13 July 2011

Birthday soup: deulkkae miyeokguk

Miyeokguk, Korean seaweed soup, is absolutely delicious.  And the savory beef broth, the succulent seaweed that plumps up so nicely while cooking, and the incredible simplicity of the recipe have got me hooked.

I remember the first time I ate this soup:  Sitting down to lunch with my mom at a little restaurant in Koreatown, famished from a morning of shopping, and being greeted by a steaming bowl of this soup.  More specifically, we were served deulkkae miyeokguk, a particular type of seaweed soup that is normally served just at birthdays and has the festive addition of ground perilla seed powder (deulkkae garu, 들깨가루).  Stir your bowl of soup, and the powder that settled to the bottom will swirl up and around your spoon.

 Since July is a month of many birthdays in my family (including my own ^_^), I wanted to share this special soup with you all and to invite you in on the celebration!

Deulkkae Miyeokguk 들깨미역국 (Perilla Seaweed Soup)
Adapted from Migi’s Kitchen
Makes 2 servings

1 tsp. sesame oil
½ cup chopped round tip steak (or other affordable cut of beef)
1 ½ Tbs. Korean soy sauce (진간장, jin-ganjang)
3 cups water
¼ cup dried seaweed (Korean miyeok or Japanese wakame)
3 Tbs. ground perilla seed (들깨가루, deulkkae garu)
Salt to taste

Heat a medium-sized pot over high heat.  Add the sesame oil and beef and sauté for a minute, stirring meat to cook evenly.  Add the soy sauce and water, scraping up any bits of meat that may have stuck to the pot.

Add the dried seaweed and deulkkae garu, cover pot, and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook at a medium boil for 20 to 30 minutes.  Check seasoning and add salt to taste.

Before ladling out servings, give the soup a good stir to get the deulkkae garu back up into the broth, as it settles to the bottom fairly quickly.


Anonymous said...

Love miyeokguk... my mom added fresh clams to flavor the broth as well as beef. When I started dating my husband, I made this soup for him. My mom thought I was crazy b/c there is this stereotype that Americans don't enjoy this soup due to the slipper texture... but I figured if he can eat something so "weird" then he'll be a keeper... 11 years and counting!

erica said...

oh, i love this story! :) yay for 11 years, that is awesome!

and clams sound like a great idea, yum!

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