Korean Miyeok Guk~    Vegan, Korean Seaweed (Wakame) Soup

The weather in Ohio has been rainy and cold.  This brings back memories of my Oma cooking for our family Miyeok Guk in the fall and winter when we lived Korea and Minnesota.  The warmth from this very simple yet deliciously nourishing soup would fill our stomachs and radiate heat to the tips of our fingers and to our toes.  

Miyeok Guk is a very healing and immune boosting soup good for everyone.  Great to eat when you feel run down.  Miyeok Guk is often served to mothers right after giving birth to help rejuvenate her body and nourish the mother along with the nursing baby.  

Most of the time Miyeok Guk is made with beef broth, but often Oma made a vegan version.  This is the recipe I will share with you.  I find it to be as equally delicious and tasty.  I’ve tweeked her recipe a bit, but that is the beauty of traditional recipes that are handed down orally, you embrace them to make them your own ~ 고맙습니다 Oma!
Betty’s Vegan Miyeok Guk Recipe~
*Purchase these ingredients at a Korean or Japanese Grocer.  
NOTE:  this recipe is a guide.  Adjust spices and toasted sesame oil to your taste.  
Large Soup Pot
Clean kitchen shears
1- 90gm (30.8 oz) bag of dried Wakame *
12 Cups of filtered water
1 to 2 bulbs of fresh organic garlic-finely chopped or minced (fresh local garlic is best)
1 large organic onion-diced
40 gm fresh organic ginger- peeled and grated (ginger that is firm, not so large and watery is best)
3 Tbs sea salt
1 Tbs freshly ground black pepper corn
3 Tbs roasted sesame oil (Korean or Japanese brand)*
1 Tbs Eden Organic Fermented Brown Rice Vinegar (if you can’t find this brand, then use regular organic fermented apple cider vinegar.) I would not add extra vinegar to soup.  
Bring 12 cups of filtered water in large soup pot to a boil.
Add your wakame to the pot.
As wakame rehydrates it will expand.  Take a clean kitchen shear and cut the wakame into smaller bite size pieces. 
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer briskly for 2 – 3 hours on the stove. 
Garlic bulbs-you may want to just add 1 diced bulb (1 bulb contains about 6 individual cloves, depending on the size of the cloves ), let the soup simmer briskly for 30 minutes, then taste and add additional garlic cloves as desired.  I love the sweet garlic taste of this soup so I use 2 bulbs.
With all the spices, seasonings, and sesame oil, adjust to your taste.  Add extra in small amounts.  
Serve over cooked whole grains such as cooked brown rice, cooked quinoa, cooked millet, or a combination of cooked grains.  
Toppings to add are gochujang, kimchi, sesame seeds…..
You can find recipes to make my homemade (click to get link)  gluten free gochujang and Oma’s Kimchi on my earlier blogs. 
Cook on low for 8-10 ours, cook on high for 4-6 hours .  Longer the soup cooks, the better.
Depending on how large your crockpot is, you may have to decrease water and wakame amount. 
Place wakame in crockpot.  Soak wakame in 4 cups hot filtered water. After it rehydrates and expands, cut into small bite size pieces. 
Follow the directions as for the stovetop method.  
Health benefits of seaweed are wonderful and this is a super food!  As one of my Ayurvedic Teachers stated~ the highest dharma a plant has is to be eaten and offer it’s life giving prank.  
  • High protein content: from 20% in green algae to 70% in spirulina.
  • High mineral content, especially: iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium.
  • More vitamin C than oranges.
  • Natural iodine maintaining a healthy thyroid function.
  • Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties
  • Large proportion of natural, organic iodine aiding in maintaining a healthy thyroid function.
  • One of the richest plant sources of calcium.
  • Polysaccharides: important in the prevention of degenerative diseases including cardiovascular and diabetes 2,  improves liver function, stabilizes blood sugar.

Here is a link to learn more about the types of seaweed available as food: