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Try These 10 Weird (But Effective) Energy-Boosting Foods

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We often turn to restorative foods when we feel depleted from the heat, under the weather, or exhausted from prolonged focus. Consuming high-calorie dishes to replenish our energy is common worldwide. Let’s explore some unique restorative dishes from various cultures around the globe.

Jellied Eels, UK

In the UK, a popular therapeutic food is jellied eels. This dish, which originated from the East End of London in the 18th century, involves chopping an eel into chunks, boiling it in a simple broth, and then allowing it to cool until it forms a jelly-like consistency. While it’s often considered a bizarre food even in the UK due to its distinctive visual, it’s also hailed as a healthy British dish. However, it’s not commonly consumed by the younger generation in London.

Hamburger Aalsuppe, Germany

Germany also has a recuperation food utilizing eel. In Hamburg, a major port city, they enjoy Hamburger Aalsuppe, a soup made by slow simmering eel with vegetables, herbs, dried fruits, and wine. Aalsuppe combines aal, meaning eel, and suppe, meaning soup. As you can infer from the recipe, this dish has similar therapeutic effects to the eel soup many Koreans enjoy.

Balut, Vietnam

Vietnamese cuisine features a variety of dishes that are considered restorative, with balut being a notable example. This dish consists of a duck egg that is fertilized and allowed to develop to the embryonic stage before being steamed. The cooked duck embryo is then scooped out with a spoon and eaten. While balut may be challenging for foreigners to try, it is a common and easily accessible source of energy recovery throughout Vietnam.

Maklouba, Arab

In Arab countries, Maklouba is a popular dish consumed for a burst of energy. It is made with lean proteins like lamb or chicken, rice, eggplants, and spices. It’s a traditional restorative food enjoyed during the summer and known for its excellent energy-boosting properties. It’s particularly popular among local athletes looking to recover their stamina.

Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, China

Buddha Jumps Over the Wall is a Chinese soup dish made by slowly simmering various seafood and adding Shaoxing wine. It is a representative restorative food in China. Since the ingredients are luxurious, it’s often considered the most expensive menu item in restaurants specializing in Chinese cuisine. The name Buddha Jumps Over the Wall implies that the soup is so delicious that even a monk in meditation would be tempted to jump over the wall to get a taste. It’s believed to have originated in Fujian or Guangdong during the Qing Dynasty.

Pot-au-feu, France

Pot-au-feu is a refreshing dish made by simmering beef, vegetables, and bones for a long time in France. The completed Pot-au-feu is eaten with both the solids and the broth. The name Pot-au-feu means food cooked over a fire in a large pot. The broth is rich in nutrients from the meat and vegetables, making it an excellent therapeutic food. Since France is known for its wine, it’s not uncommon to find Pot-au-feu cooked with wine.

Bak Kut Teh, Malaysia

Bak Kut Teh, a type of pork rib dish in Malaysia and Singapore, is a therapeutic food since Chinese immigrants in Malaysia and Singapore historically ate this food to regain their strength. The dish simmers pork ribs with various medicinal herbs and spices. Commonly used herbs include cinnamon, star anise, mushrooms, angelica, and garlic. All these components are known to be good for energy recovery, so even a tiny portion can make you break a sweat.

Hamam Mahshi, Egypt

In Egypt, they use a food ingredient that may seem unusual to us as a restorative food – the pigeon. Hamam Mahshi is a dish made by stuffing rice into a pigeon and roasting it. Hamam means pigeon in Arabic, and Mahshi means roasted. The pigeon meat can have a gamey smell if not properly cooked, but this is eliminated by roasting it on a grill with various spices. The dish, which includes the head of the pigeon, could potentially be off-putting to some.

Dolmades, Greece

Recently, the Mediterranean diet has been in the spotlight. UNESCO has recognized it as the first food culture to be declared a cultural heritage. Greek cuisine is a major pillar of the Mediterranean diet. One of their restorative dishes is Dolmades, which involves wrapping rice, minced meat, various vegetables, and herbs in grape leaves and steaming them. The finished product is similar to Korean lotus leaf rice. People often add parsley, dill, and oregano to enhance the flavor.

Lassi, India

In India, a traditional yogurt-based drink called Lassi is often consumed during the summer. Originating from the Punjab region of India, it was initially made with buffalo milk. The basic recipe involves diluting yogurt with water, adding sugar or salt for seasoning, and adding spices. Depending on the region, it can be made salty or sweet. There are also versions of Lassi that resemble a milkshake made by adding fruit instead of spices.

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