Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - Summer keeps heating up and as the weather starts to get warmer than usual, many people might already feel exhausted from the heat.
Still a long way to go till the end of the season, staying healthy during the summer requires some nutrient-rich food to keep you revved up.
According to Jeong Ian, an Oriental medicine doctor, summer is the time when you easily lose your appetite and energy, a result of exhaustion you feel amid the heat and perspiring.
"According to Dongeuibogam, it's hard to stay healthy during the summer months because you perspire a lot in the heat and feel exhausted, which will lead to a loss of appetite," said Jeong.
Dongeuibogam is an encyclopedia on Oriental medicine written by the well-known Korean doctor Huh Joon in 1610.
"To restore the balance of your body in the summer, you especially need protein," Jeong stressed.
To fight off the exhaustion and stay healthy amid the heat, Koreans look for nutrient-rich food made with chicken, abalone, ginseng, sticky rice, eel and mushrooms.
"They heat up the body, which become cold inside due to cold food consumed, and further prevent food poisoning and other food-borne illnesses," said Jeong.
Some nutrient-rich summer favorites made with such ingredients include "samgyetang," chicken soup with sticky rice and ginseng chicken, "chogyetang," a chilled chicken soup served with cucumber, mushroom and seafood, and eel dishes, according to Jeong.
"Chicken protects your stomach and prevents stomach illness when eating cold food in the summer. Other ingredients including ginseng, garlic and sticky rice stuffed inside the chicken will add warm energy to your body," said Jeong.
Another favorite ingredient for summer food is eel, she added, which stimulates appetite and restores vitality.
Here are some dishes using the best seasonal ingredients available at Seoul hotels.
Sheraton Grande Walkerhill's Korean restaurant Ondal presents healthy summertime food - chicken soup with abalone "Haesintang" and Korean black Ogol chicken soup "Jinguiboyangtang." Haesingtang contains young chicken, small octopus and abalone cooked for more than 10 hours and mixed with various medicinal herbs. "Jinguiboyangtang," a special dish made with rare Korean black Ogol chicken, is cooked for a very long time with abalone, beef, red ginseng and medicinal herbs that will help digestion, relieve high blood pressure and revitalize the body. The two dishes are available throughout the year at Ondol. The prices are 80,000 won (US$67) for "Haesintang" and 200,000 won ($168) for "Jinguiboyangtang," excluding tax and service charges.
For more information, call +82 (02) 450-4518.
Imperial Palace Hotel's Japanese restaurant Manyo offers a hotpot menu including some healthy, nutrient-rich ingredients such as abalone and eel. Containing abundant protein and little fat, the dish will help restore energy, especially for women. The terrapin hotpot is priced at 150,000 won ($126), excluding tax and service charges. The hotel's caf Amiga also presents Samgyetang served with medicinal herbs and abalone in July.
For more information, call +82 (02) 3440-8000.
Renaissance Seoul Hotel offers a refreshing selection of vegetables at the Korean restaurant Sabiru throughout June. The assorted seasonal vegetables come with seasoned and grilled sea eel, seafood and seaweed soup, grilled beef rib, grilled abalone and tofu soup. The dishes are priced from 54,000 won ($45) to 65,000 won ($54), excluding tax and service charges.
For more information, +82 (02) 2222-8655.
The Shilla Jeju's buffet restaurant The Parkview presents a soup made with ingredients from the clean, natural environment in Jeju called "Mt. Halla Bullotang." The soup, simmered for five hours, features some top-quality ingredients from the island including abalone, shiitake mushroom and beef.
The "Bullotang" is included in the buffet priced at 82,500 won (469), which includes tax and service charge, and is available for only one hour, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the restaurant.
For more information, call +82 (064) 735-5334.
Seoul Palace Hotel's Japanese restaurant Ta Bong offers eel and sea bass dishes from June to August. The head chef's specialty Kaiseki menu with seasoned eel is priced at 100,000 won ($84,000) and grilled eel dishes at 60,000 won ($50), excluding tax and service charges. The sea bass menu is available at 50,000 won ($42). For more information, call +82 (02) 2186-6889.
Millennium Seoul Hilton's Chinese restaurant Taipan offers spicy Szechuan cuisine as a way to fight off summer heat with spicy food.
Szechuan dishes are known as spicy and fragrant as they use a lot of ginger, peppercorns and chili. The dishes include deep-fried lobster in fermented rice chili sauce, stir-fried Korean beef in hot sauce on a sizzling plate and sauted abalone and paprika with Chinese pepper, available from 50,000 won ($42) to 130,000 won ($109). The restaurant also offers multi-course dinners that highlight Sichuan cuisine, which are priced at 108,000 won ($91) and 135,000 won ($113).
For more information, call +82 (02) 317-3237.