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. mrsgrace New Jersey joined 5/17 & has 1 comment

    Ms Maangchi, I am a korean american in new jersey :) I love your videos and it has given me confidence in my korean cooking. Are you planning to make a new version of this miyuk gook video? just wondering :)

  2. pacuniboy Bronx joined 3/17 & has 1 comment

    Good morning,

    I made seaweed salad with ottogi seaweed. I do not think it came out good, so I would like to know if I can use it for your recipe to make seaweed soup with beef? Thank you.

  3. Mayyya Romania joined 12/16 & has 2 comments

    Hi! I want to make it vegetarian way. How can I make it? Just follow the recipe and don’t add beef? Can I add some kelp?
    It was Christmas and NYE and we had so much meat here I don’t want to see it :)))

  4. Masschan London, UK joined 7/16 & has 5 comments

    I always love your recipes so much, especially the stories that go along with them. Thank you for sharing :)
    I’m having my first baby in February so I need to teach my partner to make this for me! How long can I keep the soup for after it’s made?

    See full size image

  5. shiors joined 5/15 & has 1 comment

    Hallo from Indonesia,

    Today, I just cooked myeok guk according to ur instruction. Oh my, it turned out so delicious, way better than what i’ve tasted in several korean resto here. Thank u so much for giving out so many detailed cooking steps. No other cooking teacher can do better than you.

    I’ve tried the new braised baby potatoes recipe, simple kimchi, fried korean chicken, and sam gyeop sal… they all very tasty and become my family favourites.

    So happy that you just released the cooking book as well. Good luck to you and wish success for years ahead

  6. farhana Singapore joined 8/14 & has 1 comment


    I tried cooking it today but my soup did not look as milky as yours. Is it because I did not add beef?

  7. stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11 & has 61 comments

    What a wonderful soup! And I love the name “seaplant,” so much better than that other nasty name (weed).

    And your 16th video posted on my birthday! Yay!

  8. lizlewis71 Twin Falls, Id. joined 11/13 & has 4 comments

    Thank you maangchi! I made this soup for my sister after my niece was born! It is yummy as is all your recipe! What would we do without you!

  9. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11 & has 20 comments

    My husband turned out to be a bigger fan of Korean drama than me! His birthday is coming up soon so I’m very happy you posted this recipe. I want to surprise him with it and teach him the name as I sing out: 생일 축하합니다! Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  10. LisaL USA joined 9/09 & has 19 comments

    Love this soup! I remember my mom making it when I was growing up and she made me a bunch of it after I gave birth.
    I can understand why people wouldn’t like it b/c of the texture.
    Going to try my hand at making my own batch!

  11. sohngj Seattle, WA joined 12/12 & has 7 comments

    I am Korean and miyuk gook is one of my favorite soups. I know your recipe calls for using beef brisket as the base for the soup, but do you think it would be good with oxtail broth too? Or is it too rich? I know I can use it to make dduk gook or kal gooksu, but wondering what you think about using it for miyuk gook too.

    Thanks, Maangchi. I am so grateful for your website and introducing the rest of the world to the world’s best cuisne!

  12. ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia joined 4/09 & has 45 comments

    hai Maangchi,

    seaweed and seaplant, is it the same thing? I used seaweed, and it’s turn so deliciously. thanks to you Maangchi, I had a great experience with korean food…. {^_^}

  13. hellokitty08 joined 5/10 & has 35 comments

    Hello! I just made the seaweed salad at home. I used to always eat it and it’s so delicious! The thing is, I followed the instructions but I have a lot of liquid. Should I throw this liquid away or put it in the refrigerator and let the seaweed absorb the liquid? Thank you!

  14. mkfever NY joined 6/11 & has 4 comments

    hi, I want to make this Seaplant soup for my friend but I just want to know she’s delivery baby by surgery so can she eat this soup?

  15. eveheart San Jose, CA joined 10/10 & has 2 comments

    What an incredibly satisfying soup! The beef/fish sauce work so well together. It’s a new family favorite. Maangchi, I love your videos because they give me the confidence to try a new recipe with unfamiliar foods. I am learning the Korean alphabet so I can read the labels when I go shopping.

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