February 3, 2023

Korean food has curative powers too, which I learned years back from a good friend who is a Korean pastor.

There were times when we would have lunch together and she would have seaweed soup ready. There are other good Korean dishes that one can try. Wood Nymph along Military Cut-off Road in Baguio would be a place to check some of them out.

I wonder if the side dishes could be regular fare instead of just additions to meals served? I particularly like the seaweed salad of this restaurant that is sweet sour. Miyeok muchin, it is called, has slivers of carrots, onions, and radish in a sweet vinegar dressing, if my tastebuds are right. This is a cold salad usually made in summer. The brown seaweeds used in this preparation are good for mothers to recover from birthing and also restores health, especially when used in soups.

Kimchi, the fermented napa cabbage, is one of the most common side dishes. This is the staple in Korean meals that has its probiotic benefits and vitamin K and riboflavin from the green vegetable. This spicy cold dish is said to balance the oily meats that are common in most Korean dishes. This varies from a sour, long fermented type, to a sweet, and crispy kind that is just a day or two old.

Zucchini is prepared in many ways but this is often stir-fried, hobak bokkeum. This vegetable is said to protect the skin, is good for the heart, and strengthens the bones. It is said to also help keep weight in check. This is spicy too and has onions, garlic, and sesame seeds as garnish.

Gamja-jarim is the most popular side dish among the Filipinos. This is baby potatoes braised in sweet soy sauce. Of course, this is carbohydrates in the meal.

There was one time when I was feeling the flu coming on. My Korean friend invited me for lunch here and said she had the best remedy for me. Long before dog meat was banned, the bosintang, dog soup, was what she recommended. This spicy soup has medicinal properties to the Koreans which is “invigorating” and said to restore virility. I stand witness to the powers of this soup that seemed to have stopped the virus at its heels and my ailment before it started was gone.

A trip to Hawaii taught me about the Korean kalbi or galbi which is a pork short rib dish. This Korean preparation of the short rib was popular because of the tender meat and the salty-sweet spices that made up the marinade. At Wood Nymph, one should try the galbichimwhich, is the braised beef short ribs. This is tender beef ribs in a salty – sweet sauce and a hard-boiled egg that is garnished with sesame seeds. I do not know its medicinal value but this protein dish is for growth and for the repair of cells.

There was also a stir-fried chicken dish that we tried, dakchim. This is chicken mixed with vegetables and chili paste. There is something about the tenderness of meats in the Korean dishes that make them delicious. Chicken will always have vitamins and minerals that is good for brain development. It is said that this meat affects the mood. It is no wonder that many have taken to the joy in fried chicken.

To close this piece is the manduor dumpling that is a good appetizer. The Korean dumpling has varied fillings. This particular one called gyoza has minced pork and green onions in it. The soy sauce dip gives it the salt to spice it and we chose it steamed. It comes in several ways – deep fried, pan fried and steamed, depending on the preference. Of course, most like it crispy.

There you have it on other dishes that are Korean that you might enjoy the health benefits of. The restaurant follows protocols and the best part is it has fresh air flowing through it.