Best season to travel to South Korea

Eat Samgyetang on the Hottest Day

Koreans obey Eastern Asian medicine traditions and consume their hottest dish—boiling hot stuffed chicken—on the year's hottest day

Best time: July–August

Eat Samgyetang on the Hottest Day
Eat Samgyetang on the Hottest Day

Samgyetang is a highly caloric soup with a whole young chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng, and garlic. It's served on table boiling hot, and precicely on the hottest day of the year.

You might feel confused about that strange tradition, as billions of people all over the world eat cold food when it's warm outside, and vice versa—hot dishes in cold weather. It seems relevant enough, and nevertheless, Eastern Asian nutritionists disagree. According to their medical principles, people should do it in the opposite way, for the difference between food and body's temperatures isn't good for our stomach.

Koreans follow those principles—they eat their steaming Samgyettang on the year's hottest day, which is most likely to fall in either July or August.

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin