Friday was my husband’s birthday and as the first birthday shared since we got married, I knew I had to make miyuk-gook, also known as Korean seaweed soup.
While it may sound gross to some, the soup is an ingrained part of the culture here in Korea. Korean women usually eat a lot of this soup after giving birth because of its many nutrients. So the reason you have the soup on your birthday is twofold: first, giving thanks in memory to your mother who birthed you and second, to symbolize a long and healthy life. When meanings to a soup are that good – when in Rome, do as the Romans do I say.
So here is my mom’s secret recipe. Ridiculously simple and a nice, clean finish to the soup. Here we go:
- 1 tbsp of fish or anchovy extract (not fish sauce, extract!)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 100g of beef chopped into bite sized pieces
- 20g dried seaweed
- 800 mL water
- Salt to taste
1. In a bowl, put in the dried seaweed and cover in water. Let sit for 10 min and allow the seaweed to rehydrate. After 10 min, wash the seaweed at least two times. Then drain and cut up the seaweed into smaller pieces. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, put in anchovy extract and the half cup of water. It. Will. Stink. But put in the meat and pepper (just a dash) and cook till the meat is all cooked.
3. Add in the rest of the water and let boil. When boiling add in seaweed and let it boil again. Salt to taste (I usually add in at least 1-2 tsp)
4. Add in a dash of sesame oil just before serving – you’re done!
Just kidding. Not even close.