May 14, 2021
KCNA Pyongyang Times

Insam dishes find favourite with Pyongyang people

Date: 19/04/2021 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

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Kaesong Koryo insam, speciality of Korea, has been known as an “elixir of life” in the world since olden times.

It has long been cultivated in Korea’s local city of Kaesong and was named after Koryo, a feudal state that existed from 918 to 1392.

Originally, the word insam derives from the shape of its roots that look like a human. Kaesong Koryo insam is cultivated only in Kaesong with the most suitable climatic and soil conditions and has widely been known for its unique medicinal efficacy.

Therefore, it is no wonder that every visitor to the city shows great interest in the products processed with it.

The dishes made with it are now winning growing popularity among the diners in Pyongyang.

The restaurant of the Ragwon Daesong Shop in Ragwon-dong of Pothonggang District, Pyongyang, serves a variety of such dishes to attract lots of diners.

According to the manageress of the shop Jon Kyong Ran, raw insam and tonics made from it produce excellent medicinal effects, but cooked insam is the best in invigorating people. Insam foods that take special therapeutic effects on various diseases are in growing demand as it protects the five viscera and has beneficial influence on cerebral and vascular systems to promote metabolism, she said.

She added that the restaurant prepares samgyethang, insam porridge and other insam dishes, of which samgyethang wins the greatest popularity.

The special dish of Kaesong is made of a chicken which is four to five months old. Astragalus, jujube, glutinous rice and a six-year-old insam are filled in its stomach before sewing it and then it is boiled in a stone pot or earthenware bowl.

“It is brought to the boil over intense flames and then stewed over light fire for about an hour until the ingredients of insam soak out along with those of chicken. The fragrance is appetizing enough to make your mouth water,” said chef Kim Yong Mi.

“Samgyethang definitely invigorates me,” said Choe Yong Min, a regular customer living in Ragwon-dong of Pothonggang District. “It is so impressive to chew the uniquely bitterish insam.”

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