1. PatBingsu…..Well Anything Bingsu
Bingsu is a Korean dessert with sweet toppings such as chopped fruit, red bean paste, or syrup that sits atop “ice flakes.” Although it began as true ice flakes these days it is usually a blend of ice and condensed milk. Hugely popular during the summer time, you will see lines outside of famous or “hotspot” Bingsu places. However, if you just want a quick treat without the line this sweet dessert is served at most, if not all, cafes and dessert places.
Naegmyung is a cold noodle dish made of thin buckwheat noodles, egg, vegetables, and sometimes meat in a cold, vinegary ice broth. Naegmyung comes is two forms: Mul-Naegmyung, a broth filled version (my personal favorite), and Bibim-Naegmyung a spicy (but still cold) version that has little to no broth. This dish is great for those hot summer days where you can’t imagine consuming anything even remotely warm.
But, if you are not a vinegar person this dish is definitely not for you.
3. Asian Pear, Pyrus pyrifolia, or simply “Bae”
While they are available all year, I personally believe this is the must eat fruit of the summer. As it ripens, this fruit becomes sweeter, crispier, and very juicy. Because the Asian pear has a high water content it’s not generally cooked but peeled, eaten, and enjoyed as a raw dessert or snack. The juice and high water content makes it perfect to rehydrate and rejuvenate yourself during the summer time. Not to mention these babies are heavenly when juiced!
Kongguksu is another cold noodle dish commonly made during the summer time. Unlike Mul-Naegmyung, Kongguksu’s noodles are served in a savory soymilk broth.
While the pure white color might catch you off guard, the dish is worth a taste.
And like all the dishes so far, it’s vegetarian friendly!
Well the vegetarian, cool, and refreshing theme has come to an end. Now, it’s time to turn up the heat! Samgyetang is a soup containing a whole chicken that has been stuffed with rice, ginseng, garlic, ginkgo nuts, jujube, and other healthy ingredients!
So, why is this hot dish so popular during the summer time? Well, it comes from the idea of fighting fire with fire. Samkaetang is said to invigorate the lost appetites of those who have grown weary from the summer heat. Each ingredient mentioned plays an important role: Ginseng rejuvenates the body, boosts metabolism, reduces stress, and so much more. (It truly is a super hero herb.) Garlic detoxifies and quenches thirst and it is all stuffed in a chicken that is known to be rich in protein and amino acids.
So if you’re feeling low on energy or completely owned by the sun, stop in for an affordable bowl of new life.