Recipes

Seaweed soup with mussels

Honghap miyeokguk 홍합 미역국

Today’s recipe is very special to me because this is one of my all-time favorite soups! Seaweed soup with mussels, or honghap miyeokguk in Korean. I was born and raised on the seashore, so I love all kinds of fish and seafood: this dish combines the healthy, delicious flavor of dried seaweed (miyeok) with the fresh, meaty, irresistible taste of mussels. The resulting soup has all the best flavors of the sea, is good for you, and is totally addictive!

Some people like to remove the mussels from their shells before cooking this soup, but I think the shells add something special and earthy to the broth, a deep sea flavor that can’t be replicated any other way.

There are many different miyeokguk recipes in Korean cuisine, made with oysters, fresh cod, beef, clams, abalone, scallops, shrimp, or beef like I did years ago in one of my early videos.

This is because miyeokguk holds a special place in Korean culture, as the high levels of calcium and iodine in seaweed make this dish an ideal one for nursing mothers recovering from childbirth. Many new moms eat it for a month straight after giving birth. Because of this it’s also customary for Koreans to eat this soup on their birthday, kind of like the western birthday cake – everyone knows that it’s not really your birthday until you have a bowl of miyeokguk. The nicest thing you can do for a Korean on their birthday is make them a bowl of miyeokguk. They’ll never forget it!

But you don’t have to wait until your birthday, or until you’re pregnant, to enjoy miyeokguk! Many Koreans (especially me!) enjoy this soup year ’round!

Enjoy the recipe! This was a special video for me to film, because I got to eat miyeokguk afterwards. And then when editing the video, it looked so delicious that I made miyeokguk again lol! If you make it, be sure to let me know how it went, and upload a photo of the finished dish!

miyeokguk (seaweed soup with mussels: 홍합미역국

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 ounce dried miyeok (20 grams), soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 2 pounds fresh mussels, debearded, rinsed, and drained.
  • 5 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or Korean soup soy sauce or salt)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 -5 green onions, chopped
  • salt

Directions:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon salt and 4 cups cold water in a bowl to make a salty brine. Add the mussels and soak them for 30 minutes, so they spit out any sand or dirt. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain.
    mussels_soakingmussels (홍합: Honghap)
  2. Drain the miyeok and rinse and drain a few times. Squeeze out excess water and cut a few times into bite sized pieces.
  3. Add the miyeok and 8 cups of water to a large heavy pot. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 20 to 25 minutes until the miyeok turns soft and the water is infused with its flavor.
    miyeok (미역: Seaweed)miyeok (미역)
  4. Open and add the mussels, garlic, and fish sauce. Stir a few times. Cover and cook about 15 minutes over medium high heat. After a bit of cooking the mussels will open up and the broth will become infused with their sweet flavor.
  5. Remove from the heat.honghap miyeokguk (seaweed soup with mussels: 홍합미역국)miyeokguk (seaweed soup with mussels: 홍합미역국)
  6. Drizzle 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil over top, ladle the soup into serving bowls and sprinkle some green onion over top.
  7. Serve immediately with rice, kimchi, and a few more side dishes if desired.

chopped-greenonionmiyeokguk (seaweed soup with mussels: 홍합미역국)miyeokguk (seaweed soup with mussels: 홍합미역국

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12 Comments:

  1. Laineylee Toronto My profile page joined 9/14
    Posted September 28th, 2014 at 7:54 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    Love your site! I’ve been using your miyeok gook recipe for years and everyone loves it, especially the kids. Question: if I only have frozen mussels without the shell, will it affect the recipe very much?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 28th, 2014 at 11:38 am | # |

      It should be ok but I would use more of them. Good luck with making delicious miyeokguk!

  2. NatSuarez USA My profile page joined 10/13
    Posted June 13th, 2014 at 7:02 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    I am excited to try to make miyeokguk tonight! I will use clams instead of the mussels. How would you call this soup made with clams?
    I will let you know how it goes! :)
    Thank you for the recipe!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 14th, 2014 at 11:02 am | # |

      I hope your miyeokguk turned out delicious! Jogae(조개) is clam in Korean, so your miyeokguk should be named Jogae-Miyeokguk. : )

  3. Miss Kim78 socali My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted June 9th, 2014 at 7:46 pm | # |

    Your video totally made me craving some Miyuk Guk , so I totally made some the next morning! Mentioned you on my post too, how your video made me crave it! http://www.behgopa.com/2014/06/miyuk-guk-seaweed-soup-ramblings.html

  4. Miss Kim78 socali My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted June 6th, 2014 at 5:22 am | # |

    Oh I am craving miyuk gook now! I agree that it has a calming effect. I feel so calmed and soothed whenever I eat miyuk guk. I have tried poorly made ones before too! But when made properly, it’s sooo yummy. I don’t like my mom’s miyukguk much, but she always makes it for us on our birthdays. She makes it out of love, so how can we not enjoy it?!

  5. medusagurlyeah Adelaide My profile page joined 1/14
    Posted May 30th, 2014 at 1:58 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi,

    I happen to have frozen mussel meat and seaweed which was meant for miyukguk, so the timing was uncanny! I decided to make this version last night and it was really yummy – very much the memory of the sea….But I reduced the amount of water because I like my soup a little stronger.
    Very happy with your recipe!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 11th, 2014 at 11:30 am | # |

      yay, memory of the sea! “I reduced the amount of water because I like my soup a little stronger.” awesome!

  6. D California My profile page joined 6/09
    Posted May 29th, 2014 at 6:09 pm | # |

    What other seafood can you use instead of mussels or clams?

    • D California My profile page joined 6/09
      Posted May 29th, 2014 at 6:53 pm | # |

      Sorry Maangchi. Your answer is writtten above. I can use any kind of seafood and meat.
      Can’t wait to try this seaweed soup because I love seaweed.


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