Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Second Hot Day of Summer: 중복

Korea is a very food-oriented society, and there are certain times and places that you should eat certain food. While this can sometimes be annoying (like when my co-teacher tells me I shouldn't eat noodles for dinner and I'd better eat rice or meat), it also gives great reasons for going out and trying new things. Although I have eaten many different things in Korea, there are still plenty of things that I have to try. Anyone have any recommendations?
As I mentioned last week, we are in the middle of the hot days of summer. Last Saturday was the second special day (중북) so I went out with my friend Cam for some delicious samgyetang (삼계탕). Although this is a signature Korean dish, I think this is only the second time I've eaten it in a restaurant (it is a bit pricey). It was well worth the money, however, for the feast we were presented with:

Samgyetang is one of the foods that are apparently good for 이열치열. This is a oriental medicine practice that recommends eating hot food in the summer so your internal temperature and your external temperature reach equilibrium. We were eating in an air-conditioned restaurant, so that probably didn't happen...
This soup is made with an entire chicken (!) stuffed with rice, jujubes, ginseng, and other morsels. There was even a clam at the bottom of the bowl. In some places, you can get half portions, but unfortunately luckily, we had to eat a full portion. Of course, it is served with side dishes:
Samgyetang is a must eat while in Korea. Although it is a little weird to eat it when you are hot and sweaty, it is also available in the winter. This would be a perfect dish if you felt a cold coming on... if only it had some noodles.

If you want to try making it at home, try Maangchi's recipe. She is pretty much the coolest Korean cook. It really isn't that difficult to make. 

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