Miyeokguk is a highly nutritious Korean soup that is made of Wakame (ワカメ), a type of edible seaweed. Wakame has a sweet flavour and it is a popular ingredient of a number of soups and salads. Miyeok is the Korean word for wakame and -as many of you probably know by now- guk means soup.
Miyeokguk has a considerably high amount of calcium and iodine and that makes it a very popular soup among women recently gave birth, as those two are very important nutrients for nursing mothers. Many women also consume it during their pregnancy. For the very same reasons, this soup is also traditionally enjoyed at birthdays. It is seen as the first meal consumed by the mother who passes it on to her baby through the milk.
The main ingredient of this soup is of course miyeok, but as in many other Korean foods, there are a lot of variations of Miyeokguk that can be made by adding different ingredients, according to your preferences. You can make it with beef, with several seafood such as oyster, fish, clam or sea urchin or even with chicken! You can also easily make a vegetarian version.
Miyeokguk is a very popular soup both in homes and restaurants -and hospitals!- in Korea for good reasons. If you travel to Korea one day, I think you should give this one a try. Don’t forget to check the recipes of different versions down below.