Miyeok Guk (Beef Seaweed Soup)

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If I had to name my favorite soup, it would be miyeok guk. I make it 2 to 3 times a month, eat it for a couple of meals and then freeze the rest to eat again later. Miyeok guk is made with dried miyeok (aka wakame), which is a sea vegetable (edible seaweed). I love the briny flavor of  miyeok and its slightly chewy, slippery texture. 
 
As I explained in my miyeok guk with mussels post, this staple soup also is the soup that new moms eat for the first few weeks after giving birth because of the nutrients contained in miyeok that help with recovery and the production of breast milk. 
 
In Korea, this soup is part of the hospital diet for new moms. If you’re in America, your Korean mother (or mother-in-law) probably brought a big insulated jar of it to the hospital to feed you after your childbirth.
 
Because of this soup’s association with childbirth, it’s also a Korean tradition to eat miyeok guk on birthdays.

Here, I made it with beef. There are two common ways to make a Korean beef soup base.

The method I used here is the quicker method. The thinly sliced beef is seasoned with soup soy sauce and sautéed before being boiled in water.

The other method boils the big chunk of meat with aromatic vegetables for a long time until tender. The meat is then shredded and added to the soup. I often use the latter method for a deeper flavor when I have time. See my tteokguk recipe for instructions for making the beef broth using the longer method.

For Korean beef soups, brisket (양지머리, yangjimeori) is the best cut to use. While the brisket takes longer to cook than some other cuts, the resulting broth is much more flavorful.

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If you tried this miyeokguk recipe, please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out for you in the comment section below.  Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

DSC 3929 150x150 1 - Miyeok Guk (Beef Seaweed Soup)

Miyeok Guk (Beef Seaweed Soup)

4.18 from 29 votes
Servings: 6
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces dried miyeok yields about 3 cups soaked
  • 5 ounces beef stew meat or brisket
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons soup soy sauce gukganjang
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 10 cups water

Instructions

  • Soak the dried miyeok per package instructions (usually 10 to 20 min) or until miyeok turns soft and plump. Rinse twice. Drain well, and cut into bite sizes.
  • Cut the beef into thin bite size pieces. Marinate with 1 tablespoon of soup soy sauce, garlic, and a pinch of pepper.
    DSC 1610 e1459308127463 - Miyeok Guk (Beef Seaweed Soup)
  • Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Sauté the meat with the sesame oil just until the meat is no longer red.
    DSC 2211 e1459308235678 - Miyeok Guk (Beef Seaweed Soup)
  • Add the miyeok and 1 tablespoon of soup soy sauce, and continue to sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.
    DSC 2231 e1459308345892 - Miyeok Guk (Beef Seaweed Soup)
  • Add the water, and bring it to a boil. Skim off any scum. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat to medium low. Boil, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes until the meat is tender and the broth is slightly milky.
    DSC 2236 e1459308433333 - Miyeok Guk (Beef Seaweed Soup)
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!

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Comments

  1. Hi, if using the tteokguk recipe as the soup base, when would you throw in the seaweed? Thank you!

    • oh so sorry for the late reply. Saute the miyeok with sesame oil and soy sauce and then add the prepared beef broth.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I recently decided to learn how to cook Korean cuisine so I can cook my husband 미역국 for his birthday and give him some tasty food when he misses his mother country. I have also successfully cooked 돼지갈비찜 thanks to your recipes.
    감사합니다.

  3. 5 stars
    My Korean mother in law lives with my husband and I. I am half Korean but I never really needed to cook Korean food until now. Your recipes have saved my life! Thank you and it was delicious!

  4. Maria V. Salvadó says

    5 stars
    Love this soups in here.. Myoekguk was the first Korean soup I learned. Thank you for the opportunity to make it well

  5. How would you modify this recipe to make it vegetarian/vegan friendly? Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    Why is my soup broth brown? I followed everything, but it’s not as pretty… Please help

  7. 5 stars
    Making this tonight and I told my kids… They said, “Yessssssss…” Always a winner! 🙂 Thanks for the great recipes!

  8. 5 stars
    Hi, could i use homemade chicken broth as the base for this soup? Instead of the 10 cups of water. Thanks for sharing this recipe, i’m looking forward to trying it!

  9. I’m going to give this a try for my student worker’s 20th birthday. It looks good!

  10. Love your site! What is the recipe for the longer version of your beef miyuk-guk (cooking beef separately then shredding) that you mentioned in this recipe?

  11. LooooooooOoooooooove this!!! It tastes just like my Harmony’s!

  12. Myunghee Syin says

    This is probably my favorite Korean soup. Can I use seolleongtang (that I made before and froze) as the base for miyeok guk? Do I still need to saute the brisket with the seaweed and gukganjang? I don’t have any more brisket from the seolleongtang left so I want to add a fresh brisket to the miyeokguk.

