2010년 8월 30일 월요일

How to Cool Down in Summer: Try Eating!

If you’ve ever visited Korea during the summer months, you will experience extremely sultry weather starting from late June to July for 3 or 4 weeks, the ‘jangma,’ which is the rainy season. After the rainy season has dispelled, it gets even more humid and unbearable especially in the months of July and August. During this time, some people run for a cool shady place in a park while others hibernate in their homes or offices in air conditioning. There are others who seek a cool refuge in the subway or swimming pools. However, there are some tricks to enduring the summer heat in Korea. Koreans and foreigners alike find desperate ways to stay cool during the summer. One way is by eating! Not just anything, but Korean foods especially made for summer! Are you curious to find out which ones they are? Bring along your appetite and get ready to try some delicious summer foods!
Samgyetang (Chicken Ginseng Soup)
In Korea, there are usually three days in summer, which mark the beginning, middle, and end of summer. This summer 2006, July 20 is the start of summer called "Chobok", July 30 is the midpoint of summer called "Jungbok", and August 9 is the end of summer called "Malbok", which tends to be quite hot. 
As an invigorating food, Koreans have traditionally eaten ‘samgyetang’ on these three days in summer, which is equivalent to what westerns refer to as chicken soup simply because it said to give you more stamina, nutrients, and energy which can easily be lost through sweating and physical exertion in the sweltering heat of summer in Korea. It comes in a watery broth of Korean ginseng sparsely decorated with green onions, dried jujube fruit, garlic, and ginger and in the middle of the soup is a young chicken, which will be quite filling for one person. The best part about this dish is the chicken comes stuffed with glutinious rice, garlic, dried jujubes, and fresh ginseng. 
I really recommend trying ‘samgyetang’ during the summer, especially on one of these three days. You’ll not only rejuvenate your energy, but truly experience what typical Koreans like to eat for summer food to beat the heat. There are specialty restaurants that only serve nothing but samgyetang, which has gained local popularity through their special recipe for the dish which are often kept secret. 

To learn more about the ingredients and how to make ‘samgyetang’, click on this link:
< Where to eat : Goryeo Samgyetang > 
☞ Business hours: 10:00 AM ~ 20:00 PM 
☞ Closed: Seollal, Chuseok 
☞ Phone: 02-752-9376 
☞ Menu Specialties: Samgyetang: 11,000won ; Roasted Chicken: 11,000won, Chicken Porridge: 11,000won, Ogolgyetang (Black Chicken Soup): 20,000won. 

☞ How to Get There: Take subway line 2 (green line) or line 1 (dark blue line) to City Hall and go out of exit 10 (blue line) and walk straight ahead for about 300 meters. The restaurant is located at the first alleyway on the right. Tour Les Jours is across from Shinhan Bank. You will see a restaurant with a white billboard called, “Korea Ginseng Chicken.”
Naeungmyeon (Cold Buckwheat Noodles)

Another favorite dish that’s eaten in the summer is Naeungmyeon, which are cold buckwheat noodles. Why this is eaten in the summer may well be because it tastes refreshing and cool. What I found really fun about eating naeungmyun are the buckwheat noodles, which is thin and long. It is served in a large bowl with a tangy iced broth that comes garnished with sliced beef or pork, a boiled half egg, slices of Asian pear (the best part), and sliced cucumber sprinkled with chopped scallions and sesame seeds. 
Two main varieties of naengmyun, which are most commonly eaten, are Mul naeungmyeon, and Bibim naeungmyun. Mul naengmyun is basically water noodles served in a cold soup that comes with slices of beef. You can add some seasoning to this dish with mustard or vinegar. It tastes quite good if you add a touch of it to give it a kick. As for bibimnaeungmyun, it is also a noodle dish served in a spicy dressing. This dish is much spicier than the mul neungmyon so for amateurs, it’s recommended you try a milder type of naeungmyun before sampling bibim naengmyun. Koreans also have a way of arranging the food beautifully to make it appear more appetizing; in this case, the noodles are heaped nicely in the middle of the bowl with cucumbers and an egg on top. Looking at this dish, it seems more like an work of art; much too pretty to eat, but as your stomach starts to grumble, your cravings take over, and you indulge in a nice summery dish which leaves you satisfyingly full but not too full. A great light snack on a humid day or even after your main course in which some places serve as an after dinner snack or dessert. 

→ How to cook Korean noodles 

Tip: Because the noodles are so long, most restaurants will cut them for you so you don’t end up eating all the noodles in one slurp. You can ask to cut your own noodles usually with big-sized scissors! 

< Where to Eat : Sanbong Neungmyon > 
☞ Business hours: 11:00 AM ~ 20:00 PM 
☞ All year round 
☞ Phone: 02-775-8853 
☞ Menu Specialties: mul neungmyon 6,000 won bibim naengmyun 6,000 won hoenaengmyeon 6,500 won, wang mandu 6,000 won 
☞ How to Get There: Take subway line 2 (green line) or line 1 (dark blue line) to City Hall and go out of exit 4 and walk straight ahead for about 100 meters. The Seoul Finance Center is on your left side. The restaurant is located at B1 of the Seoul Finance Center.
Guksu (Cold Wheat Noodles)
Another delectable summer dish to try is called “Kimchi Mali Guksu,” which is thin wheat noodles with kimchi served cold. It’s very refreshing and fills you up just right. It’s recommended to eat this on hot days. It has a bit of a sour taste and is garnished with an egg and other cucumbers. The kimchi has a bit of a crunch to it and is chewy. Because this dish has kimchi in it, it makes it a little spicy, so for those who have a difficult time eating spicy foods, I would like to recommend another dish called ‘Tteokgalbi,’ which reminds me of a grounded hamburger patty. This is very tasty and comes along with a side of ddok, long rice cakes. 

