Woes of Being Lactose Intolerant

Like many Asians, I am lactose intolerant. Not extremely, but consuming large amounts of dairy will force me to frequent the bathroom. Unfortunately, hubris got the better side of me, and I consumed a strawberry lassi, a “smoothie-like” drink made from yogurt. Yogurt. A few hours later, shit literally hit the fan.

Back home, when I had a stomach-ache, my mom would make rice porridge called “jook” (죽). You add a lot of water to rice and boil it with other vegetables and sometimes abalone or pumpkin until it thickens into an oatmeal consistency. My favorite jook is simple: rice and vegetables with a sprinkle of roasted seaweed (김) on top. It’s comforting and soothes my stomach. It’s a national, stomach-soothing food in Korea.

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Such a plain dish and so easy to make, but it tastes so good.

In college, I don’t have access to this, so I turn to my next best comfort food: plain rice, soy sauce, and fried eggs. Accompanying this perfect dish is a nice bowl of miso soup. I ate this every day for breakfast when my family and I traveled for a month in Asia. I never got tired of it, and it was never too harsh on my stomach. Today, I am suffering from trips to the bathroom, so I decided to order this.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed simple dishes. The simple taste of soy sauce with plain sticky white rice in combination with fried eggs with a runny yolk is perfect. Chase the bite with a spoonful of salty miso soup. That’s a perfect, soothing meal right there.

My stomach still hurts, because I’m stupid and ate ice cream. But hopefully, I’ll feel better.

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