Food Recipe

Miyeok Guk. Sounds Funny. Tastes Delicious.

Photo credit: jacqueline/flickr
Eat this after you have a baby. Or any other time.
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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.

Photo credit: jacqueline/flickr

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.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Korean
Servings 6


  • 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.]
Posted by Amy S. Choi
Amy is co-founder and editorial director of The Mash-Up Americans. She specializes in getting people to tell stories they never expected to share. She's mom to two Korean-Colombian-Mexican-American kids, aka The Future of America. You can follow her @awesomechoi and find her in Brooklyn.

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