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. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Don’t worry much about it. Dried miyeok never goes bad if you seal it airtightly.

  2. Q1. After Opening The Pack of Miyeok For How Many Days I can Store It..?

  3. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Mei Leng,
    Thank you very much! Of course the information will be big help!

  4. Hi Maangchi,

    I have left the address and directions to get to Korea Town in the forum, hopefully it will be helpful. The ahjushi and ahjuma in the grocery stores were nice and helpful. I just tell them the ingredients in Korean (e.g. doenjang, miyuk, dduk, etc) and they will get them for me. They were happy to know that I was trying to cook Korean dishes!:)

  5. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Mei Leng,
    you made beautiful miyukguk (sea plant soup)! The color of miyuk looks very green!
    By the way, if you can, please leave the address of the Korean grocery store in Kuala Lumpur here.

  6. Hi Maangchi, it’s been quite a while since I wrote a comment here. Just wanted to let you know that I went to Koreatown Ampang, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and bought lots of Korean food ingredients from the Korean grocery store! :) I made Miyuk Guk; it was very comforting especially when you’re having a cold:

  7. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Why don’t you use salt instead of soy sauce?

  8. Hi Maangchi,

    Can you do miyuk muchim that do not use soy sauce as the dressing? I tasted some in the Korean Restaurant here as ban chan but it is sort of sweet(seems like clear dressing). I searched the internet but found none that use clear dressing. It would be good if you know as I like the refreshing and slightly sweet taste but don’t know how to make it.


    Martha from Hoju.

  9. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Yes, you can use chicken or anchovy stock instead of beef. If you like milky color soup, do this way.
    In a heated pot, put 1 tbs sesame oil and then put soaked and chopped miyeok(sea plant) and saute for a few minutes, then pour water into the pot. You will see the color of soup will change to milky color. (you can use washed rice water, too)

    I like clear soup, so I don’t use the method.

  10. Hi Maanchi,

    Thankyou for your delicious receipe! I’ve made seaweed soup so many time but this was the first time it turned out so well! (My sister in law also gave me a tip to use washed rice water to make the soup appear milky).

    Just a few questions –

    – Is it possible to use chicken instead of beef?
    – CanI use anchovy stock?

    Thankyou so much!

  11. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Confused student,
    hi, clams, mussels, or oysters are all tasty for miyukguk (seaplant soup). Don’t forget to soak the clams in salty water for an hour and rinse them before putting in the boiling soup. The reason for soaking them in salty water is to let them spit up some grit.

  12. Confused student& has 1 comment

    Dear Maangchi,
    I’ve made beef miyukgook many times but am a little confused as to making clam miyukgook. Any tips?

  13. thanks maangchi! ur the best!

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,049 comments

    Hi, Anonymous,
    Yes, you can use the frozen seaplant. Soak it in cold water and use it just like dried sea plants.

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