Wanderfood Wednesday — Cure Your Holiday Hangover with this Korean Remedy

Posted by on Nov 24, 2010 in Uncategorized, Wanderfood Wednesday | 21 comments

Here we are for another week of Wanderfood Wednesday kindly hosted by Wanderlust and Lipstick.

Following Bens’ great post “The Delights of Bia Hoi”, here’s a Korean hangover cure…Soy Bean Sprout Soup (Kongnamul Guk).

Korea is a drinking culture. Lots of drinking occurs both in the workplace and in social situations. Hangovers are a common occurrence. Kongnamul Guk is a popular remedy. We were told in our cooking class that the high levels of vitamin C in the sprouts zap the hangover. I was a little skeptical, so I checked out the nutrients found in bean sprouts and sure enough, so I read, sprouts do contain high levels of C. I wasn’t aware that this vitamin was a hangover cure, but the Koreans think so.

This is an extremely easy and inexpensive soup to make. The two main ingredients in this version are soy bean sprouts and clams.

Kongnamul Guk

The recipe

Bean sprouts — rinse with cold water and remove the caps
anchovy broth (you can buy this in an Asian supermarket)
green onion (slice)
garlic (mince)
1 tsp salt

In a pot pour in 3 cups of anchovy broth.
Add the bean sprouts and clams
1 tsp salt
Boil for 8 minutes without removing the cover.
Add the sliced green onions and minced garlic.
Boil for 2 – 3 more minutes.

Voila! It’s ready to eat.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of this soup. However, I did discover that if you let it sit for a while covered it does take on a more robust flavour.

I forgot to take a photo. If you want to see the finished product there is a great photo here.

This soup is also quite often served as a starter in restaurants here in Korea.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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  1. I’m really surprised to hear that Korea is a drinking culture… just doesn’t sound like it would be somehow. And I also wonder at such a “light” hangover meal. Usually something very carby that includes bacon is what I need…

    • Az it’s a huge drinking culture here. In companies when the boss says he wants to go drinking his staff say when and where. The local poison “soju” is also very very cheap.

    • Az, huge drinking culture here. The Korean boss says he wants to go drinking and his employees say where and when. The local poison “soju” is incredibly cheap.

  2. Alright, I’ll sacrifice my body, one more time for a good cause. Somebody has to verify this; might as well be me !

    • I knew you would volunteer. I can’t wait to hear the scientific results 🙂

    • I knew that you would volunteer all for the sake of science. Can’t wait to read the results 🙂

  3. YUM! That sounds a lot better than the bar food we usually crave the morning after! (okay, maybe not the tater tots.)

  4. Not only a hangover cure – it actually sounds like a really good soup! 🙂 We’re always on the lookout for potential hangover cures. Wonder if it would work without the clams…? Clams in this part of Turkey are non-existent.

    • I’m sure I’ve seen it without the clams. Click on the link in this post. The one leading to the photo. I’m sure there’s a recipe on that page. It could be slightly different.

  5. Sounds yummy! I rarely drink enough to get a hangover, but I bet this would be a good late night snack, too.

  6. Now why didn’t anyone share this for me when I lived in S. Korea? I could have used this many days after drinking potent soju.

  7. How interesting!! I had no idea this combo would remedy such things. 🙂

  8. Interesting ingredients. Thanks for the recipe!

    • If you give it a try, I hope you’ll let me know what you think.

      • OK, Nancie!

  9. This could come in very handy…

  10. Let me know if it works for you 🙂

  11. Good idea. Gentle on the stomach before going to bed and healthy.


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