Surviving the Korean School Lunch

I have mentioned before that my Korean school lunches are not vegetarian and don’t offer a lot so I always bring something to beef it up (bad word choice). To give you an example here was lunch the other day…

ImageRice, sauteed spinach and I believe there was fish on the side and some sort of soup (and have kimchi of course)! I don’t generally eat the soups as most of the time they will have some sort of fish stock or anchovies in them.

My goal is to get some more vegetables in the lunch and some sort of protein to fill me up. I always make sure that when I am cooking at the start of the week that I put aside some vegetable before I flavor them and take them to work throughout the week. This is pretty easy and well worth it on the days when the only vegetable side dish has tiny shrimp or something like that in it – seriously why do they have to put fish in everything!!

ImageToday’s lunch was rice, pumpkin seeds, seafood soup and scrambled eggs with shrimp. I was so happy to have my veggies as the seeds and rice looked really sad on the giant lunch tray.

In the past I have worried about protein due to the calorie content, this year I realised how much of an idiot I am.

Protein keeps you FULL!

You may already realise this and be rolling your eyes, but I am amazed at how adding just a small serving to my lunch keeps me going all day. We eat lunch at 12 and don’t finish work until 6 so I really need something that will keep me going. When I wasn’t eating any protein in order to save a few calories then I would get hungry in the afternoon and have a big snack which probably has more.

For the protein I keep is just as simple, here are some ideas


-already cooked tofu

– nuts (almonds are great)

– carrot sticks with a big scoop of sun butter

– vegetables or crackers with hummus .

This has been working out great, I mix the veggies with some rice and always bring a little salad dressing along to flavor the lunch. Protein has really been making a difference in my day, it is amazing how far a little protein will go. The other teachers fill up on rice with I find bloats my for most of the day and leaves me hungry for something around 4pm.

As you can see right now I have mastered the lunch thing. I am healthy, full, and not offending the Korean culture which is all about sharing and being thankful for the lunch provided. The best thing though is how easy this is, by preparing a little early in the week and  making use of leftovers it only takes a couple of minutes to throw it all together.

Happy eating 😀


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