Traditional Korean Style Seaweed Soup Recipe To Warm Your Soul

“Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Korea with our Korean Style Seaweed Soup Recipe, a delicate balance of umami, warmth, and nourishing goodness. Dive into the tradition of simmering seaweed, a treasure from the ocean, with savory broth and tender bites of meat. This soup is a harmonious dance of flavors, celebrating the simplicity and depth of Korean cuisine. Every spoonful brings a wave of comfort and rejuvenation, making it a perfect dish to savor and enjoy in any season.”

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Imagine the allure of a warm bowl, the harmonious dance of the sea’s bounty, and the traditional Korean flavors with Korean style Seaweed Soup recipe. We’re delving into the heart of Miyeok Guk – Korea’s beloved seaweed soup, and unraveling its soulful culinary tapestry. 

Korean style Seaweed Soup recipe

This humble dish, steeped in nutrition and tradition, carries tales of mothers’ care, birthday celebrations, and healing remedies. It’s not just about savoring a meal; it’s about understanding a culture, a tradition, a way of life.

Let’s journey together, spoonful by spoonful, into the vibrant world of Korean cuisine through the delicate threads of this beautifully soothing soup. Ready? The ocean’s green embrace awaits.

What Is Korean Style Seaweed Soup?

The Korean Seaweed Soup, or Miyeok Guk, begins with a broth made from beef or seafood. Softened seaweed, or miyeok, is sautéed with sesame oil and garlic, then simmered in the broth for a rich, umami flavor.

Some add tender pieces of beef, tofu, or clams for extra depth. The result is a nourishing soup, often served with rice, that’s a staple in Korean households – celebrated for its health benefits and traditionally enjoyed on birthdays and by new mothers for postpartum recovery.

History Of Korean Style Seaweed Soup Recipe

Miyeok Guk, or Korean Seaweed Soup, has a deep-seated place in Korean culture and history. Its origins can be traced back to ancient times when seaweed, abundant along Korea’s coastlines, became a dietary staple. 

Over centuries, Miyeok Guk evolved into a symbol of celebration and rejuvenation. It’s traditionally served on birthdays, paying homage to the mother’s first meal after childbirth, signifying the soup’s rich nutrients aiding in her recovery. 

This beloved tradition has cemented Miyeok Guk’s status as a quintessential comfort food, bridging the gap between sustenance, celebration, and a heartwarming gesture of care.

Interesting Facts About Korean Style Seaweed Soup Recipe

  • Nutritional Powerhouse: Miyeok Guk is rich in minerals and vitamins such as iodine, calcium, and vitamin B. The soup is lauded for its numerous health benefits, including boosting the immune system, improving heart health, and aiding in digestion.
  • Birthday Tradition: In Korean culture, consuming Miyeok Guk on your birthday is a tradition. This is a nod to a mother’s first meal post-childbirth, signifying the soup’s role in her recovery.
  • New Mother’s Diet: Postpartum women are given Miyeok Guk because of its high nutrient content, which is believed to assist in recovery and milk production.
  • Seaweed Harvest: The seaweed used in Miyeok Guk, also known as wakame, is harvested mainly during the spring months.
  • Symbolic Meal: The soup is often served during the Korean harvest festival, Chuseok, symbolizing a successful harvest and the ocean’s bounty.
  • Easy Adaptation: The base recipe is easily adaptable. Add tofu, shellfish, or even make it vegan using vegetable broth.

What Makes The Korean Style Seaweed Soup Special?

  • Cultural Significance: Its traditional consumption during birthdays and post-childbirth signifies the deep cultural value it holds. It’s more than a soup; it symbolizes celebration, longevity, and healing.
  • Nutritional Value: Seaweed is a nutritional powerhouse packed with iodine, calcium, and vitamins. It’s beneficial for the immune system, heart health, and digestion.
  • Flexibility: Miyeok Guk is highly adaptable, allowing for variations using beef, shellfish, tofu, or a simple vegetable broth, making it suitable for various diets.
  • Flavor Profile: The soup’s unique, savory flavor, resulting from the umami-rich seaweed and the aromatic broth, distinguishes it from other soups.
  • Timelessness: This age-old recipe has stood the test of time, passed down through generations, standing firm as a pillar of Korean culinary tradition.
Korean style Seaweed Soup recipe

Ingredients List

Dried wakame (brown) seaweed1 ounce
Sesame oil2 teaspoons
Extra lean ground beef1/2 cup
Salt1 teaspoon
Soy sauce1 1/2 tablespoons
Minced garlic1 teaspoon
Water7 cups

Ingredient Tips 

  • Seaweed: For the best flavor, opt for good quality dried seaweed, which you can usually find in Asian supermarkets. Soak it properly to rehydrate before cooking.
  • Broth: Whether you’re using beef, anchovy, or a vegetarian option, ensure your broth is flavorful, as it significantly contributes to the taste of the soup.
  • Beef: If using beef, choose a cut like brisket or shank that becomes tender and flavorful when simmered.
  • Sesame Oil: Don’t skip the sesame oil when sautéing the seaweed; it adds a distinct nutty flavor that enhances the overall taste.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced garlic will offer the best flavor, but garlic powder can work in a pinch.
  • Seasoning: The soup is traditionally lightly seasoned to let the seaweed’s unique flavor shine. Add salt and soy sauce gradually, tasting as you go.
  • Add-Ins: Feel free to experiment with add-ins like tofu, clams, or mushrooms for an extra layer of flavor and texture.

