Top summer food in Korea
Summer is just around the corner in Seoul where the heat will be scorching and people will start flocking around beaches to cool their body heats. During this hot and humid weather, what are the few foods that you should enjoy to keep the heat down as well as help to strengthen your body metabolism? Have a look at the list below!
1. Samgyetang (삼계탕), Ginseng Chicken soup
Samgyetang is served with a whole chicken stuffed with glutinous rice in a broth boiled of Korean ginseng, garlics, dried jujube fruits (also known as red dates) and ginger alongside with some herbs. Known for its nutrients, it helps to replace the stamina in which you have lost through excessive sweating and physical exertion during the hot summers in Korea.
It is said that Koreans usually enjoy this dish especially during Chobok (초복), Jungbok (중복), and Malbok (말복), which they believe to be the hottest days of the year.
2. Kongguksu (콩국수), Soy Milk Soup Noodle
Wheat noodles served in a savory cold soy milk broth, Kongguksu is another delicacy which you need to have during the hot summer days to cool your body heat! After long hours of soaking, boiling and blending the soy beans, you will have your soy milk soup, just add in the noodles, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggs and lastly few pieces of ice cubes to have the dish ready for serving.
Kongguksu is a vegetarian dish which according to Siui Jeonseo (시의전서), it was a traditional food where the people of Joseon Dynasty in the 19th century had enjoyed too. I think this dish is consumable by vegetarian (those who consume eggs) and Muslim friends as well.
You might be able to only find this dish during summer season, so don’t missed the chance to try this out while you are here in Korea!
3. Yeolmuguksu (열무국수), Young Radish Water Kimchi Soup Noodles
As many may have known, kimchi is made of various vegetables that has high concentration of fibers and low calories count which also contains overall nutritional values, making it as 1 of the world’s healthiest food.
Serving it cold, Yeolmuguksu is a dish made from yeolmu kimchi broth (young radish water kimchi, which usually served as a banchan (반찬) or side dish) with buckwheat noodles whereby yeolmu kimchi is widely consume by Koreans during summer season, therefore making this delicacy a seasonal dish.
4. Naengmyeon (냉면), Cold Noodles
Not favoring the taste of kimchi? Not to worry, as you may also try naengmyeon, a common dish in Korea known as Cold Noodles. This dish was originally a delicacy in North Korea, Pyongyang and Hamhung, it became popular later after the Korean War.
There are 2 varieties of naengmyeon, Mul Naengmyeon (물냉면) which is served as a cold soup with the noodles contained in broth made from beef, chicken or dongchimi broth or a mixture of it while bibim naengmyeon (Mix cold noodle) is served with a spicy dressing made primarily from gochujang (red chili paste) and eaten all mixed.
According to the 19th century documents of Dongguksesigi (동국세시기), this delicacy has also been made since the Joseon Dynasty.
5. Bingsu (빙수), Shaved Ice
Last but not least, to end your meal with a refreshing yet popular dessert which is known by most people, bingsu. The original bingsu was known as Patbingsu (팟빙수) which is red beans with ice. But as human creativity & taste buds develops in unique ways, many different flavors of bingsu are available these days such as green tea, fruits, coffee etc. It can be easily found in many cafes and bakeries, though the prices of bingsu may be a little bit pricey when it comes to summer due to huge demand for it.
It is also said that the earliest forms of patbingsu can be found in the Joseon Dynasty during the year 1392-1897.
So, have you tried any of the food above? And what food you might go for in the summers during your trip in Korea?