Seaweed Soup

Meet Callum… Born July 2nd! Doesn’t his mom look great?!?

My good friend just had her first child, Callum.  I don’t know what it’s like to have a newborn in the house, but I’m pretty sure there’s limited or no time for cooking!  Now that I have all the time in the world as I’m done with summer school, I decided to make dinner for her and her husband.

First dish that came to mind was seaweed soup.  Don’t worry.  I asked the mother first if she’s daring enough to try it ;).  The word seaweed doesn’t usually scream out “eat me!”  I wish I could make it for all my friends with newborns…ahem, Maura!

In Korea, this soup is traditionally eaten by women who just have just given birth, as seaweed detoxifies and cleanses the blood, replenishes and nourishes the body with vitamins and minerals lost during pregnancy, and stimulates milk production.  It’s filled with folic acid, iodine, and calcium.  Mothers usually eat this soup everyday for about 3 months.

We don’t fool around with this tradition.  My mom actually went to Korea and shipped back a huge box containing just seaweed so she could make it for my sister who had her baby back in February.

In addition, this soup is also eaten on birthdays.  The reason being that it was the first thing the moms ate after delivering and the first thing one would eat as a baby through his/her mom’s breast milk.  Korea’s full of traditions, and I’m so happy to be able to share these little bits of my culture with you.

Seaweed soup is made with either beef or seafood (e.g. mussels or clams) as a base.  I made mine with flank steak.  It’s super easy with minimal ingredients.  This allows the flavor of the seaweed to really shine through!

Seaweed Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. dried seaweed *
  • 4 oz. flank steak, sliced
  • 3 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbs. garlic (optional)
  • 3 1/2 cups of water

* Available in all Korean groceries.  I’ve seen it in some but not all Asian groceries.

Directions:

  1. Soak dried seaweed in cold water for at least 30 min. until softened.
  2. Drain water and cut into bite-sized pieces (I used my kitchen scissors).
  3. In a pot, cook flank steak on med high heat with sesame oil.  Add seaweed and cook, approx. 8 min.  Add 1 Tbs soy sauce and garlic.  Keep mixing.
  4. Add water.  Boil for approx. 25 min.  May need to add more if soup gets too thick.
  5. Add rest of soy sauce to taste.

Before and After soaking

I also made some bulgogi, brown rice, and kimchi cooked in sesame oil.

Meal complete!

Hello Callum!

Question:

What are some foods that your family traditionally makes for a new mommy?

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22 Responses to Seaweed Soup

  1. Aww, congratulations to your friend. She and her partner look so happy and their baby is gorgeous! I’m sure your soup will help her out heaps, that was very kind of you 🙂

    • Min says:

      They’re super happy! Exhausted…but happy ;). Do you think you’ll be able to try it since you’re afraid of seaweeds? hehe.

  2. Wow that sounds really cool and really healthy! That’s such a neat tradition 🙂

    • Min says:

      It’s super healthy, and I eat it a lot even though I’m not nursing hehe. I can’t wait to be a mother so i can eat it everyday..along with many other reasons 🙂

  3. Courtney says:

    What a cool tradition! Do mothers in Korea get sick of eating it for so long, or do the variations (beef, seafood) keep it from getting boring?

    • Min says:

      Oh they get tired of it, for sure! My sister didn’t even want to look at it at one point. Personally, I don’t think I’ll feel that way…but who knows 😉

  4. I love seaweed (especially seaweed salad) so this soup sounds divine! In Hindu culture, pregnant women are encouraged to eat a spoonful of ghee daily for the sake of nurturing the baby!

    • Min says:

      Ghee? I always thought of it as a food to avoid. Is it considered a healthy source of fat? Spoonful? Just by itself? That’s very interesting! I love learning about all these cultural traditions! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Can I fly you over here so we can eat seaweed soup together after the baby comes?? 🙂 Your friend is so lucky to have you nearby!

    One of my best friends ate a LOT of this seaweed soup after her delivery, and I thought it was really good! My mom made me homemade miso soup with lots of wakame after I had Malia, but I don’t know if there are specific Japanese foods for post-delivery. I’ll ask her to make me some of your soup!!

    • Min says:

      Offer accepted! So when should I go? hehe.
      I had to look up wakame, and it’s actually the same thing as miyeuk which is seaweed :).
      I want your homemade miso soup recipe!! I’m so glad your mom is there to care for you!!

  6. eatpraytri says:

    hey your blog looks different!! Callum is such a cool name I can’t get over it. 🙂

    • Min says:

      Yes yes..Some changes are happening around here so stay tuned ;). I know right? Love that name!! People are so creative with names these days!

  7. The word “seaweed” most definitely DOES scream “eat me!” 🙂 I loooooove seaweed, and typically eat at least one package of seaweed snacks (Annie Chun’s or SeaSnax) daily. One of my former co-workers was Korean and she thought my mass seaweed consumption was hilarious. She told me about the seaweed soup tradition, so we always joked that I was hiding a brothel of kids. Haha! 😉

    Congratulations to your friend! Callum is gorgeous! And it was so kind of you to make a batch of this delicious soup. I’d love to try it with flank steak!

    xoxo ❤

    • Min says:

      PUhahhaha!! Sara, you always crack me up! “hiding a brothel of kids..” 🙂
      Since you’re a huge fan of seaweed, I think you’ll love the soup! So nutritious and yummy! Then you can have your fro-yo fix 😉

  8. I love seaweed, seriously! This soup looks so so good!

  9. That soup sounds very interesting..and very delicious! I love this tradition!
    I have never tried seawood before perhaps not knowing what to do with it..but now that you posted this soup, I will have to give it a try!

    • Min says:

      It’s one of those recipes that makes me think of my mom every time I eat it! I hope you’ll give it a try. Seaweed is good stuff! 😉

  10. Gabby says:

    That’s very interesting info! I love learning about other cultures!
    The food looks 100% fantastic. 🙂

  11. Corrie Anne says:

    I love that name — Callum!! What a cutie!

  12. Pingback: Making the most of November |

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