My daughter came home for spring break and she wanted to have Miyeok Gook. It has been one of her favorite ever since she was little. Miyeok Gook is very much an everyday food for Koreans but it’s also a soup that’s served on birthdays and for new moms after childbirth. Miyeok(Brown Seaweed/Wakame) is rich in minerals and is high in iron and potassium. It has been passed down through many generations by Korean mothers to their daughters to help them recover from childbirth and also to increase milk for their babies. I remember my mom telling me to eat nothing but Miyeok Gook, rice and dried anchovies for almost 2 weeks after I had my daughter. I thought I was going to be really tired of eating the same thing but surprisingly this was the only thing I could really tolerate. Oh… and Miyeok Gook is also good for constipation..
There are many variations of Miyeok Gook. They are made with beef, mussels, chicken, and fish… really anything that makes a good soup stock. The most common one is of course with beef. I grew up eating beef Miyeok Gook too but in the last few years I found that it kind of takes away the wonderful and delicate flavor of the seaweed.
The recipe that follows is really the most simple kind with very few ingredients but it is really the best way to taste the full flavor of Miyeok.
- Many recipes use garlic with beef but garlic really overpowers the flavor of Miyeok so don’t use garlic!!
- The soy sauce used here is Gookanjang (국간장) which is the Korean style soy sauce meant to be used for soups. It is NOT the common Japanese style, dark soy sauce. It really makes a big difference so please invest in a bottle if you are going to cook Korean food.
- Using good quality Miyeok is key – I know it’s hard to tell that but if the Miyeok gets very mushy once it has soaked in water, then it’s not good. It should be quite firm even after it has soaked for a while. When in doubt, buy the more expensive brand – that usually works.
- The more you cook miyeok gook the better so don’t worry about reheating it many times. Just make sure you add a bit of water every time to make sure the soup doesn’t get too concentrated and salty.
Ingredients Servings: 4 Prep time: 30 min Cooking time: 40 min
- 7 C water for soup
- 1 oz dried miyeok(brown seaweed/wakame) OR 2 C in volume after it’s soaked in water
- 2 T sesame oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 T Korean Soy Sauce (for soup) – Gookganjang(국간장)
- Soak the dried miyeok in about 5 C of cold water for about 3o-40 min until they are fully soft and rehydrated. If you can’t weigh 1 oz of dried miyeok (let’s face it, how many of us have a kitchen scale and dried miyeok don’t come in 1 oz packages..), just eyeball it – it is roughly 3 thin pieces (left one in the “compared” image) about the size of my hand or 2 thicker pieces (right one). It’s totally fine to have less or more miyeok in your soup so it’s OK if it’s not the exact amount.
- Drain the water from the miyeok and cut a few times with scissors so the pieces are not too long.
3. Heat sesame oil in a pot on medium high heat. Add miyeok and stir fry in sesame oil for 3-5 min.
4. Add 7 C of water to pot and add salt and Korean soy sauce. Stir the soup and bring to boil. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat to medium and let it cook for good 20-30 min. Make sure you taste the soup to see if it’s salty enough. Add more salt or soy sauce to taste. The longer you cook the better so you can let is simmer even longer. Add more water if you are going to cook for a longer period.
For beef miyeok gook, cut up about 4 oz of beef (stew or chuck meat) and saute with sesame oil.
This was the lunch I cooked for my girl before she went back to school..I felt bad that there was nothing special but she said that it is just what she wanted to have. She told me it made her tummy happy…