Food is Medicine.
One of strong beliefs of Koreans about food is this.
“Food is medicine”.
Koreans don’t eat just for taste but to live long and healthy.
Based on this belief, there are many ingredient pair-ups in Korean cuisine.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
First, Sooyook(pork with salted shrimps): salted shrimps decompose the fat and proteins of pork.
Second, chicken with ginseng: the nature of chicken is considered to be cold but the nature of ginseng is warm. So we make Samgyetang(ginseng chicken soup) to stay healthy in very hot summer. Doesn’t it make sense?
If you have a chance to have a long talk with Korean people, especially Korean moms, you could easily hear them talking about what’s good matching or bad matching between ingredients.
They could seem to be kind of obsessed sometimes but what elderly people say is mostly right and good to know.
A mountain of ginseng at a market.
Ginseng is considered one of highly expensive ingredients in Korea.
Depending on the number of years they’ve grown, the prices may vary in a wide range.
The most popular dish using ginseng is Samgyetang without a doubt.
We also like making a smoothie with a little of ginseng and honey in milk when we need more energy and strength.
What kind of food do you have in your country to regain some energy?
Usually the ginseng is hidden inside the chicken.