Nobody likes a hangover, and ever since booze was invented people have been trying to stave off the horrible feeling that comes the day after a night of frivolity. A Puerto Rican remedy suggests rubbing lemon on your armpits, while Estonians claim you should sleep in vodka-soaked socks. These old wives’ tales might work for some people, but they sound like they’d make you totally miserable—so here’s a few tried-and-tested culinary cures that different cultures around the world love to chow down on when they’re feeling under the weather.
1. Pad Kee Mao, Thailand
Referred to by locals as “drunken noodles,” Pad Kee Mao is a noodle dish with a powerful chili kick to knock you out of the funk brought on by having a few too many beers. Find out how to make it at RecipeTin Eats.
2. Aguadito de Pollo, Peru
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When they’re not feeling particularly perky after an evening of indulgence, Peruvians turn to a hearty chicken and cilantro soup called aguadito de pollo. They also call it “levanta-muertos,” which means “to wake the dead”—just what you want when you can’t get yourself out of bed. It’s packed full of vegetables, lean meat and some fragrant spices to really wake you up. Get the recipe here.
3. Buffalo Milk, Namibia
Don’t worry, you won’t need to go out and milk a 1,000-pound animal for this remedy. Buffalo milk is actually a milkshake employing the “hair of the dog” concept to help pick you up in the morning. It involves heavy cream, rum and cream liqueur, and you can learn how to mix it for yourself here.
4. Loco Moco, Hawaii
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After a heavy night on the sauce, Hawaiians like to wake up to a steaming hot plate of loco moco—starchy rice topped with a hamburger patty, rich gravy and a sunny side up fried egg. It’s like a warm hug on a plate, filled with lots of protein and carbs to get you going. Learn how to make this simple but effective hangover cure here.
5. Cesnecka, Czech Republic
Seemingly better suited to warding off vampires than waking up after a hectic night on the town, this Czech delicacy is a soup laden with lots of nutrient-rich garlic. Cultures all over the globe have long used this pungent bulb to fight off all manner of ailments, and cesnecka couples garlic’s medicinal properties with a hearty broth for maximum effect. Get the recipe here.
6. Shakshuka, Tunisia
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The popularity of shakshuka has exploded in recent years, with hip restaurants all over the world opening up to the simplistic wonders of this healthy North African dish. Packing in lots of protein, plenty of spice and tons of nutritious veggies, Tunisians love to wake up to this egg dish when they’ve over-indulged the night before. You can find a very good recipe for it at Smitten Kitchen.
7. Zurek, Poland
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Soups are always the first thing we turn to when we’re not feeling our best, and Polish people like to fend off their hangovers with a hearty sourdough soup (served in a freshly baked bread bowl, of course). Find out how to make it at home here.
8. Dhal Bhat, Nepal
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The health benefits of spices like turmeric and cayenne are well-documented, and this perky lentil dish is full of the good stuff. Find out how to make this cozy, warming Nepalese delicacy here.
9. Fricasé, Bolivia
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When Bolivians wake up with a pounding headache, the first thing they reach for is this hefty soup made with ribs, potatoes and hominy. To really amp up the comfort factor, they’ll serve it steaming hot alongside some crusty bread to soak up all the tasty juices. Learn how to make it at home here.
10. Haejangguk, Korea
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Korea’s favorite morning-after remedy is Haejangguk, which literally means “hangover soup.” There are many iterations, but one of the most prevalent is a variety made with chunks of ox blood sausage. Much like the British breakfast delight Black Pudding, this Korean version is packed full of iron and spices, and it’s served up in a spicy broth to stave off even the most insidious hangovers. You can find a recipe for it here.
11. Ajiaco, Chile
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Ajiaco is a must-have meal for anyone feeling the effects of a long night’s boozing in Chile. It’s a simple but delicious beef and potato soup with an inviting red hue delivered by punchy paprika. Click here for a recipe.
12. Luwombo, Uganda
Uganda’s preferred hangover cure is a slow-steamed dish of meat, veggies and peanuts called Luwombo. It’s slowly cooked in a banana leaf and dished up with a side of plantains. Try it for yourself with this recipe from 196 Flavors.
13. Revuelta Gramajo, Argentina
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Argentina’s most beloved breakfast pick-me-up will be recognizable to anyone who likes to go to an American diner for breakfast, echoing many morning plates found in the U.S. It’s a hash made with eggs, cheese, potatoes and veggies. With lots of nutrients, a big hit of lean protein, and some carbs for good measure, it’s sure to start your day off right when you went to hard the night before. Happy Mothering has a great recipe for it.
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