Every culture has it’s traditions, and though I may have grown up here in Australia, my mother brought many of these traditions over from Korea, and so they became a part of my life and identity. One of these traditions is the serving of ‘Mi-Yok Guk’ (seaweed soup).
The seaweed soup recipe is high in nutrients and believed to help induce breast milk in women who have given birth, as well as helping the body to recover and stimulating the mind, so you can see how this soup has grown to become a staple in most Korean households.
Traditional Seaweed Soup Recipe
You could say that this soup has founded my family and kept it growing over the years – at every single birthday, we could wake up to the smell of this rich broth bubbling away, and we would start the day with a bowl of this goodness filled soup in the hopes that it would keep us nourished and give us a good start to the next year of our life.
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After my sister and brother were born, family friends would bore down on us, bringing tubs and tubs of the stuff to keep my tired mother fed and help her to get her strength back.
And on those many nights when I had to stay up late whilst studying, more often than not my mother would suddenly turn up in my doorway, bearing a steaming bowl of this soup to keep me going through the night, kissing me on the forehead before going back to bed.
It is definetely an acquired taste and therefore may not be for everyone, but this soup is a part of me, and I hope that one day I’ll be able to make it quite as well as my ma does 🙂
Traditional Mi-Yok Guk (seaweed soup) Recipe Ingredients
- 30g dried seaweed for soup **
- 60g flank or sirloin steak, sliced into thin strips
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp Asian sesame oil
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp instant beef stock powder (can replace with dashi)
- 1.5L water
** There are many different kinds of dried seaweed on the market, and when buying to make soup, make sure that you’re buying the kind used for this sort of soup. It’ll be cheapest and most readily found at Korean grocery stores, double check with the cashier to make sure you’re buying the right thing! Alternatively, you can access an online Korean grocery store for the goods 🙂
How to Make Korean Seaweed Soup Recipe
1. Soak the seaweed strands in warm water till they have become soft and supple, then discard the soaking water and set aside the seaweed for now.
2. Heat a large pot over medium heat, then add the sliced steak, garlic and sesame oil and sauté till the meat has browned nicely. Add the soy sauce and seaweed and sauté for another minute to make sure that the meat and seaweed are taking on the flavour from the garlic and soy.
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3. Add the water and stock powder to the pot and stir to make sure that the powder has dissolved, then bring to a vigorous boil. Boil for about 15 minutes, then put the lid on and reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for another 30 minutes, or till the seaweed is very soft and the liquid has turned slightly milky and thickened.