Dosirak (도시락) is a Korean packed lunch. My mom packed one for every school lunch throughout my childhood in Korea. It would usually have some rice, kimchi, and a side dish of my mom’s choice. If you had one of those fancy thermal dosirak silos, there could even be hot soup at the bottom of the case.
Spoon by H is now doing their version of dosirak for customers to pick up while dining rooms are closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. It’s loaded with bites and banchan, from classic dosirak items to fancy Korean wedding buffet dishes, making this one of the most generously portioned takeout meals in LA right now.
Spoon by H owner Yoonjin Hwang, already known as one of LA’s more meticulous chefs, started making dosirak at the beginning of last week, showing off the meal on Instagram. The convenient takeout meal, which costs $28 and is nearly big enough for two people, puts together 24 different things that represent the depth and variety of Korean food. Here’s what every ingredient is and how Hwang prepares each one.
- Rice (밥): Every Korean meal starts with rice.
- Kimchi (김치): The iconic Korean cabbage is cut the long way and then curled into a beautiful shape
- Rolled omelette (계란말이): Years ago, before industrialization, eggs used to be very expensive in Korea. Having egg banchan in a dosirak regularly meant your family was pretty well off.
- Ground pork with rice cakes (떡볶음): A milder version of popular tteokbokki, with pork
- Shishito pepper (꽈리고추): Shishito pepper usually gets pan-fried with small anchovies
- Pickled radish (무장아찌): Usually served with pork dish such as bossam and jokbal
- Bossam (보쌈): This boiled pork dish is served with perrilla leaf (깿잎) and gochujang already on.
- Gochujang tomato cold pasta (고추장 토마토 파스타): A nice twist to regular cold pasta
- Salad (샐러드): Arugula salad with fresh fruits
- Coleslaw (콜슬로우): Made with red cabbage
- Kimchi pancake (김치부침개): A savory pancake with kimchi
- Tteokgalbi: Minced beef with a soy-based galbi marinade
- Burdock (우엉조림): Burdock root is boiled down with soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and honey
- Fish cake (오뎅볶음): A very popular banchan in Korea. Stir-fried in pan with soy sauce, sugar, green onion, and onions.
- Japchae (잡채): Korea’s classic stir-fried vermicelli noodles, a must-have banchan for any event
- Dumpling (만두튀김): Dumpling is deep fried for a crispy exterior
- Seaweed wrapped glass noodle (김말이): This is a popular street food. Glass noodle is wrapped in dried seaweed like a roll. Then it’s battered and fried.
- Cucumber kimchi (오이김치): Kimchi made with cucumber
- Pickled peppers
- Pickled turnip (무쌈): A smaller version of pickled turnip usually served to wrap marinated korean bbq
- Chicken wing (닭날개): Battered fried chicken wing with a sweet soy sauce
- Meatball (미트볼): soft meatball of marinated beef with pickled veggies on top
- Galbi jjim (갈비찜): This dish is the king of buffets. It can usually be seen at wedding receptions and other important events at the end of the buffet line
- Shredded potatoes (감자채): Pan-fried shredded potatoes with simple seasoning
The dosirak from Spoon by H is currently available Monday to Thursday with 50 trays made per day, and the types of banchan may vary depending on what’s available. Call the restaurant at 323-930-0789 to place an order. Because of social distancing concerns, a staff member will bring the dosirak order to your car.