“I have heard that Koreans eat different types of soup in different seasons”

“I have heard that Koreans eat different types of soup in different seasons. Could you tell us the history and the reasons behind it? Why should we drink broth? Who should drink broth?”

The question is interesting. It is asking about the cultural background behind broth foods and what the Korean knowledge is regarding broth as a healthy food. I am not a food historian, but I do know that Koreans almost always have a soup or a broth as part of their meals. There are Korean fast foods and junk foods, but I mean that a healthy meal in a Korean household will include a soup. This is not just Korean food culture, but the food culture of other Asian peoples. Broth foods is also in the culture of Western peoples, although you may have to look a little harder to see it. Ideally, a brothy soup is a part of every good meal. It is undeniably nutritious, low-calorie, and hydrating as the bulk of the broth is water and vegetable and meat nutrients. Koreans tend to drink less water with meals because they are eating a soup as part of their meal. They may not be drinking broth when they are having a drinking party, but they are definitely thinking about a brothy meal the next day. 

Again, Korean cooks think that soup should be a part of every good meal because it makes a better meal. Your body feels nourished and cared for. “Bone broth” holds the protein and the minerals from the meat and bone that it is made from. Actually, the best way to get the nutrients from bone is to make a broth out of it as not everyone likes to chew and suck on grilled bone pieces. So, with a soup in addition to the variety of other dishes at a Korean meal, the cook knows she has increased the nutritional content of the meal. People who are watching their weight/guarding against weight gain, try not to have “seconds”, but they should have no problem eating a side of soup with their meal. The soup must be made by cooking-down vegetables or meat including the bone. Indeed, through long simmering, a broth can be a concentration of certain nutrients. Have you heard of the health trend of drinking bone broth at breakfast?

Traditionally-minded Koreans think about taking a medical/medicinal broth twice a year, typically the autumn and spring, in preparation for the rigors of winter and of summer in Korea and other northern and inland regions where Koreans have gone to live. But they also think to drink a medical/medicinal/health broth when, in the course of life, they sense that their body needs a boost–that is, an infusion of nutrients including maybe herbal essences. Koreans will make a broth out of the meat and bone of fish, chicken, beef, pork, or goat. One of the best ways to put the nutrients and herbal essenses from beneficial plants into our bodies is by sipping Herbal Goat Meat Broth.

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