The raging heat of the summer can be intense, especially on the body. Korean summers can get extremely hot and humid, so what are some foods that help them stay cool? Here are some delicious foods below! What are your favorites?
Feeling hungry but the heat bogging you down? Naengmyeon is a delicious cold noodle dish that will not only fill you up, but will also help you stay cool.
Naengmyeon is mainly served either as a soupy noodle dish (물 냉면), or a mixed noodle dish with a spicy dressing (비빔 냉면). The noodles are made from buckwheat so eating a bowl of Naengmyeon won’t make you feel too heavy throughout the day.
A popular variation of bibim naengmyeon is the watermelon naengmyeon which may sound weird at first but is a great balance between sweet and spicy flavors. The watermelon sauce will counteract the heat of the weather and the gochujang (고추장) based dressing which will make you want to crave more.
Cucumber and Yeolmu radish kimchi / 오이김치/열무김치
Pair your entree with cucumber (오이) or yeolmu (열무) radish kimchi (김치) as a side dish to enhance your eating experience. Cucumbers and radishes are very cooling vegetables and can help to clear your palate when eating your meal. Cucumber kimchi is fermented in the famously known red-chilli concoction and its crunchy texture can be the most satisfying thing on a hot day. Yeolmu radish kimchi, unlike its more commonly known cousins, is marinated in a fish or seafood brine that gives off a very clear and light taste.
Bingsu / 빙수
Bingsu is a shaved ice dessert that is very popular in Korea and has grown its name in the states. It is consisted of finely shaved ice as a base and topped off with a variety of condiments such as fruits, condensed milk, ice cream, and much more. This dessert is very customizable to everyone’s different tastes and it can vary from rich chocolatey flavors to more mild fruity flavors. Bingsu is perfect if you need a quick cool down from the blazing sun. The ice is so finely shaven that it is creamy and powdery in texture.
If you want to try a more traditional variation of this dessert, try Patbingsu (팥빙수). Pat (팥) is translated to red bean and as its name suggests, it is a red bean shaved ice. The shaved ice is topped with a red bean paste that is not too sweet and perfect for those who enjoy a milder dessert.
Korean ice creams (link to Anna’s blog post)
Ice cream is a summer essential, but what are some unique Korean ice creams? Go find out here (link to Anna’s blog post)
For the twenty-fun (legally able to drink), there is a plethora of fun and cooling drinks that Korea has to offer. Peach Makkeoli (막걸리) is a perfect summer drink that blends in the sweet peach flavor with the subtle and creamy rice wine.
If you aren’t a fan of the makkeoli taste, you can try flavored soju which comes in flavors such as grapefruit, citrus, pineapple, apple, peach, green grape. These sojus are dangerously tasty and pair perfectly with Korean barbeque.
Pick your favorite or try all the flavors, but always remember to drink responsibly! For those who prefer mixed drinks, you can mix your drink in a sweet fruity juice that’ll refresh your night. The watermelon punch/mixed drink is a very popular concoction that consists of watermelon juice, soda, and soju. Share some with your friends and family for the perfect summer night.
What about you? What do you eat or drink to beat this heat? Let us know in the comments!