Korean Culinary Cures

Korean Culinary Cures: From Tummy Aches To Hangovers, Here’s How Moms Cook Up Relief

Kongnamul-guk (콩나물국), soybean sprout soup

This can be served two ways, with Korean chili flakes for a spicy kick or without. It is commonly believed to help cure hangovers in adults. The saltiness of the soup, combined with the natural vitamins found in soybean sprouts, helped “clean” the liver and stomach.

Miyeok-guk (미역국), seaweed soup

Miyeok-guk is made with a protein broth, most commonly beef broth, and miyeok (미역), or seaweed. In Korea, new moms are given this as part of their recovery diet in the hospital. (It’s why miyeok is symbolically enjoyed on birthdays.) seaweeds can be rich in minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron and iodine – all of which are indeed considered important during pregnancy and lactation. 

Jook (죽), rice porridge

You could compare jook to chicken noodle soup. It’s a Korean staple for the sick, especially those with stomachaches. It’s made by slow-boiling rice that’s been left out to soak in water for many hours. The soft, moist texture of the porridge is easily swallowed and digested ,Jook always calm the stomach. Many Koreans mix in different ingredients, such as pumpkin and abalone, and it is often enjoyed for breakfast or when recovering in the hospital.

Kimchi (김치), Korean fermented vegetables

Kimchi comes in hundreds of variations. Two types commonly consumed for health benefits are ggakdugi, or spicy radish kimchi, and mul-kimchi, or water kimchi. Mul-kimchi is often served in the summer, chilled, and the light but salty brine is drunk as a refreshment — it is said to hydrate and replenish the body with salts you sweat out.

Baesuk (배숙), Korean pear punch/tea

Baesuk is a traditional Korean punch/tea made by poaching or steaming Korean pear (bae; 배) with black peppercorns, honey, and ginger. If served hot, it is commonly used as a remedy for the common cold, sore throat, or cough. The ginger is believed to aid with keeping the body warm, the honey is thought to soothe the throat, and the Korean pear is said to help with digestion.

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