Seaweed soup with beef

Soegogi miyeokguk 쇠고기 미역국

Miyeokguk is a soup made of edible seaweed and is traditionally eaten on birthdays or after giving birth, although you can eat anytime you like. Miyeok is rich in iodine, iron, and calcium and many people eat it to lower their cholesterol. This version of the soup is made with beef, which is the most popular type.

Whenever I meet my mother, she recommends I eat more miyeok and shows me how much she enjoys it by making all kinds of soups and salads with it. She also makes a miyeok wrap with rice and sauce and pops it into her mouth. Koreans all believe it’s good, healthy food, which is why Korean mothers who give birth will eat miyeokguk 3 meals a day for a month to recover fast and regain their strength and nutrients. Mom should stay home and look after her new born baby and her own health, and lay down on the traditional Korean heated floor (ondol) to sweat out the bad stuff and eat healthy miyeokguk.

This is why Koreans will have a bowl of miyeokguk for breakfast on their birthday, all their lives. They think about their mom to thank her for bringing them into this world. Korean spas serve miyeokguk in their cafeterias because the heated floors of the spa reminds people of the healthy, resting, relaxing time of recovering from childbirth at home.

When I lived in Korea, I had a friend named Jeanne, an American nun who had been living in Korea for more than 35 years. She always told me how she loved Korea and how it was her adopted hometown! She loved all kinds of Korean traditional food. Of course she could speak Korean just like a Korean.

She said: “There’s one Korean food that I don’t like.”
I asked: “What is it?”
She said: Miyeokguk.”

I couldn’t help laughing because I expected some kind of weird Korean food, not miyeokguk, our everyday healthy, delicious food. I was curious about why she didn’t like it. She answered: “It’s slippery in my mouth, ooh, I don’t like the texture.” I laughed again when I heard this.

I hope she’s doing well now. She must be living in somewhere in Chicago. I used to tease her: “Miss Jeanne, would you sit over here?” when we met at the coffee shop. I always wanted her to sit next to me!


Serves 2 to 3

  • ½ ounce (16 grams) dried miyeok, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 1 pound beef brisket or skirt steak, cut into thin and small pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce (or salt and soy sauce to your taste)
  • 2 teaspoon toasted toasted sesame oil

soaking miyeok


  1. Rinse and drain the miyeok. Squeeze out excess water. Cut a few times into bite-size pieces.Korean seaweed-soaked
  2. Transfer the miyeok to a large and heavy pot. Add 8 cups of water. Cover and bring it to a boil for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium. Add the beef, cover, and cook for 40 minutes.seaweed soup
  4. Stir in garlic and fish sauce. Cook another 10 minutes, or until the beef is tender and the broth is savory.Korean birthday soup
  5. Stir-in the sesame oil. Ladle into bowls and serve. The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.Korean seaweed soup (birthday soup)

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  1. I was wondering if you ever use the frozen seaweed or sea plant they sell or do you use just the dried one?

    Thanks so much for your website and videos – They are SO helpful and informative. I also like reading your stories that go with the dishes. Cooking is loving and loving is living!!

  2. Maangchi:
    How’s sunny Manhattan weather doing to you? Good luck and welcome again… it will take a while just to figure out the subway commuting. But priority is finding a good korean grocer for whipping up all the goodies! I have good luck with the soup. awesome! they’re very healthy and very tasty. i cracked a fresh egg before i ate and put more sesame oil and black pepper. i haven’t got dried anchovies from korean grocer online so i used the italian anchovies. it’s really good… i will make this often especially in winter. it’s definitely a good warm soup and not fattening at all.
    thanks for sharing.

  3. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Yes, haechomuchim sold in a package is different from miyuk. I like the texture of haechomuchim when I chew it. Thank you for your question.

  4. Hi maangchi, it’s me again. I went back to the supermarket and read the label, and it was called “hae cho” instead of “mi yuk” salad. So it was a completely different seaweed right? Because it was very bright green, instead of dark colored.

  5. I was searching for a recipe on how to make Korean tofu stew, and found your site. I am so happy, I have been searching a complete Korean recipes for a long time. Now I do not have to always go to restaurants to feed my craving for Korean food any more.

    I am from China, Korean food and Chinese food share some similarities, but there are subtle difference. I have been searching good recipes from Korean people for a long time :)

    I am so happy.

    This is a wonderful site!!


  6. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Is the miyuk salads (miyuk muchim) that you made? It looks great!
    I think you bought right miyuk. If it is too chewy, I think you should soak it longer before making the dish.

  7. I made it today. It’s very much like what I had! Except what I bought from the supermarket was very stringy, like in little thin strips. And the texture was crunchy. Did I buy the wrong miyuk?

  8. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    oh,I’m glad to hear that you found the recipe you want. yes, let me know hot it turns out when you make it. Thanks,

  9. Hi Maangchi,

    I think this is the recipe I was looking for. I will try it sometimes soon and come back to tell you if it was the right thing. Thanks ^_^

  10. I am a white American, and I love Miyuk guk. :-)

  11. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    hi, anonymous,
    The brand name of the soysauce I am using is called “Samepyo Jingaan Jaang”(Samepyo soysauce). And any brand name of sesame oil will be ok.
    Happy holidays!

  12. Hi, i love your videos and i’m a big fan of Korean food. I wanted to know what kind of soy sauce you used and sesame oil?

    thank you

  13. I made Mi Yuk Guk last night with dired anchovies and silken tofu.

    Yeah! Finally I used up all the ever lasting My Yuk!

    All these years, I tried to achive the taste of authentic mi yuk guk by using a lot of garlic, korean kan jang, little fish da shi da, or even MSG… just never tasted like what I had made by Korean A Ju Ma.

    At last, I did it! The taste that I missed!

    Thank you for revealing the secret of Mi Yuk Guk– fish sauce.

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    Hi, ami,
    Thank you very much! I am very happy about your compliment now. : )

  15. Hi!
    I randomly ran into your site after a google search for tteokbokki. This is the best Korean recipes site I ever found. Thanks for all the detailed and beautiful clips ^_^
    I wish you the best.

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