Fight fire with fire -How the Korean people survive “hot summer”?

Korea summer is hot and humid with temperatures soaring as high as 35 C(95) on occasion. Summer is Jun, Jul, Aug and average August temperature is 27.9c(82).

Today I will introduce what Korean people eat in summer.

Ee-yeoi-chee-yeal(이열치열(以熱治熱) )is the idioms originated in an ancient event of Korean. This mean fight fire with fire! So when body gets hot, body system makes to sweat off and over come the heat.

In oriental medicine which we call Han-Bang(한방), our body gets cold so as to overcome the hot weather. Thus, eating a hot food makes the body’s cold energy get hot and help overcomes the hot weather with sweating.

Then which food is good for making sweat?

Hot food-SamGyeTang

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SamGyeTang is the healthiest way to cook chicken. It is a combination of chicken, ginseng, jujube, glutinous rice, medicinal herbs and these are boiled together. Usually a whole chicken is served for one person. It is believed to revitalizes the body and boosts the immune system.

When we eat SamGyeTang?

We have a special day for eating SamGyeTang. This is the hottest days in Korea from early July to mid August and it is called “Sambok deowl”. ‘Sambok’ refers to the hottest days in Korea according to the lunar calendar and is divided into 3 periods. Chobok(초복), the beginning period; Jungbok(중복), the middle; and Malbok(말복), the end of the summertime.

How to eat?

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 5.26.49 PMEat SamGyeTanng with Kimchi

There are many side dishes in Korea food and Kimchi always come out with Korean dish. SamGyeTang and Kimchi is a good combination to eat.:)


Bowl of SamGyeThang

It is also important to use the right kind of pot, such as Dolsot(stone pot) or a Ttukbaegi(earthenware pot). This helps to keep the food hot in a best taste.

But be carful when eating SamGyeThang. It is really hot and you can burn the roof of your mouth if you are not careful.

Although traditionally SamGyeTang is a summer food, it also enjoyed as a regular meal at any time of the year. As for me, I eat it at least once in three months.:)

If you don’t have an appetite or feel low then try it!! It will be good for rejuvenating the body and increasing stamina.

Spicy hot food-YookGaeJang

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YookGaeJang(beef stew) is a spicy, soup like Korean dish made from beef, sliced onion, bean sprouts, garlic, gosari(bracken fern), dangmyeon(sweet potato noodles), soy sauce, black pepper, and salt. Originally is a summer food but also enjoyed as a regular meal at any time of the year.

Origin of YookGaeJang

We should divide the word of YookGaeJang in two part to understand the meaning. Yook(肉) means beef and GaeJang(狗醬) means the soup of the dog meat. For a long time ancestors also ate Bosintang(soup of dog meat) in“Sambok deowl” but when the dog got lack in a year they boiled the old cow instead of dog. This is the origin of YookGaeJang which this word means the beef soup instead of dog soup.

Currently all YookGaeJang is made of beef and when we say  YookGaeJang we think not the dog but the beef is inside. Normally Korean people don’t eat dog as a food and we think the dog is one of the family members. However in a past time(about 500-600years age) food was not enough for people, so the dog was one of the food ingredients.

YookGaeJang effect

-Gosari which is in YookGaeJang has a high dietary fiber, this helps the intestine moves well and have a removal of fever effect.

-Bean sprouts relieve your thirst and good for functioning of kidney.

How to eat?

Put rice inside the YookGaeJang. Then it will be seem like right side of the below picture.

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 5.29.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 5.26.57 PM

And eat with Radish Kimchi which is in below or just Kimchi.:)

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Interested? I will update How the Korean people survive “cold winter”? in next time.:)

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