It’s Friday. The world seems to be going to hell. You may as well have a drink. But treating yourself to a really fun Friday night almost inevitably results in a terrible Saturday morning, especially if you’re over 30 and your body has decided that one beer is enough reason for a hangover. Luckily, all you need to do to rid yourself of that groggy feeling and headache is fly across the world to Seoul, South Korea, and grab a big steaming pot of Korean hangover cure soup.
Joon-Yong Choi is the third generation owner of Cheong Jin Ok in Seoul, which is the home of the traditional hangover cure soup called haejangguk. “Koreans are known for their love and tolerance of alcohol,” Choi says, noting how drinking has been part of business culture in the country for decades. Corporate dinners are often marked by joyous alcohol consumption, leaving thousands of employees looking for a reliable way to detox before their morning meetings. That’s when they visit Choi.
Haejangguk is a far cry from the greasy plate of diner food most Americans use to cure hangovers, but it’s been crafted from specific ingredients to achieve that exact goal. It’s got glucose from the rice to help settle your sour stomach, “fiber-rich alkaline cabbage” to get rid of the lingering alcohol in your system, and rich broth made from boiling beef leg bone, brisket, and intestines. Then, for added flavor, it’s got some clotted cow blood and soybean paste, all of which is cooked in a large pot for 24 hours.
No longer will your Friday night mistakes ruin your weekend. Just make sure you’ve got a nice pot of haejangguk waiting to greet you in the morning.