Tuesday, March 16, 2010

#41 Korean Birthday Soup Miyuk gook

Korean Birthday Soup
If you like me have watched Korean dramas, you probably know already about the Birthday soup. It's quite unusual actually to celebrate your birthday not with a cake but with a soup instead. Leaving aside the health benefits from replacing the high-sugar-high-fat-high-calorie meal as a traditional cake with the complete opposite -healthy seaweed soup, where did this idea come from?
According to Ask A Korean blog, this specific soup is associated with birth because it has been given to mothers after childbirth for three weeks in a row. Its rich content of iron, iodine, calcium and protein helps mothers to recover and adjust their system to the life with the newborn.
I was curious to know how this sup tastes like, and like most of the Asian soups it's very light but very tasty.

The seaweed type used for this soup is wakame (called miyuk in Korean), the same used in miso soup.
The recipe I used is taken from My Korean Kitchen blog

Serves 4-6:

35g dried wakame seaweed (Miyeok)
70g sliced beef (I used thin frying steak)
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 cups beef, vegetable or fish stock

to season the meat:
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Rehydrate the seaweed in plenty of water for 5 minutes. Rise well and drain. If needed, cut the seaweed to small pieces.
Season the meat.

In a pan heat the oil and fry the sliced beef and the seaweed for 3-4 minutes. Cover with the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and soy sauce and simmer for more 2 minutes.
Korean Birthday Soup

Serve hot.

And for an end, some catchy tunes from the soundtrack of my favourite Korean drama at the moment, Chuno (Slave Hunters):

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