Korean Hangover Cures (Part 2) Posted by FlyHighOyster on Jun 19, 2019 in Korean food
I briefly mentioned in Part 1 that South Korea has one of the world’s highest alcohol consumption per capita. I personally blame old Korean 술문화 (sool-moon-hwa: drinking culture) and 소주 (soju: one of the most popular and cheap alcoholic drinks in Korea.) It is a strong alcohol made from sweet potatoes or rice. It is clear in color and, to me, smells like rubbing alcohol to me. It usually contains 20% alcohol. I don’t have high tolerance for alcohol. Therefore, Soju is not my favorite alcohol choice, but I understand why my tummy after drinking 소주 makes me look for spicy soups.
- 짬뽕 (jjamppong: Korean spicy noodle soup with seafood.)
I believe the origin of 짬뽕 is from Korea, but I was told that the dish is actually created by Chinese who immigrated to Korea. I would think that 짬뽕can be easily found on the menu in many Chinese restaurants in Korea, but I know a few 분식집 (boon-sik-jip: a snack house, which usually serves affordable food choices) have them as well. Nonetheless, the얼큰한 맛 (uhl-keun-han-maht: mouth-numbing spiciness.) from 짬뽕 is the perfect hangover cure for most Koreans,
especially in the morning after a Soju party at work. I am leaving you a couple of friendly reminders before you try this soup. First, don’t wear a white shirt. And grab a bib if you can. Like other delicious food, 짬뽕 can be messy. Oh, and make sure to wipe your mouth afterward. Otherwise, you will have big red stains around your lips from the red chili oil.
- 해장라면 (hae-jang-ramen: hangover ramen)
Yes, I am talking about a store-bought instant Ramen. An instant noodle is not the healthiest food, but it can wake you up from last night’s party. You are lucky if you have the energy to go out and sit down on a restaurant chair to consume hangover food the next morning after drinking. If that is not the case, you can make 해장라면 at home. It is an easy fix if you know how to cook instant ramen. Although the recipes of 해장라면 can vary from individuals. I know some people add bean sprouts, green onions, dried fish, clams, or Kimchi to make it taste better. My choice would be dried fish because it is easily available at my parents’ freezer.
Among my friends who still live in Korea, many enjoy the combination of 쌀국수 (ssal-gook-soo: Vietnamese noodles) and Americano coffee. It became a new meme of hangover cures in Korea.
I hope I am not delivering the wrong message to you. I am not encouraging people to drink in order to taste Korean hangover foods. I will be happy to hear from you on how you enjoy Korean hangover soups. And remember, drink responsibly!
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