Loach Soup, Popular Health-Promoting Dish in Autumn

A saying goes that good care for one’s health in spring enables you to easily withstand summer heat, and proper physical training in autumn enables you to easily resist winter cold.

Since ancient times, the Korean people have liked to have loach soup as a health-promoting food in autumn.

It is made by boiling loach, tofu and beef and is well known for the good taste and great nutritive value.

Especially, the soup was widely used for invigorating the infirm and promoting the growth of children.

“Loach contains such essential amino acids as methionine, arginine and proline, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins A and B2 and various minerals like calcium. The foods made of it are effective in restoring liver functions and treating such diseases as tuberculosis, diabetes and impotence,” said Ri Kwang Hun, lecturer of the Korean dish department of Pyongyang Jang Chol Gu University of Commerce.

According to him, loach soup is good in any season, especially in autumn.

There are different cooking methods for the soup.

One of them is to boil the washed and cleaned live fish with uncurdled bean curd. After a while, the curd is wrapped in a cloth to make tofu blocks. The blocks are cut into pieces of a certain size, put into soup flavoured with soy sauce and boiled to complete the food.

The other method is to cook the fish in meat soup and then boil them along with beef.

Powdered prickly ash fruit or Korean mint removes any fishy smell and enhances the flavour of the soup.

The recipe for the dish slightly differs according to areas. In the Kaesong area, bean curd and hot pepper were added to make the soup thick and in the Hamgyong provincial area, the fish was boiled with pumpkin and bean paste.

Today, loach soup is served at many restaurants and prepared at families as well.

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