My Adventure with Swine Flu(?) and Soybean Sprout Soup

Traditional Korean culture states that you should eat soybean sprout soup to fight a cold. My wife had just bought some soybean sprouts for my two sons, Jonas and Devin, who had just come down with severe flu-like symptoms (along with half their classmates). Unexpectedly, my older son Jonas was feeling well enough to attend his 4th grade graduation recital on Saturday. That left me taking care of my other son Devin, who was still very sick, and our 4 month old, Brennan.


Although I had dabbled in Korean cooking in the past, I had never made soybean spout soup. It’s always been a comfort food that my mother and my wife would make for me whenever I was sick. So with my wife gone, I decided to try making it. I couldn’t find it in any of our Korean cookbooks, since it’s such a simple ordinary recipe. I ended up Googling it and found a great Youtube video by Maangchi. She’s a middle aged Korean woman with a thick accent, but thoroughly entertaining, and definitely educational. I made my first soybean sprout soup without any trouble, and my son ate it with some rice. The next day, he was feeling well enough to go fishing later in the day.


After watching another few dozen videos on Maangchi’s site, I now have a new desire to start learning to cook Korean. One man from Germany commented on her website that he lost 92 pounds in 18 months eating only Korean food!


Along these lines, one frequent question that I get from patients is how I manage to stay so thin in my middle years. Even when I’m not exercising, I don’t gain much weight at all. My honest opinion is that a long as I eat at least one Korean meal every day (preferably dinner and lunch, if possible), I don’t gain any weight. I have to admit that I do eat quite a bit of pasta and take out food, but as long as one or more meal per day is Korean, I’m fine. When I’m able to run at least 2-3 times per week, I feel great. 


Besides chicken soup, do you have any other traditional recipes handed down through your family that helps with colds?


Next time, I’ll tell you my take on the recent Swine Flu epidemic.

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3 thoughts on “My Adventure with Swine Flu(?) and Soybean Sprout Soup

  1. I have been reading your columns and letters.

    When I read your, I agree to your experience and your opinion.

    Always thanks for your information.

  2. i love korean food! my mother is from italy and my wife’s family came from mexico and they are both fantastic cooks… wife especially has become very skilled at cooking all things without butter and lots of salt but keeping things very flavorful with fresh herbs and spices…..i’m very lucky…..but in the small beach community that i live we have no korean food at all…not one!