Miyeok Guk. Sounds Funny. Tastes Delicious.

By Amy S. Choi

Eat this after you have a baby. Or any other time.

Photo credit: jacqueline/flickr
It can be tough for a new mom out there. Here in ‘Murrica, we can be all about getting your body “back,” fighting for your right to breastfeed, fighting against judgement for not breastfeeding, and basically doing everything other than recovering from giving birth, getting your head around this monumental shift in your life, and snuggling your new tiny human. Not super fun. Other cultures are not so hardcore. People around the world all celebrate and honor new motherhood differently, but one of the most important ways is by eating delicious, healing, nutritious food. We are down with that. In the first of a series on postpartum food traditions from around the world, Amy offers up her recipe for miyeok guk, or a traditional seaweed soup eaten by the potful by Korean moms. It’s soothing, yummy, hydrating and packed with calcium, iodine and iron. She’s made it for all her Mash-Up mommy friends. It has been known to also feed a few sleepy dads. Enjoy.

Amy’s Miyeok Guk Miyeok Guk is sometimes called “birthday soup,” because Koreans will often serve it at birthday celebrations as a delicious reminder of the biggest and best birthday of all — the day you entered the world.

1 lb beef marrow bones, or other beef stock soup bones

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 onion, peeled and quartered

5 whole peppercorns

8 cups water

1 cup dried sliced wakame (can be found in Asian grocers or online)

1 14-oz brick firm organic tofu, sliced into half-inch cubes

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


Place beef bones, garlic, onion, and whole peppercorns into large soup pot, cover with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for at least 1 hour. After the stock is infused and deliciously beefy, scoop out the marrow with a skinny spoon and stir it in the soup and remove bones. Add wakame and simmer for another 30 minutes, until it is unfurled and tender. Add tofu cubes and heat through. Season generously with salt and pepper. It will keep for a week in the fridge, freezes well, and the recipe easily doubles. Serve hot in bowls or mugs to new moms, new dads, and pretty much anyone who loves good soup. [Editor’s note: That means everyone.]