  13. Hello! Thank you very much for your recipe!
    Can I double this recipe and turn out ok?

  14. Hi
    Can i add silken tofu into this soup? Will it spoil the taste?

  15. Hi…
    Thanks For Your Recipes…
    i wanted to know what do u mean of (miyeok)?…I mean What kind of vegetable it is in english? And if i could not to get it what kind of vegetable i can use instead of it?
    im thankful if u reply on me…

    • Miyeok is a sea vegetable (edible seaweed) and also known as wakame in America. There’s really no substitute for this soup because the soup is made with miyeok is called miyeok guk. If it’s made something else, it won’t be miyeok guk.

  16. Hi! I tried making this tonight as a practice for when I give birth (I’m a month away!), but I realized after making it that it was… Missing a little something from what I remember my grandma made. I’m not exactly sure what it could be! It lacked any actual taste, and all I tasted was saltiness… Should/could I add some sogogi dashida next time?

    • I don’t use sogogi dashida, but you can if you’re used to do it. It’s a flavor enhancer which, I believe, has MSG in it.

  17. Hi, can I use the beef and also mussels? If I can do i just wash the mussels with water and add them in the end? Thank u so much! I always come to your site for recipes =)

  18. Beautiful recipe! My mother in law makes it and it is so yummy that I have been afraid to try and and life up to hers! But you make it so simple. Just had a baby (half korean!), so have to make it! 🙂

  19. Hi! I’m going to try this tomorrow. I just have one question- is it possible to overcook wakame? If after 30 minutes my beef is still not as tender as I’d like it to be and I decide to simmer it even longer, can wakame overcook and become too soggy or something?

    • You can simmer it longer. Wakame will turn soft but it will be okay. You can also stir fry the meat first and boil for a while before adding the wakame. Sorry about the late reply. I just came back from a trip and had limited internet access. If you already made it, hope it turned out well. Thanks for using my recipe! Cheers!

  20. 18 yrs ago after the birth of my last daughter my Korean sister in law made me a pot of miyeokguk everyday for a week and was addomate that I ate it..
    All she would say is this is good for woman after birth it’s good for u eateat loved it. Thank you for reciepe

    • Yes that’s what we Koreans do. Eat this soup until you can’t even look at it anymore after giving birth. Nice sister-in-law!

  21. Thank you for your recipe. How do you make this recipe with chicken?

  22. A friend of mine made this 4 me after I told her how much I loved it when being at a Korean Spa. My was it delicious. I ate it till it was gone and was upset there was no more. NiNi I thank God for you and the recipe from MOM’s HOME COOKING.

  23. This was one of my favorite instant soups when I lived in Korea. I would dump a heap of lemon vinegar into it (which I was faulted for by any Korean who ate it). Would love to make it from scratch, which I hope I can do as there is an HMart right by where I work now.

  24. MyBoobear27 says

    What would be the best beef I can buy at the supermarket to use for the soup?

    • Hyosun Ro says

      Either stew meat or brisket, but you can use any flavorful cut, like flank steak, short ribs, etc. If using a tough cut of meat, you’ll need to cook longer. Hope this helps. Enjoy!

  25. How do I store this? I I feel like I should put in the fridge but I remember my mom used to leave it out..

    • You can leave it out for a few hours if room temperature is cool, but I generally keep it in the fridge to be safe. Or freeze if I’m not going to eat it within 3 to 4 days. Hope this helps.

    • Women in Korea typically leave these soups and stews on or near the stovetop. Every morning, they turn on high heat to bring it to a boil and then turn it off after 5 minutes of boiling in order to kill bacteria. This is done for a few days until it is all eaten and is done in addition to heating up for a meal. My late wife, who was Korean, did this all the time and the soups and stews never tasted bad, went bad, or made any of us sick.

  26. can i use normal soy sauce which is not gukganjang? And is normal soy sauce and gukganjang different?

    • Yes, they are different. Not a good substitute. The regular soy sauce. will be too sweet and dark. You can use a little bit if you want and season more with salt. A better substitute is fish sauce, which is sometimes used in Korean soups. Hope this helps.

  27. Been looking for great Korean recipes so I can make it for my children because I want them to embrace their heritage!!! Thanks for all these!

  28. Geraldine sz says

    What is the diference btw wakame cut and ottogi cut ? I got both and don’t know wish one is better fot the soup?

    • “Ottogi” usually means a brand name. Both may simply mean they are pre-cut. If that’s the case, either one should be fine. If this is not answering your question, please send me photos of them.

  29. cooking. eating. carousing. says

    I love miyeokguk, so nutritious. Thank you Hyosun for this recipe, it is my go-to recipe when I’m craving for some.

  30. If you use the beef broth from the ddukguk recipe, what changes here? Would I just saute the seaweed first then? Or still saute the meat, add seaweed/soy sauce, then the stock? Thanks for your help! -Ami

    • Hi Ami – Yes saute the miyeok first and then add the broth. You don’t need to saute the cooked meat. The meat from the ddukguk/tteokguk recipe should be very tender, so you can add it to the soup with a few minutes remaining. Hope this helps.

  31. Came out delicious! I made this for my Grandmother’s birthday and she loved it! Thanks.

    • Hi Sophia – I’m so happy to hear your grandmother loved it. I’m sure the soup was extra delicious because of your love for her. Happy birthday to grandma!

  32. Coocking easy way... says

    Great recipe. I love it because is goid snd makes you strong.