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Korean recipe: Miyeokguk seaweed soup (미역국)

In Korea, there is a must-eat dish for those who have a birthday meal, or for mothers who have just given birth to new-born babies.

This is miyeokguk seaweed soup (미역국). It's a soup boiled with soaked brown seaweed, shredded beef and a soy sauce seasoning.

Seaweed soup is the first food served to a new mother after childbirth, because seaweed contains a lot of nutritional effects that are good for your health. According to the "Dongui Bogam" (동의보감, 東醫寶鑑), the best-known Joseon-era medical book, seaweed has a "cool" nature and is salty and non-toxic. It eases the "heat" and heavy feelings, and enhances the flow of "energy." In fact, seaweed is a low-calorie, alkaline food and full of vitamins and minerals. It helps discharging body waste and eases any swelling.

Serving the soup on birthdays can be seen as a reminder for people to think about their mothers’ love and devotion, the person who gave birth to you and who raised you.

<i>Miyeokguk</i> is a soup made with soaked brown seaweed, shredded beef and a soy sauce seasoning. It's a must-eat dish for people on their birthdays or for people who have just given birth to new-born babies. One can add mussels or abalones or other ingredients, too, according to individual preference.

Miyeokguk is a soup made with soaked brown seaweed, shredded beef and a soy sauce seasoning. It's a must-eat dish for people on their birthdays or for people who have just given birth to new-born babies. One can add mussels or abalones or other ingredients, too, according to individual preference.


** Ingredients

20 g dried brown seaweed
100 g beef (shank)

Seasoning sauce:
½ tsp clear soy sauce (3 g)
½ tsp minced garlic (2.8 g)

0.1 g ground black pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil (13 g)
8 cups water (1.6 ㎏)
1 tsp clear soy sauce (6 g)
2 tsp salt (8 g)


The main ingredients of seaweed soup are dried seaweed, beef and garlic.

The main ingredients of seaweed soup are dried seaweed, beef and garlic.


** Preparation
1. Soak the dried brown seaweed in water for 30 minutes. Remove any foreign elements, such as sand, if it's there. Squeeze out the water and slice it into 4-cm strips.
2. Clean the blood off the beef with a cotton cloth. Cut it into 2.5-cm squares that are about 0.2-cm thick. Season it with the seasoning sauce.

Soak the dried seaweed in water for 30 minutes. Wash the seaweed to remove any water and slice it into 4-cm long pieces.

Soak the dried seaweed in water for 30 minutes. Wash the seaweed to remove any water and slice it into 4-cm long pieces.


** Recipe
1. Preheat a soup pot with sesame oil. Stir-fry the beef in the bottom of the soup pot for 2 minutes over medium. Add the soaked brown seaweed. Fry it all for another 3 minutes.
2. Add water to the soup pot. Boil it for 5 minutes over high. When it's boiling, lower the heat to medium. Continue to boil for 20 minutes.
3. Season with a clear soy sauce and salt, and bring it to a boil again.

Add some sesame oil to a preheated pot and stir-fry the beef there for 2 minutes over medium. Add soaked seaweed and fry it all together for another 3 minutes.

Add some sesame oil to a preheated pot and stir-fry the beef there for 2 minutes over medium. Add soaked seaweed and fry it all together for another 3 minutes.


Managed by Yoon Sojung
Korea.net Staff Writer
In cooperation with the Institute of Traditional Korean Food (ITKF)
Content from “The Beauty of Korean Food: 100 Best-Loved Recipes”
arete@korea.kr

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