It can get pretty cold, as in really cold, in Korea during the winter. You’re probably going to need a warm beanie, socks, mittens, layers of clothing and whatever else you can find. Still, dressing like the Michelin Man isn’t exactly fun. There are, in fact, many other ways to keep yourself warm during the cold, harsh Winters of Korea. Why not take refuge in the vast array of delicacies that Korea has to offer. For one thing, Korea is known for being one of the top destinations for foodies.
So, let’s find out which of the many savory pleasures will help to increase your body temperature and keep you warm!
Ginseng has played an important in the diet of Koreans. Known for its many benefits such as boosting the immune system and increasing brain function, ginseng is consumed by many regardless of age. Another benefit of ginseng is that it increases blood circulation. Though it doesn’t directly lead to an increase in body temperature, increased blood circulation causes us to ‘feel’ warm and maintain our body temperature. Ginseng is usually enjoyed as a health supplement in a liquid form but can be consumed in the form of sweets, tea or Ginseng Chicken Soup.
Tea, itself, is just one of those beverages you drink when you’re cold. Also, just the thought of boiled water infused with tea leaves warms up your body. Although each type of tea has its own benefits, tea, in general, helps to boost your immune system, reduces the risk of various diseases and also helps with weight loss. For example, chrysanthemum tea, like most other types of teas, helps reduce cholesterol levels and prevent colds. Sipping on a cup of warm tea will definitely help beat the freezing cold and what’s more, you get to learn about Korean culture.
Doenjang, otherwise known as fermented bean paste, is an integral part of Korean cuisine. First of all, it is rich in beneficial vitamins and minerals being made from soybeans. Most importantly, it helps to increase body temperature since fermented foods help with digestion. Doenjang can be eaten in its raw paste form as a dipping sauce but is more often used to make ssamjang, a different type of sauce, or added to stews. One of the most well-known doenjang menus is Doenjang Jjigae, Soybean Paste Stew, enjoyed by many Koreans daily.
4. Chili Pepper
You can’t really say you’ve made a Korean dish without some of this red hot spiciness. Having been used for decades, red chili paste and flakes are indispensable ingredients to cooking in Korea. It gives that added touch, flavor and colour-wise, creating a visually appealing dish. Chili peppers are also rich sources of capsaicin which stimulates blood circulation and increases body temperature. Just imagine the last time you ate something spicy! The most representative dishes that include red chili flakes are the beloved Tteokbokki and Kimchi.
With so many appetizing dishes to try, the freezing cold won’t even be on your mind!
If you want to find out more ways to stay warm during winter in Korea, check out these blogs:
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