Monday, January 14, 2008

H, Hope & Home - Miyeokghuk (Wakame soup)

My mother used to light a candle in the morning of my birthday. A scoop of rice was placed in white bowl as the offering for the ancestors and spirits, wishing me a year of happiness and health like my mother's mother did for my mother. For the breakfast, she made special soup with Miyeok (a type of sea weed, AKA wakame) and beef. This is the soup served for the first meal to the new mothers after they give birth. It stands for celebration for the new life and wish for the new happy life. Every birthday, many Koreans have a bowl of Miyeokghuk in the morning as their mother had it when they gave birth.

Miyeok ghuk has taste of sea - the sea that gave birth to many lives. The soup is murky and warm. It is salty but has hint of sweetness to it.

The soup, like Kimchi, varies family to family. Some add fresh fish in the place of beef, while some use baby clam. Garlic is used in my family but not in other family. The one thing consistent in the most of Korean families, no matter how much the recipe varies, is the question from the parents to children who lives far away from their parents' house in their birthday.
"Did you have bowl of Miyeok ghuk?"


15 g of dried Miyeok (cut it to one or two inch in length), 5 cups of water, two table spoons of soy sauce, Half table spoon of minced garlic, quarter pound of minced beef, half table spoon of toasted sesame oil

1. Rehydrate Miyeok follwing the provider's instruction - usually about 10 - 15 min. Wash it if necessary.
2. Heat sesame oil on medium heat, add beef, garlic, and soy sauce. Stirr till beef is browned.
3. Add Miyeok and stirr.
4. Add water and boil for 30 minut or till Miyeok is softened

No comments: