Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Miyeok Guk, Korean Seaweed Soup - Confinement Month # 9

My brother went to Korea lately and bought a large pack of Korean seaweed for his wife and I.  My SIL just had a baby, Arianna 5 weeks before Reuben came by. Yes, he is Reuben for life now. It's black and white in his birth certificate. My dear brother then bought the beef stock powder from Jaya Grocer, googled up a recipe, passed to my mom and taught my mom how to prepare it for my SIL who was in confinement at that time.

Miyeok is Korean for seaweed. It is a traditional confinement food for Korean new mothers. It is not only consumed for confinement, but also for birthdays to remind the birthday girl/boy of the milk the mother passed to them. Miyeok is rich in calcium and iodine and when one breastfeeds, these 2 nutrients are crucial to the nursing mother. It nourishes the mother well when the mother nourishes the baby. It's really draining on the mother if nutrients are not replenished well.

The type of miyeok or seaweed that my brother bought is whole leaf, wild and not cultivated. Therefore, there are bits of shrimp, crab or small bivalves clinging to the seaweed. You can use wakame if you cannot get miyeok. I broke up the miyeok to measure and cook. The seaweed is a PITA to photograph. Not only the seaweed, the whole dish is super difficult. Later only I remembered the external flash that is in the dry box. I should've used that but too bad, I ate up the soup and had it digested already, and I am too lazy to prepare another visually nice bowl of soup. Garnishing is a chore.

Took this pic after I remembered my flash and it's so much clearer. Darn it!
The miyeok was about 1 feet long when it was passed to me after my SIL took her portion.
I had to break some each time whenever I cook this soup. It will take me forever to finish this portion of miyeok.

Miyeok Guk
Recipe adapted from: SgMummy

6gm miyeok (weigh, as visual approximation can really differ alot)
1 clove garlic
1 tsp sesame oil (smashed or chopped, as you like)
1 cup water
1/4 tsp beef stock powder (optional, or u can use any stock powder you prefer)
few slices of meat (beef, chicken or pork, or fish)

1. Soak in cold tap water miyeok for 15 minutes. Drain and cut smaller of they are big.
2. Heat a saucepan on medium low heat. Put in sesame oil and saute garlic until fragrant.
3. Put in miyeok and cook for a while.
4. Put in water, bring to a boil. The soup will turn whitish.
5. Put in meat slices and bring back to a boil.
6. Put in stock powder or season with salt.


  1. I heard seaweed is very good but too bad i cant stand the smell. If only there is a way to get rid of the smell

  2. Small kucing,
    I do agree some are very "fishy". But this miyeok that my bro got back from Korea is not too fishy. The sesame oil will helo reduce the fishiness, or try adding in some spring onions. I always use that to mask fish smell, works better than ginger

  3. Wah, having this for confinement?? You huh...darn fantastic lah... How's the taste like? Just like those korean soup we have outside?

  4. Wendy, first of all i enjoy reading ur blog...specially the confinement recipe. You really are a modern living mummy...Congrats to you too and welcome Rueben!


  5. they look like konbu but i think they are not..

  6. Meldylocks,
    I dunno woh. I've never dined at a Korean Resto. kekeke.

    Thankyou and I think we do have to move on with the changes of time :)

    No, they don't look like konbu. They don't come looking like a big flat piece, like a big ribbon thingy, but more like staghorn fern.

  7. not only good for you but good for us too since it is rich in calcium and iodine :)

  8. Oh btw..congrats that you finally named him Reuben just as I guessed correct :)))

  9. I love seaweed soup -- really brings me back to my childhood (though obviously I had a Chinese version). I'd love to try the Korean version as it looks just as tasty!

  10. I don't know what version is my mum's seaweed soup but it taste very good to me. She uses lots of ginger so there is no fishy smell at all. This is our favorite soup and it is so easy to make.

  11. i watched too many k-drama seeing those moms scolding their kids when they misbehaved telling them how they took one-month worth of miyeok guk until they 'jelak / muak'. so korean kids will have this soup for their every birthday.

    so out of curiousity, i tried it out and loving it. oh maybe coz i like fresh sea breeze fishy smell. simple with sesame oil.

    Rueben, refreshing! not bcoz you had a 'rueben sandwish' then you name your son rueben right?! keke just kidding! welcome to the world Rueben <3

  12. Lisa.L,
    It's been long since u've left a comment here since CNY, haha.
    I want to laugh when I read your comment about what happened in the k-dramas.
    No la, Reuben is the son Jacob in the Bible.
    It's R-e-u-b-e-n.

  13. alamak so 'paiseh', sorry Baby Reuben i got yer name wrong...don't puke milk on me pls! hehe

  14. Lisa.L,
    Don't worry, Reuben is a gentleman. He won't do that to others only to mommy. LOL.

  15. Reuben is a beautiful name for a beautiful boy. Congratulations! Thanks for featuring all these beautiful confinement dishes. While I have already 'closed shop', these dishes will come in handy for many other young ladies out there. Otherwise we too can enjoy them as much. - natasya

  16. Natasya,
    Thankyou. Most of the confinement dishes here can be enjoyed by all. My family consumed all these together with me, besides the ginger fried rice.


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