Koryo Medicinal Dietetics with Time-honoured Tradition

The Koryo medicinal dietetics is a national intangible cultural heritage element of the DPRK.

The dietetics is one of traditional Koryo therapies which the Koreans used to protect their health and prevent diseases through daily dietary life from olden times.

“Samgukyusa” (History of the Three Kingdoms) records a story about the origin of yakbap (a sweet rice dish), and such old books as “Hyangyakjipsongbang”, “Uibangryuchwi” (Manual of Traditional Medicine of Korea) and “Tonguibogam” (Encyclopaedia of Traditional Medicine of Korea) comprehensively describe hundreds of dietary cures. Such historical data prove that various kinds of medicinal foods have long since been widely used in the dietary life of the Korean nation.

Such materials as insam, Codonopsis lanceolata, Fructus Schizandrae, ginger, kelp, terrapin, carp, honey, chestnut, jujube, pine-nut, walnut, acorn, chicken, octopus, squid, etc. are used in making foods in good combination with other Koryo medicinal materials.

Typical Koryo medicinal foods include yakpab, yakjuk (medicinal gruel), thick soup, broth, fruit jam, yakgwa (a fried cake made of wheat-flour, oil and honey), tasik (a patterned savoury cake), etc.

Yakpab is a food peculiar to Korea, which is prepared by mixing steamed glutinous rice with sesame oil, honey, jujube, chestnut, pine-nut and soy sauce and steaming it again.

Yakjuk is made of parsley, jujube, pine-nut, walnut, abalone, oyster, mussel, red bean, bean, mung bean, apricot stone, etc.

Thick soup is made of chicken, loach, oxtail, carp, etc.

Insam-chicken broth is made by stuffing the belly of a young chicken with insam and glutinous rice and stewing, and rabbit broth with medicinal materials. Both of them are the best for recovering health and energy.

Fruit jams, which are made of ginger, Fructus Crataegi, platycodon, insam and lotus roots, have peculiar tastes and medicinal efficacy of protecting the internal organs.

The Koryo medicinal dietetics is in wide application in the people’s dietary life as the days go by.

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