MiYeok Guk (미역국) is a popular Korean soup. Korean people can eat this soup anytime, but it is very popular for special days like birthdays, weaning days, etc. Sea mustard has good nutrition in it. According to Wikipedia, “In Oriental medicine, seaweed has been used for blood purification, intestinal strength, skin, hair, reproductive organs, and menstrual regularity.” So, it is a common practice in Korea that moms eat sea mustard soup after they birth their babies because Koreans believe that this sea mustard soup gives nutrition to both mom and baby through mom’s milk.
There is a funny superstition that some people consider seriously about sea mustard soup: The fresh or soaked sea mustard has a slippery surface. One Korean word for slippery is “미끄러지다,” which can imply that somebody will fall down. Some people try to not to eat sea mustard soup near an important testing day because they do not want to get bad luck from eating it – as to fall down, drop, or fail the test. I personally don’t believe it, but just wanted to share this humorous culture with you. This is a beef version of sea mustard soup, but you can use tuna can, clam, mushroom, or make it without any meat instead.
Yield: 2 Servings
Short Korean Lesson
- MiYeouk (미역) = Sea Mustard
- Guk (국) = Soup
- ½ Cup Dried Sea Mustard (1 Cup Soaked or Fresh Sea Mustard)
- ⅓ Cup Beef
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 Tbsp Soup Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 Pinch Black Pepper
Soak ½ cup of dried sea mustard for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, the sea mustard will look like this, and it will be about 1 cup now.
Cut the soaked sea mustard into bite sized pieces.
In a pan, fry ⅓ cup of chopped beef. Add 1 Tbsp of soup soy sauce, 1 tsp of sesame oil, and 1 pinch of black pepper.
Fry it until the beef is almost cooked on medium high.
Add the sea mustard and ½ Tbsp of sesame oil.
Fry it for about 3 minutes on high until the beef is completely cooked.
Pour 3 cups of water in the pan.
Once it starts to boil, add ⅛ tsp of salt and ½ Tbsp of soup soy sauce. Taste it, and adjust the taste with salt or soup soy sauce if needed. I usually use soup soy sauce rather than salt. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-high.
5 minutes later, add ½ generous Tbsp of minced garlic.
Cook for another 5 minutes and then turn off the heat.
Try this healthy and delicious Korean sea mustard soup someday. How about on your birthday? Thank you!