Dairy-Free/ Korean - Asian/ Main Course/ Recipes

Miyeok Guk – Seaweed Soup

Seaweed soup, aka miyeok guk, is a common Korean dish that also holds much cultural significance. Korean women eat copious amounts of miyeok guk after giving birth (maybe even too much), and consequently, mothers make this soup for their children to eat every year on their birthday as a reminder of this time. 

My mom makes this for me every year on my birthday, and I ate it every day the first month after having my kids. There are a lot of benefits to eating seaweed due to its iodine and fiber content, and Koreans believe it also helps with blood purification and milk supply. You can read more about this on my previous post about seaweed

As much as Korean food has become more trendy in the U.S., this dish isn’t one of the headliners. I think the aesthetics and the texture is hard to get past for a lot of Americans. If I hadn’t grown up with it, I don’t know that I would be excited about eating it either! But I love it, and so does my daughter.

This recipe uses beef, but you pescatarians can use salmon and vegetarians can use tofu. 

Here is what you need:

  • ~16-18 grams dried seaweed aka miyeok 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lbs skirt steak (or whatever cut you have)
  • 1-½ tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or preferred cooking oil
  • ~8 cups water 

Place your miyeok into a large bowl of cold water and let it sit for 30 minutes. It will expand and soak up a lot of the water as it reconstitutes.

Cut your beef into small pieces, and smash and chop your garlic. Set aside.

Drain your seaweed and squeeze out some of the excess water. Then cut it up into bite-sized pieces (it’s ok if there’s still a few bigger bites in there.)

In a large pan, turn the heat up to medium high and add oil followed by beef. Cook for about 1 minute, and as the meat browns add in the miyeok and garlic. Mix and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, then add in the water, soy sauce and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 30-35 minutes, then remove from heat and add sesame oil. Serve with rice and kimchi. 

Miyeok Guk - Seaweed Soup

Dinner Asian, Korean
By Janice Yucel Serves: 8
Prep Time: 40 minutes (10 active) Cooking Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • ~16-18 grams dried seaweed aka miyeok 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lbs skirt steak (or whatever cut you have)
  • 1-½ tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or preferred cooking oil
  • ~8 cups water 

Instructions

1

Place your miyeok into a large bowl of cold water and let it sit for 30 minutes. It will expand and soak up a lot of the water as it reconstitutes.

2

Cut your beef into small pieces, and smash and chop your garlic. Set aside.

3

Drain your seaweed and squeeze out some of the excess water. Then cut it up into bite-sized pieces (it’s ok if there’s still a few bigger bites in there.)

4

In a large pan, turn the heat up to medium high and add oil followed by beef.

5

Cook for about 1 minute, and as the meat browns add in the miyeok and garlic.

6

Mix and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, then add in the water, soy sauce and fish sauce.

7

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.

8

Cook for 30-35 minutes, then remove from heat and add sesame oil.

9

Serve with rice and kimchi. 

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