Rice with Leftovers
Goldongban (Kor. 골동반, Chin. 骨董飯) is a dish made with leftovers, eaten on Seotdal Geumeum (Kor. 섣달그믐, Lunar New Year’s Eve). The idea is that families must get rid of all their leftovers before the year draws to an end. Mixing various ingredients with rice results in a dish similar to bibimbap (Kor. 비빔밥), which is consumed on the last day of the lunar year.
Goldongban is described in the “Gudong Shisanshuo” (Kor. 골동십삼설, Chin. 骨董十三說), a book written by a Ming-Chinese author by the name of Dong Qichang (1555-1636). According to this source, goldong (Kor. 골동, Chin. 骨董) is a term used to collectively designate miscellaneous old objects. By extending the original meaning of the term, a dish made by mixing various foods was called goldonggaeng (Kor. 골동갱, Chin. 骨董羹), and rice-based dishes containing portions of various foods, goldongban.
The oldest surviving Korean record of goldongban is contained in the “Siui Jeonseo” (Kor. 시의전서, Chin. 是議全書, Korean Cookbook, late 19th century). In this book, the word goldongban written in Sino-Korean characters is followed by bubuimbap (Kor. 부븸밥, an older form of bibimbap) in Korean letters. Although the word goldong was used since the early Joseon period (1392-16th century), goldongban as the name of the dish gained currency only in the 19th century. In the early 20th century, the term was replaced by bibimbap.