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Recipe: Korean Seaweed Soup

Korea is known for its postpartum traditions that focus heavily on the wellbeing of a new mom (see “Birth Around the Globe: Korea”). Mi-yeok-guk—seaweed soup—is an essential part of the post-birth routine. The recipe below is from the cookbook The Complete Book of Korean Cooking (Anness Publishing Ltd 2008), by Young Jin Song. Serve the finished soup with white rice or, as some families do, with a mixture of white, brown and black rice studded with a variety of beans (as pictured below).

Korean Seaweed Soup

  • 1 oz dried seaweed
  • 1 1/2 oz beef, diced
  • 7 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  1. Soak the seaweed for 20 minutes. Drain and cut into 1-inch lengths.
  2. Season the beef with 1 tbsp of the sesame oil and pepper and leave for 10 minutes. Stir-fry the beef and seaweed in a pan with the remaining sesame oil. When the meat is cooked, add 3 cups water, cover and boil.
  3. Add the garlic and soy sauce. Cover and boil until it has turned slightly milky in color. Season before serving.
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