Miyeok-guk (Seaweed Soup)

In Korea, women who have just given birth receive a month of postnatal care and eat miyeok-guk. Dried seaweed is soaked in water and rehydrated and then simmered in clear beef or seafood broth. Seaweed is rich in calcium, which is an essential substance for the formation of bones and teeth, and iodine, which is an essential substance for the formation of thyroid hormones. Seaweed assists in womb contraction and prevents bleeding. Moreover, as one of the essential dishes of a person’s hundredth day, first birthday and subsequent birthdays, miyeok-guk is one of the ‘friendliest’ dishes and is handed down through the generations.

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

7 oz (200g) beef (brisket)
1 tablespoon soy sauce for soup
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 oz (30g) dried seaweed
2 tablespoons sesame oil
8 cups water

soy sauce for soup
salt and ground black pepper as needed

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the sesame oil over high heat. When the oil
    is very hot, add the marinated beef and stir-fry until the outsides are browned.
  2. Add the seaweed into the saucepan and stir-fry. Pour the 8 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. When it boils, reduce the heat to low and season the soup to taste with soy sauce for soup and salt if necessary. Cook for 20 more minutes and
    add ground black pepper.