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I love cooking. Sometimes I cook too much food that my husband and I can’t finish. Instead of letting the food spoil or keeping it in the fridge for days, I sometimes give the rest of it to my husband’s brothers or friends who live nearby.

Last week, I made mapo tofu for lunch, put some of the dish in a 도시락 (dosilag: lunchbox) and told my husband to bring it to the bar, so 작은 아주버님 (chagun ajubonim or brother-in-law) and their cook can try it, too. When the lunchbox was returned to me, it contained one their cook’s specialties in the bar, 떡볶이 (tteokbokki: spicy rice cake). There was also お好み焼き (okonomiyaki: Japanese pancake), one of my favorite food in the bar.

According to my husband, it is common courtesy  in Korea to return someone’s lunchbox with food in it. If somebody gives you food in a 도시락, you should not return the lunchbox empty. You don’t have to replace the food that was given to you with expensive food. Simple snacks, lunchbox food or fruit will do. (For simple Korean lunchbox recipes, visit

Filed under: Korean Culture Tagged: Cooking, Etiquette, Food, japanese pancake, Korea, Lunch box, lunchbox recipes, Okonomiyaki, Rice cake, Tteokbokki

From Korea with Love




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