Traditional Korean Asian Pears With Honey for Sore Throats

Asian Pears

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  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Cooling time: 15 mins

If you have ever had a cold, the flu, or a respiratory infection of any sort, you have likely turned to a variety of remedies to relieve the well-known discomforts associated with a cough or a sore throat. In Korea, many people have relied on a common homemade recipe of steamed Asian pears and honey to help ease their sore throat symptoms, as research suggests that honey can help calm a cough.


  • 1 Asian pear
  • 1 tablespoon honey, divided

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Halve and core the Asian pear.

  3. After you halve and core the pear, you'll fill the seed hole and coat the cut sides generously with honey.

  4. Next, you'll steam the pear and honey for about 15 minutes in a steamer.

  5. After the mixture has cooled, eat it with a spoon.

Diabetics and Infants Under 12 Months

  • If you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, that requires you to control your blood sugar, this recipe may not be suitable for you due to the amount of sugar in both the pear and honey.
  • It's also important to note that infants under 12 months of age should not be given honey as they may have a dangerous reaction to it. This is a remedy that most children and adults will be able to tolerate without incident, but it is not for babies.


  • If you can't find Asian pears at your local grocery store, visit a Korean specialty market or even look into ordering them online.
  • If you don't have a steamer, you can always create a steamer by using a saute pan over high heat and putting the mixture in a couple of inches of water.
  • When consuming this Korean Asian Pear recipe, if you're not sure how warm it is, do a taste test first, rather than taking a huge gulp that may be too hot.

Recipe Variation

  • You can also cut the pear into pieces and drizzle generously with honey. Once you've drizzled the pear with honey, steam it in a poaching cup for about 10 minutes and then eat.

What Makes Asian Pears With Honey Stand out?

Unlike many over-the-counter cough medicines, this concoction stands out because it doesn't have the yucky taste for which commercial cough medicines in the United States are known for. So when you're experiencing a sore throat from either the cold, flu, or similar infection, you don't have to put yourself through more misery by downing cough syrup that tastes awful.

Of course, if you continue to have a bad cough and a sore throat that's not alleviated by this homemade recipe or over-the-counter products and you have a fever or other worrying symptoms, make an appointment with your healthcare provider.

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Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Oduwole O, Meremikwu MM, Oyo-ita A, Udoh EE. Honey for acute cough in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(12):CD007094.  doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007094.pub4