Today is The Day That You Have to Eat Ginseng Chicken Soup

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Today is 초복 (chobok) in Korea, the first day of the three hottest days in summer.

There are a total of three hottest days in Korea and we call this 삼복 (sambok). 삼 means three in Korean. These days are between June and July in the Lunar calendar at intervals of 10~20 days. Koreans traditionally eat steaming, boiling hot, nutritious, high-protein food to recover from the heatwave.

삼복 includes:

  1. 초복 (chobok) : the first day of the three dog days
  2. 중복 (jungbok) : the second day of the three dog days
  3. 말복 (malbok) : the third and last day of the three dog days

The most representative food is 삼계탕, a ginseng chicken soup. (It’s so good…) This soup is made with a young chicken, ginseng, glutinous rice, jujube, chestnut, garlic and other more nutritious ingredients.

삼복 means ‘the three dog days of summer’ in English.

You might think, “What is ‘the three dog days?’”

We have to talk about the constellation to understand this phrase.

Sirius, also known as the Dog Star, rises like a bright sun on three dog days, which occurs between July to August. The ancestors thought this bright Sirius was a cause of the heatwave. Named after the Dog Star, the phrase ‘the three dog days of summer’ (or 삼복), therefore, comes from Sirius.

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