Sambok 삼복 refers to the days that are considered to be the three hottest days of summer! Sam 삼 mean three and bok 복 referring to a Chinese character of a dog lying down due to the hot weather. The three days are Chobok 초복 , Jungbok 중복, and Malbok 말복.
On these days, tradition says to eat ginseng chicken soup (삼계탕 samgyetang). It’s a soup with a small chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng, garlic, and jujube. Not only is this soup considered to be a healing food but there is also the belief that eating hot foods on hot days helps regulate your body temperature and give you energy.
July 21, 2023 was Jungbok 중복, the second of the three days, and we went in search of samgyetang.
Was the soup delicious? Yes! I can not wait to eat it again.
Did the kids enjoy playing with the chicken bones? Yes! I think B even coined the term Bone-o-saurus.
Did eating hot ginseng chicken soup on a hot day work? Who knows.
We did sweat while eating our soup (from spice or the heat, we’ll never know which) and then walked to a GS25 for ice cream and iced soju to cool off. It was a great experience!