Top Five Foods to Eat to Beat the Summer Heat

To see our full review of the top five foods to eat in the Summer in Korea, first watch this video!

 

Summers in Korea can be quite difficult to handle. As the temps soar, everyone does what they need to do to stay cool. This might include going to a public sauna for a public bath, blasting the air conditioner, or using a portable fan.

However, Koreans also use food to help them stay cool. Today we will look at five foods that help Koreans beat the summer heat.

 

  1. Ice Cream

While ice cream obviously isn’t unique to Korea, it has a special culture, unlike what we foreigners may be used to. Ice cream is consumed in all four seasons, and at any time of the day. It can be found in a multitude of varieties in convenience stores, served in a cafe, or, in this case, at an ‘Ice Cream ATM’.

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The ATM is outside of Baskin Robbin’s in Seoul. Users pay 3300 Korean Won (approx $3 USD). They can pay by cash or credit card. In just a few moments, a container of ice cream is delivered. A small spoon is included as well! It’s an amazing invention!

Baskin Robbin’s is located all around Korea. This ATM was located in Hannam Dong, Seoul.

 

2. Bingsu

Bingsu is like a more sophisticated version of a traditional snow cone. It has a base of finely shaved ice, and is topped with a variety of ingredients. I tried the ‘pineapple bingsu’ from a place called Tokyo Bingsu in Seoul. The shaved ice was topped with a pineapple mousse, pineapple bits, and pieces of waffle cone.

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The bingsu was light and refreshing. While sweet, it wasn’t overly sweet. It made the perfect mid-day snack without being too heavy.

In this video I visited Tokyo Bingsu (10 Noksapyeong-daero 46-gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul). The price of the pineapple bingsu was 11,000 KRW. Check out Tokyo Bingsu’s website here.

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Pineapple Bingsu from Tokyo Bingsu

 

3. Samgyetang

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Samgyetang is a chicken soup that is eaten in the summer. A whole young chicken is stuffed with rice, ginseng, and a jujube. The samgyetang is served boiling hot in a stone bowl. A variety of side dishes are included to enjoy with the soup.

Koreans often believe that it is best to beat heat with heat (fight fire with fire!). Therefore, they enjoy this boiling hot soup to refresh themselves on a hot summer day. They believe it gives them stamina to get through the hot days.

The restaurant in this vlog is called ChoonChu Samgyetang. The price for the meal was 14000 KRW. Location information: (삼계탕전문점 춘추 : 서울시 용산구 대사관로 52, 2층) ChoonChu Samgyetang: Seoul, Yongsan Gu, Daesagwan Ro 52, 2F.

ChoonChu Samgyetang has no official website.

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Menu for Choonchu Samgyetang

Men

 

4. Nangmyeon

Literally translate, nangmyeon means “cold noodles”. Nangmyeon is buckwheat noodles in a broth of yuksu, which is a bone broth. The noodles coming cold with ice floating in it. These noodles are topped with sesame seeds, gochujang (red pepper paste), half of a boiled egg, daikon radish, and cucumbers.

There are two varieties: mul and bibim. The only difference is that mul nangmyeon has broth, while bibim nangmyeon lacks the broth.

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Enjoying a refreshing bowl of nangmyeon

I recommend ordering mandu (steamed dumplings) to complete the meal.

The restaurant I ate at in this vlog was called DongA Nangmyeon. They have multiple locations all around Seoul.

This location (동아냉면) is located in Itaewon (265-576 Bogwang-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul). The basic price is 5000 KRW.

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Steamed mandu

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A refreshing bowl of mul nangmyeon

 

5. Watermelon

 

What can I say about watermelon that hasn’t been said before? It’s yummy, it’s refreshing, and it’s healthy. It is the perfect summer time treat!  Koreans love eating fresh watermelon in the summer. It is often eaten on picnics, and shared in the office with co-workers.

You’ll also find plenty of watermelon-flavored foods including juice, milk, ice cream, and shakes.

 

With all of these amazing foods, it might be hard to know what to eat first! One thing’s for sure, though. Summers in Korea are HOT, and you’ll definitely find yourself looking for any excuse to eat any of these foods to stay cool!

 

 

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