When I make Korean seaweed soup, my mind immediately flashes back to my postpartum days. You see, I ate a mostly mono diet of this soup for 30 days diligently made by my mom. With my first son I was skeptical of this meal plan and wanted to abandon it after a few days. But with my second I knew I’d commit to it for the full duration.
Surprisingly it was just what my body needed and craved. Easy to digest. Full of minerals like iron to replenish the blood lost. The broth perfect for supplying fluids for breastfeeding.
Tapping into old food traditions past along for generations holds so much wisdom about the power of food as medicine. The more I learn about nutrition I see the need to get back to the basics that our ancestors knew and were taught as life skills!
If you don’t have a Korean pantry, the only out of the ordinary ingredient you may need to hunt down is the main attraction the seaweed. The rest of the ingredients should be part of a typical pantry. You’ll be able to find it at an H-mart or other asian grocery and of course, Amazon. The notes in the recipes will provide links to the ingredients.
Korean Seaweed Soup (with beef)
Korean seaweed soup is traditionally served during the month long postpartum care period of a new mother as well as celebratory food for birthdays. Nutritionally, Seaweed is a great source of iron and iodine which is nourishing for the thyroid.
- 1 oz dried seaweed
- 1/2 lb beef brisket, sliced thin
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, (more to taste)
- 7 cups water
- scallions, for garnish
- ground pepper
Soak the dried seaweed in warm water for about 15 mins until it softens and reconstitutes.
Once the seaweed is soft, rinse in running water and drain. Coarsely chop the seaweed.
In a large pot, place the water and seaweed and bring to a boil. Boil on medium heat for about 20 minutes with the pot covered.
Add in chopped beef and garlic into pot and boil for another 20 minutes.
Add fish sauce, salt and pepper and continue to boil to combine. Season to taste by adding more fish sauce and salt.
If you want more broth add a little more water if the consistency is thick.
Garnish with sliced scallions, drizzle of sesame oil and cracked black pepper. (optional)
Serve with rice and kimchi.
Note: There are many variations to this recipe and every family makes it a little differently. For example some recipes saute the beef and seaweed before boiling to draw out more flavor but the soup becomes a viscous. While boiling without sauteing tends lends a more clear broth. Another favorite is to use a seafood broth as a base with the addition of clams and mussels. Yum!