< Where to Eat : Nunnamujib > 
☞ Business Hours : 10:40 AM ~21:20 PM 
☞ Closed : National Holidays 
☞ Phone: 02-725-3712 
☞ Menu Specialties: Kimchimariguksu (Cold Noodles in Kimchi Soup) 4,500 won / Kimchimaribap (Cold Rice in Kimchi Soup) 4,500 won / Tteokgalbi 7,000 won / Tteokbokkeum (with Tteokgalbi) : 3,000 won 
☞ How to get there : Go out of Exit 1 of Anguk subway station (line no.3) → Take a taxi to KBI (KOREA BANKING INSTITUTE) – Usually costs only the basic fare of 1,900 won, but could vary due to traffic → Walk straight to the three-way junction → Walk straight a little ways across the pedestrian crossing → A yellow colored restaurant sign will appear on the right-hand side; this is the is the new building of the restaurant. Across the street is another yellow sign, which is the older establishment. On the sign are Chinese letters that read ‘雪木軒’ along with Korean letters.
Patbingsu (Sherbet shaved or chilled ice topped with sweet red beans, fruit or ice cream)
During summer, besides eating ice cream, there’s quite a popular dessert, which Koreans are found eating with friends, families, coworkers, and lovers, called ‘Patbingsu’, which is a big swirl of yogurt or sherbet mounted on some ice and garnished with sweet red beans called ‘Pat’ or fruit. There a various creations and sizes to enjoy with a group or by yourself. The best part of eating this dessert is that you don’t have to worry about calories or watching your weight unlike ice cream. It’s a guilt-free dessert, and one, which is considered a healthy snack. 
I highly recommend ‘Green Tea Patbingsu,’ not only is it considered a well-being food, but its shop specializes only in green tea, making all its food from this ingredient. In the west, ‘green tea’ is still a novelty, which is mostly considered a beverage. It’s a great opportunity to treat two new things- green tea and patbingsu- if you haven’t already. Patbingsu reminds me of a glorified snow cone, but much, much better than a regular snow cone. 
Another great franchise to eat fruit bingsu is at a place called “Ice Berry”. It specializes in fruit yogurt desserts with ice and fruit. There is an assortment of different kinds of fruit toppings to choose from such as watermelon, kiwi, peach, strawberry, as well as cereal and vanilla ice cream. If you share with a group of people, it’s best to order a large size bowl called “Jangpan bingsu”. It’s a sumptuous treat to eat in the summer as well. 

Tip: Make sure before you eat patbingsu or fruit bingsu, to mix it thoroughly. The taste is much better! Also be careful, don’t just eat the ice by itself. A big spoonful of it may make your brain freeze.
< Where to Eat : O’sulloc Tea House> 
☞ Business Hours : 11:00 AM ~23:00 PM 
☞ Closed : Seollal, Chuseok 
☞ Phone: 02-774-5460(Myeongdong Branch), 02-596-0546 (Gangnam Bracnch) 
☞ Menu Specialties: Green ice-cream Red-Bean Shabet 8,000 won, Green hard ice-cream 4,500 won, Green Soft ice-cream 2,500 won, Green Yoghurt ice-cream 5,000 won
☞ How to get there: There are 4 branches in Seoul; Myeongdong branch(Euljiro 1-ga Station of subway line 2, Exit 5), Gangnam branch (Gangnam Station of subway line 2, Exit 6) Jongno Branch(Jonggak Station of subway line 1, Exit 4), Daehangno Branch (Hyehwa Station of subway line 4, Exit 2). 

< Where to Eat : Ice berry> 
☞ Business Hours : 10:00 AM ~23:00 PM 
☞ All year round 
☞ Menu Specialties: patbingsu topped with fruits 3,000 won, Jangban bingsu: 5,500 won per 2 persons, 7,800 won per 3 persons, 9,900 won per 4 persons, King of Bingsu 1,1000 won 
☞ How to get there: There are lots of branches in Seoul; Sinchon, Ihwa university, Gangnam, Jongno
Mango Yogurt and Raspberry Yogurt Drink at Red Mango
There seems to be a health consciousness ingrained in Koreans, in which a majority of foods Koreans eat are good for you, if not delicious, especially ever since well-being products took off in Korea, and became a part of mainstream society. In the west, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and chocolate are typical desserts. However, low-fat yogurt seems to be a craze in Korea especially during the summer. Almost on every street corner, you can see Red Mango franchises selling yogurt desserts which pops up just as many times as Starbucks. There’s a reason why so many customers frequent this place: for it’s yummy fruit yogurt desserts and drinks. There are many choices to choose from, especially toppings and its main ingredient is yogurt, such a wonderful substitute for ice cream that made many people delighted and coming back for more. Some recommended choices are the raspberry ice yogurt drink, and yellow mango yogurt dessert. It tastes much better if it’s shared with a friend, a significant other, or a group of friends.
< Where to Eat : Red Mango > 
☞ Business Hours : 11:00 AM ~23:00 PM 
☞ Closed : National Holidays 
☞ Phone: 02-774-5460(Myeongdong Branch), 02-596-0546 (Gangnam Bracnch) 
☞ Menu Specialties: Low fat natural yogurt shaved ice 4,600 won(S), 6,700 won(M), 8,800 won(L) / Yogurt shaved ice with fruits 4,900 won(S) / Low fat natural yogurt 3,600 won per 1 person, 5,700 per 2 persons, topping 1,000 won 
☞ How to get there: There are lots of branches in Seoul; Sinchon, Ihwa university, Gangnam, Jongno. When you get around the downtowns such as Jonggno, Sinchon, Gangnam, you’ll find Red Mongo easily.

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