Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

S. Korea 'temple cuisine' feeds body and soul

Published on Feb 2, 2013 10:48 AM

PYEONGTAEK (AFP) - A centuries-old tradition of Buddhist cuisine, with strict bars on foods linked to lust or anger, is enjoying a revival in South Korea, one of Asia's most high-stress societies.

"Temple food," as it is generally known, is moving out of the temples and monasteries and into mainstream restaurant culture, attracting a loyal following for its deceptive simplicity and health-giving properties.

Among its most skilful practitioners - and ardent promoters - is a 54-year-old monk, Jeokmun, who has devoted several decades to refining what he sees as a meditative diet that feeds both soul and body.

At his modest Sudoksa temple in Pyeongtaek City, about 60km south of Seoul, Jeokmun teaches his techniques to an attentive class of a dozen students - mostly middle-aged housewives.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!