I took a picture of each of my lunches last week, in the hope that I could show you a typical week of lunches. Last week was kind of atypical.
Monday at Neungdong Middle School:
(Clockwise from top left) Beef with peanuts in a sweet sauce, tempura-battered french fries with chili sauce, KIMCHI, spincach soup, rice with the occasional red bean (for flavor and texture.)
Tuesday at Neungdong Middle School:
(Clockwise from top left) Sweet rice dumpling filled with red bean paste, KIMCHI, Korean grapes (suck out the innards--don't eat the skin!) giant bowl of noodle soup with vegetables and egg, fried prawns.
Wednesday was the first day of exams, so I went out to lunch with the homeroom teachers after school closed early.
(Clockwise from top left) (Actually I don't know what a lot of this was) Onion and greens with chili sauce, garlic greens, fish cakes with chili sauce, garlic cloves and sliced pepper, (partially visible) steamed cabbage, whole fish with chili sauce, greens with sesame seeds, KIMCHI, more greens...with onions, salad, fish with a radish, and in the center, soup with tofu and mushrooms.
The piece of wood in the lower right is the lid to my personal stone bowl of rice. After scooping the rice into a bowl to eat with the side dishes, you pour hot broth into the bowl and put the lid back on. When dinner is finished you have soup from the rice that was stuck to the stone. It's good for digestion.
Thursday, at Naedeok Middle School:
(Clockwise from top left) Fish in sesame soy sauce, KIMCHI (cabbage and cucumber!) garlic greens and ground beef, soup (potato, carrot, big mushy white things,) rice with beans and corn.
Friday at Naedeok Middle School:
(Clockwise from top left) vegetable pancakes, KIMCHI (cabbage and...radish maybe?) potato and beef stew (spicy and sweet,) spinach soup, rice with barley bits.
Korean school lunches are about as representative of Korean food as American school lunches are of American food. Still, one big difference between the Korean lunch and an American lunch is the prominence of rice. Korean food is rice plus side dishes, while American food tends to be meat plus side dishes.