My Korean husband recently celebrated his 31st birthday, so I woke up early and happily made him a pancake breakfast. I knew it was wrong but I did it anyway. Being a Canadian married to a Korean for the past four years, I’ve learned lots of important traditions, and try my best to honour and partake in these activities. I wasn’t feeling well on my husband’s birthday so I decided on a whim not to make his special soup. Koreans almost always eat a special seaweed soup on the morning of their birthday, which is called “Miyeok guk”. Are you wondering why? When a woman gives birth in Korea, she is fed miyeok guk for almost every meal in the weeks following the birth of her child. When I gave birth to our daughter, Bobae, I had to eat the same seaweed soup, which is full of iodine and calcium, to increase my energy, healing and boost my milk supply. (And you know what? It actually worked). So, on each birthday, we should eat seaweed soup, as a reminder of “our” mothers, who pass these nutrients to their bundles of joy, through their milk, on their very first birthday. The day after my husband’s actually birthday, I gave him a do-over breakfast and made his special birthday soup. It was actually quite easy to make!
What you need:
One ounce of dried brown seaweed (Don’t use the salted kind! Make sure you buy the kind for seaweed soup!) I weighed it out on a food scale.
1/4 lb minced beef sirloin
2 T Sesame Oil
1.5 T Soy sauce
1 t Salt
6 C Water
1 t minced garlic
What to do:
- In a bowl, soak the seaweed until it gets soft and slimy. Rinse it and drain it, and then cut it into piece, about 2-3 inches long.
- Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and cook beef, soy sauce, 1/2 T soy sauce and salt to taste
- Add the seaweed and the rest of the soy sauce and cook for another minute or so.
- Pour in 2 cups and bring to a boil.
- Add garlic and the rest of the water and boil again.
- Cover and reduce heat. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Season with a bit of salt if you like.