I Got Your Back! Japanese Hangover Cures

***I’m on vacation so this is a repost of one of my older posts – I hope some of you will still enjoy it! I should be back by the end of the week!***

Don’t worry I’ll be quiet… I’ll even try to tone down the brightness of this post for you. There, better? It’s o.k., it’ll pass. Everything’s going to be alright. I know, I know – this is the LAST time we do this, we are getting way to old for this stuff!.. Next year in Ibiza? None of the cool kids go there anymore, do they? 

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read on – it’ll make sense

I understand what you’re going through. You have no clue where Monday went. You would really like to know how the meerkat got here, why you seem to be wearing an assortment of surgical gloves and also where exactly here is. You’re really just reading this on your phone because you’re a little too scared to check those 57 messages. But before you can sort anything out, you need to deal with this splitting headache.

We will get through this together. I know some naysayers and Debbie doubters will tell you that hangover remedies don’t really work but that’s just because they don’t know the secret. Come closer, this stays between us! Just like last night’s drinks – you have to mix them all together. (*** do not mix all of these together***) 

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mix…

Just for you and you alone, I have gathered here generations of boozy wisdom from the land of the rising sun to bring you this collection of hangover miracles. I’ve even added some helpful suggestions because I care! Some of these take a few days to kick in. I don’t *think* any of these can kill you…

Kaki (Persimmons)

I’ve heard of persimmons all my life but I’ve never actually seen one in real life (I don’t think). From pictures they look like little yellow tomatoes. Apparently, these guys are packed with vitamins and enzymes which will help you drain out all the bad stuff and the Japanese swear by them as a healthy way to shorten a hangover. 

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this looks like a heirloom tomato to me

From what I’ve heard they taste just awful. I suspect that this is the true reason for their reputation. We tend to trick ourselves into thinking everything that tastes disgusting must by default be healthy. I’m not sure this is the wisest mindset. From the smell I’m thinking paint thinner isn’t all that appetizing either.

You know what – blend a couple of these babies with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and a shot of espresso. There you go. If persimmons are hard to find in your neck of the woods – replace them with a dash of tobacco, because why not.

Ukon (Turmeric)

Turmeric is a spice. A pretty well known yellow one. If you’ve ever made curry you’re familiar with the stuff. Flavour was banned from my house as a kid so I only encountered it later on and for years I thought turmeric **was** curry. Shockingly, it tastes a lot like curry…

It’s no secret that curry is a mainstay of Japanese cuisine so It makes sense that its ingredients have been adapted to other uses and apparently Turmeric is where it’s at if you want to prevent a hangover. You can get the stuff in good old spice shaker form, in capsules, in teas, there’s even a bottled version called Ukon no Chikara which you can conveniently pick up at the convenience store. You know, if you live in Japan.

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the fried egg is very important too

Good news, turmeric is pretty easy to come by and it does have a few beneficial properties (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant mostly). Bad news, it probably won’t do much for that nausea. I suggest you consume it in the form of a large very calorific curry before you start to drink. Make it nice and spicy!

Umeboshi

These are pickled plums and I do not like them. Since they’re pickled, they probably contain the same acids as most other pickled vegetables. Drinking pickle juice is a hangover cure of my people so there might be something to it, but they’re also super salty which just isn’t gonna help with that dehydration. 

My favorite (only acceptable way) of consuming these is by dropping them in martinis. So you know what, how about we go Hair of the Dog with this one and just go mix yourself up a Umeboshi Saketini with some nice Gyozas and wasabi. Right now, you’re either getting real hungry or throwing up. Either way, progress!

Green Tea

Sure, why not. Can’t hurt. Green tea’s great. You should think about replacing some of your coffee with it. We’ve all heard about the innumerable benefits of the stuff. It could probably regrow a limb. Drink a whole bunch. In fact, make it with twice the water you normally would and drink it nonstop.

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I bet it’s great with a little vodka

You can even add a touch of honey and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and presto – you are now sober and thin!

Shijimi Miso Soup

If you’re wondering what makes shijimi miso soup different from normal miso soup – it’s the shijimi! Shijimi are actually freshwater clams, which like a lot of seafood contain amino acids supposedly helpful in weeding out toxins and helping your liver. You do owe your liver one.  As for the Miso soup part, well it’s hot broth. Any hot broth is really a classic and usually pretty effective hangover cure. In my experience, this dish does tend  to be on the super salty side but I do believe it would be helpful. My advice: throw in a handful of thinly sliced hot peppers for good measure.  

