Korean Seaweed Soup (Miyeok-guk / 미역국) is a tasty beef & seaweed broth that is good as a simple meal, but also is used for health reasons. The soup is primarily known as a postpartum (after childbirth) food in Korea because it is very soothing for your stomach. Actually, I had an upset stomach recently and this is what led to me cooking this. Because of this soup’s association with childbirth, it’s also a Korean tradition to eat miyeok guk on birthdays.
- Korean dried seaweed (Ottogi Seaweed) 50g package.
- Chuck steak, 300g, diced (if you are fortunate enough to have a Korean butcher, explain to them “it’s for seawood soup”, they’ll get the right one and cut/prep it for you!.
- Sesame Oil, ½ Tbs.
- Garlic Minced, 1 Tbs.
- Korean Soy Sauce for soup (Guk Gan Jang), 3 Tbs?
- Korean “Magic Sauce”** (Yeon Du), 1 Tbs. **This is the name I’ve given this particular ingredient, it’s an vegetable extract/stock that acts as an alternative to salt.
- Take 25g (approximately half the 50g pack) of dried seaweed, place into a large bowl, soak in cold water for 10 minutes. You can set a timer on your phone to help you remember when you started.
- Fill your kettle and boil a large amount of water (this will be useful later).
- Whilst the seaweed is soaking, cut your meat into chunks (if not already done), and also prepare garlic mince, set both aside in separately.
- In a large pot (2-4L capacity), put 1Tbs sesame oil on medium heat.
- Add the meat and brown over the medium heat, stirring constantly, browning for 1-2 minutes.
- Drain the seaweed by carefully pouring out water and retaining seaweed in bowl. The trick here will be to use your hands to squeeze the excess water out of the seaweed, whilst letting the water drain (best done at the sink).
- Once the meat is browned, and is still mostly rare, add in your strained seaweed and garlic. Stir for 1 minute on heat. This is essentially stir frying all the ingredients a bit.
- Add in a splash of the boiling water from the kettle. You are just wanting enough to semi-submerge the steak (not a lot, a few cups at most).
- Stir over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Add boiling water until all contents are submerged.
- Use scissors (and tongs) to cut the seaweed up into smaller pieces – whilst it’s on a medium heat.
- Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the better the taste.
- At this point, have a quick look at the surface of the soup. Sometimes the beef releases some “muck” that you want to skim off and dispose of. This is just a remnant of the cooking process.
- Add in 2-3 Tbs of the Soup Soy sauce, and stir in.
- Add in 1 Tbs of “korean magic sauce”, stir.
- At this point you’ll want to have a quick taste (be careful as it’ll be boiling hot). If it tastes like it needs more seasoning, add 1 Tbs of Soy and Magic Sauce, stir and taste again. Repeat until you are happy (note, it really shouldn’t be more than 3 Tbs of each).
- Let simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Serve with Brown rice and Banchan.
Photos of Ingredients (to help you at the Korean grocer);
Hope you enjoy it!