Gut Week

Recipes to boost gut health: 2 delicious, science-backed dishes

Dr. Linda Shiue shares two recipes from Spicebox Kitchen.

Originally Published: 
A recipe book with "Spicebox Kitchen" text cover

Dr. Linda Shiue is a practicing physician and chef with a passion for the overlap between those two fields.

“We use spices for flavor, but they were also our first medicine,” Shiue tells Inverse. “There are certain spices that are good for stomach problems. Ginger is one of them— it’s really good for nausea, and it can help with bloating.

In her cookbook, Spicebox Kitchen, Shiue shares healthy recipes inspired by cuisines from around the world, along with lists of the healthiest ingredients to cook with and other tips for keeping your mind and body healthy through food.

In an interview, Inverse spoke with Shiue about the best foods to boost your gut. She also shared two recipes from Spicebox Kitchen, which you can find below.

Inverse celebrates your wondrous gut! Read more.


Who doesn’t love breakfast?

Michelle K. Min

Ginger can soothe nausea or an upset stomach.

Makes 6 to 8 cups oatmeal

  • 2 cups Scottish porridge oats or quick rolled oats
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 oranges
  • Garnishes: chopped walnuts, splash of milk (any type)

Place oats and water in a saucepan along with ginger and salt, stir well, and bring to a boil.

Lower heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring every few minutes, until thickened and creamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add more water, to desired consistency, if needed.

Meanwhile, zest oranges and set zest aside. Then, use a knife to cut off the rest of the peel from the oranges, removing all of the pith (the white membrane). Slice peeled oranges crosswise into disks then cut those in half.

When the porridge is ready, remove from heat, add additional ginger to taste, and stir in the orange zest.

Serve hot in individual bowls with garnishes of orange disks, walnuts, an optional extra pinch of ground ginger, and a splash of milk.


Kimchi could help boost gut health.

Michelle K. Min

This recipe uses kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish rich in probiotics, to support gut health.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (such as canola)
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup chopped kimchi
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 11/2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 14 ounces silken tofu, sliced into 10 slabs
  • 4 ounces enoki or bunapi mushrooms (1 standard package); or any sliced mushrooms
  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced
  • Steamed rice, for serving
  • 1 large egg (optional)

Heat oil in a 3-quart saucepan or small Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and kimchi and cook for 1 minute.

In a bowl, whisk together stock and gochujang until smooth, then add to pot. Bring to a boil.

Once kimchi is tender and slightly translucent, carefully add tofu in a single layer (it’s delicate, so you don’t want to stir and break it), then add mushrooms. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Just before serving, top stew with scallions. Increase heat to bring to a rapid and vigorous boil, then remove from heat and serve immediately.

Serve over rice and stir in a raw egg, if desired.

Recipes excerpted from SPICEBOX KITCHEN: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes by Linda Shiue, MD. Copyright © 2021. Available from Hachette Go, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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