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they’re just about to add the clams

Now, if you don’t have access to Shimiji Miso Soup, you could always go for some extra rich clam chowder. Just make sure you don’t have any big plans for the afternoon. Otherwise, a Bloody Caesar with extra Clamato and a drop of sriracha is another good alternative. (It is not – but it is delicious)

Pocari Sweat

To this day I’m not sure what a Pocari is or why its sweat is such a prized drink in Japan but dozens of Sports! Animes have lead me to believe this is more or less Gatorade (TM). Your basic electrolytes sports drink. Makes sense why it would be helpful.

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even at my best, I would probably catch that can with my face

I say sure, drink a bunch. Maybe they have a wasabi flavored one – go for that. If like me you do not have access to Pocari Sweat, you will need to find some sweat alternative. This is going to sound weird but how about making your own by going for a run. Unless the standing up straight part is still difficult for you. Then a slow walk while holding onto walls. Also shower afterwards. I don’t know why no one ever puts showers as a hangover cure. They’re magic.

Ochazuke

I want to eat this so much. Since I first saw it in Bungo Stray Dogs, I’ve made dozens of versions according to different recipes I’ve found all over the net but I’ve no clue if that’s what it’s supposed to taste like. In sum it’s rice with green tea over it (I’ve made it with black tea as well – it was yum…) I mean it’s good. Rice is nice, filling and not too tough on the tummy. I’m not sure how much better it would be from simply getting a bowl of rice and a glass of water. Or even some dry toast.

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moderation is key…

Dry toast is another classic for me. According to legend it’s supposed to be slightly burned but I think that’s just because you’re likely to burn your toast when you’re hungover and you don’t want to bother doing it again.

So yeah, ochazuke sounds like a great hangover cure, sprinkle some chili flakes on top. Trust me.

Genki drinks

This is just a way cuter way of saying energy drinks except that instead of (let’s be honest) stupid sounding names like Red Bull and Rock Star, the Japanese give their energy drinks very professional drug sounding names like Kabakawa A, Lipovitamin D and Solmac.

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or Power Squash….. (found pic here)

Still, it’s the same stuff. Water, tons of sugar/sugar substitute, caffeine and taurine. It’ll get your heart pumping and rev up your entire metabolism, so you’ll pass the alcohol through your system a little quicker but taurine isn’t for everyone. Don’t over do it with that stuff. Did I just preach moderation? Guys, I don’t even know who I am any more.

Ramen

I swear someone once told me Ramen were a hangover cure. Was that someone just trying to get me to buy them Ramen? Ok, that’s a pretty safe bet actually. But again, broth is awesome for hangovers and those delicious delicious noodles won’t hurt. Maybe stick to a leaner protein but otherwise this seems like a great idea.

And for extra points, make sure to add a generous dash of shichimi. It’s just a spice blend. You’ll love it. Trust me!

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admit it – it looks yummy

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m already starting to feel a little better. And because I feel like we’ve gotten closer now, I’ll let you in on another secret: I don’t really get hangovers – ever. I might actually have even less of a clue than usual what I’m talking about. I do however end up being the designated caretaker of a bunch of sullen hungover louses on a much too frequent basis and I feed them tons of spicy food. If nothing else, it gets them out of my house.

Do you guys have any magical remedies?

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don’t say that – you don’t mean it…

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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10 Responses

  1. mrericness says:

    Additional recommendation for Pedialyte. I didn’t find out about this until adulthood and I must say it works wonders!

    The college cure was going to the nearby Pho restaurant, order the spiciest bowl of beef and noodles I could muster (hold the tripe), and sweat it out.

    Later on found that a less spicy pork ramen could the job preygood as well.

  2. Enjoy your vacation – the life is so stressful >.<
    I went clubbing y-day and almost got deaf from the effin loud music, jeez. I would trade that for some sea vacation instantly…

    I have actually tried Kaki and it's so sweet I became disgusted by it pretty quickly – but I have never heard that it helps for hangovers!

    Good info!

  3. Persimmons are pretty good. If you like fruit in general you ought to like persimmons.

    Burnt toast is really charcoal. Charcoal is a known remedy for tummy upset. It neutralizes acid and traps toxins. Water filters use activated charcoal to remove toxins from water. Hard liquor gets filtered thru charcoal to remove impurities.

    My remedy is lots of water. Tylenol and NSAIDs for pain and lots of sleep. Eat some applesauce and toast because you don’t want to take NSAIDs on an empty stomach.. Dramamine for nausea if necessary.

    It will take almost as long to recover as doing nothing but you won’t feel as miserable.

  4. Dawnstorm says:

    Have fun on your vacation. (New Year’s Eve was stressful – I wanted to hide under a blanket but couldn’t.

  5. Djm says:

    If you can get it in stores, Pedialyte! Also, Monster (yes, that Monster Energy Drink) makes a non-carbonated Monster Hydro.

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