December 17, 2011
Today is my birthday. I am so happy to have my b-party with my family. I used to live several places including Seoul, melbourne, linkoping, and more. I haven’t celebreated my b-day at home. But today I had b-party in the morning with my loving family.
In Korea, when we have b-day, we eat one particular soup. That is Miyeokguk. You might not have any idea about it, because wetern people don't usually eat this. What is this made of? You never believe it. It is from seaweed.
If you are familiar with sushi, especially nori-sushi. It doesn't surprise you that much. But I assume you haven’t tried this kind of soup with seaweed yet.
To get more specific information, I asked Mr.Wiki here.
Miyeok guk (also spelled miyeok guk) is a Korean soup made from the sea vegetable miyeok. It comprises two words: miyeok, the Korean word for the sea vegetable; and guk, meaning "soup."
Miyeok guk is typically consumed by women after giving birth as miyeok contains a high content of calcium and iodine, nutrients that are important for nursing new mothers. Many women consume it during the pregnancy phase as well. It is also traditionally eaten on birthdays for this reason, a reminder of the first food that the mother has eaten and passed on to her newborn through her milk, thus bringing good fortune for the rest of the year.
Because it is known as a highly nutritious soup, it is widely consumed in homes and restaurants in Korea.
There are various methods of making miyeok guk, but it is usually made by soaking dried miyeok in water until it softens and adding the seaweed in soup stock. The stock may be made from beef and/or seafood such as mussels, clams and dried fish. The soup is seasoned with soy sauce or salt, additional flavoring added with minced garlic and sesame oil.
HaHa. I suppose that you haven’t got familiar to it yet. But as it said above, all of koreans eat miyeokguk on their b-day, so it is the important soup, or special soup for Koreans’ lives. If you want to know or get close to Korean culture, you’ve gotta know this soup.
How to make Miyeok guk with beef
Dried Miyeok, sesame oil, minced beef, minced(or slice) garlic, soy sauce, salt.
1. soak the Miyeok in the water to inflate it.
( Miyeok is sold with dried condition, in supermarket.)
2. Stir-fry the beef with minced garlic and sesame oil in the pot until mostly cooked.
3. Add Miyeok(water-drained) to the beef and fry more until less soaky.
4. Pour water to the pot until ingredients submerge.
5. Add seasonings such as soy sauce and salt.
(soy sauce provides deeper tastes but adding too much makes the soup too darker, so adjust the amount of soy sauce and salt.)
6. Boil until all ingredients combines for about 10~20 minutes. The more time, the deeper tastes. (medium-High heat boiling extracts the sticky water from Miyeok and it tastes complex and deep.)
If I simply describe the taste of Miyeokguk. It tastes real Korean. Its flavor comes from the combination of sea vegetable, sesame oil and Korean soy sauce. Nothing is similar to western cuisine. From the main ingredient, Miyeok to based oil, sesame oil, they are all unfamiliar stuff to occidental countries. It might be strange to you, but as you know, as time changes, difference and uniqueness are the charming point of the food. You must try it(No harsh. No pushing). It tastes good if you get used to it, also it nourished you well for certain.
Why don't you try Miyeokguk on your birthday?
It will give you nutritious and exotic birthday dining!
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