lunches are made everyday by one of the owners at the school. Mine is a little different from an everyday lunch as I am vegetarian (although I do eat fish and seafood), so my lunches are often a little different from what everyone else at the school eats.

Lunch 1: 식판

Spinach, Odeng (fish cake), spicy salad, rice and change (glass noodles)

Spinach, Odeng (fish cake), spicy salad, rice and japchae (glass noodles with veggies)

Lunch 2: 식판

Rice, soybean sprouts, odeng (fish cake), potatoes and carrots, cabbage salad and water kimchi

Rice, soybean sprouts, odeng (fish cake), potatoes and carrots, cabbage salad and water kimchi

Lunch 3: 식판

Cabbage soup, white kimchi, spicy dried fish, odeng (fish cake), rice, zucchini and apple in spicy sauce and various plants.

Cabbage soup, white kimchi, spicy dried fish, odeng (fish cake), rice, zucchini and apple in spicy sauce and various plants.

Lunch 4: 식판

Rice, some kind of veggie or root in spicy sauce, white kimchi and pickled peppers, ssam, soybean sprout soup, dried squid and soybeans

Rice, some kind of veggie or root in spicy sauce, white kimchi and pickled peppers, spam (perilla leaf), soybean sprout soup, dried squid and soybeans

Lunch 5: 식판

Miso soup, dried quid, odeng (fish cake), ssam (perilla leaf), rice and zucchini and cabbage in spicy sauce

Miso soup, dried quid, odeng (fish cake), ssam (perilla leaf), rice and zucchini and cabbage in spicy sauce

Personally I love the fact that I get a Korean style lunch everyday. For one thing I never have to think about what I’m going to eat for lunch during the week which frees up my time and saves me some money. Plus I find eating the Korean lunches to be on the healthier side. All the meals are served with rice and soup and even though I have asked not to be served rice I still get it everyday, just a smaller portion. I think this is mainly because my bosses are already worried about my health since I’m pescatarian so eliminating rice would just be too much that I’m not eating. There is variation in what we eat each day and as I mentioned before most lunches include a non-seafood meat option which I don’t get. But it really keeps me from getting bored with what I eat and I love Korean food and all the side dishes. And yes, the children’s chopsticks and spoon set are mine. When I first arrived at the school my chopstick skills were pretty pathetic and I jokingly told my boss I needed the learning chopsticks….well, joke was on me because the next day I had my own pair of learning chopsticks and I’ve been using them for about 3 months now. But, I will say that my chopstick skills have improved immensely.

 

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