Can You Vary The Korean Style Seaweed Soup With Other Ingredients?

The beauty of Miyeok Guk is its adaptability. Here’s how you can modify the recipe to suit different dietary needs:

  • Keto & Paleo: Traditional Miyeok Guk is already Keto and Paleo-friendly since it is primarily meat and seaweed. Just ensure the broth used doesn’t contain any sugars or non-compliant ingredients.
  • Gluten-Free: Miyeok Guk is inherently gluten-free, but make sure to check your soy sauce. Opt for Tamari or a certified gluten-free soy sauce.
  • Whole30: For Whole30, use compliant broth and replace traditional soy sauce with coconut aminos for a similar salty, umami flavor.
  • Vegetarian & Vegan: For a vegetarian or vegan version, replace the beef or seafood broth with a rich vegetable broth. If you like, add in firm tofu for additional protein.
Korean style Seaweed Soup recipe

Recipe Directions

  • Soak the seaweed in enough water to cover it. Once softened, drain and cut into 2-inch pieces.
  • Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the beef, sesame oil, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the seaweed and remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
  • Pour in 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in the garlic and the remaining 4 cups of water. Bring it back to a boil.
  • Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Taste and season with additional salt if needed.
  • Serve the soup hot, ideally with rice, for a traditional Korean meal.
Korean style Seaweed Soup recipe

Variations ,Add-Ons And Toppings

Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) is quite versatile and can be easily varied to suit your personal preferences or dietary needs. Here are some variations, add-ons, and toppings you can consider:


  • Seafood Miyeok Guk: Swap the beef for shellfish like clams or mussels for a different flavor profile. Seafood pairs wonderfully with the seaweed, creating a more oceanic taste.
  • Tofu Miyeok Guk: If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan option, replace the beef with firm tofu. Ensure to use vegetable broth instead of beef broth for a fully plant-based soup.
  • Mushroom Miyeok Guk: Mushrooms can be added for a boost of umami. Shiitake mushrooms, in particular, work well due to their meaty texture and rich flavor.


  • Chilies or Spicy Paste: For those who enjoy a kick, adding some Korean chili flakes (gochugaru) or spicy paste (gochujang) can provide a heat element to the soup.
  • Additional Vegetables: To make it even more nutritious, you could add other vegetables like spinach, zucchini, or carrots. Ensure they’re cut small or thinly sliced for a harmonious texture.

Scaling The Recipe

Scaling a recipe up or down is straightforward once you understand the basic ratio of ingredients. You need to maintain the same proportions for the Korean-style Seaweed Soup recipe.

To Scale Up

  • If you’re scaling up to serve more people, simply double or triple the amounts of all ingredients. For instance, if the original recipe serves 4, and you want to serve 8, just double the amount of seaweed, beef, sesame oil, soy sauce, water, and garlic.

To Scale Down

  • If you’re cooking for fewer people, halve or quarter the quantities of all ingredients. Be aware, however, that scaling down a recipe can sometimes affect the cooking time. Since there is less volume in the pot, the soup may take less time to reach a simmer or boil.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) is traditionally quite simple and often doesn’t require a lot of garnishing. However, to add color, extra flavor, and visual appeal, the following can be used:

  • Green Onions: Chopped green onions add a fresh and vibrant touch to the soup.
  • Sesame Seeds: Lightly toasted sesame seeds can be sprinkled over the top for a subtle, nutty flavor and a bit of crunch.
  • Seaweed Strips: Thinly sliced, crispy seaweed strips can add a contrasting texture and reinforce the seaweed flavor.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, a sprinkle of Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) can add a dash of color and mild spiciness.
  • Can I Make Korean Style Seaweed Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?
  • Both the slow cooker and Instant Pot can be used for making Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk). Here’s how:
Korean style Seaweed Soup recipe

Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Follow the recipe as usual for preparing the seaweed and sautéing the beef with sesame oil and soy sauce.
  • Transfer the sautéed ingredients to your slow cooker, add garlic and water, then cover and set to low.
  • Let it cook for about 6-8 hours. A longer cooking time will allow the flavors to meld together even more, enhancing the overall depth of the soup.

Instant Pot

  • Use the “Sauté” mode on your Instant Pot to sauté the beef with sesame oil and soy sauce, then add the prepared seaweed.
  • Add the garlic and water, secure the lid, and set the Instant Pot to the “Soup” setting.
  • Cook on high pressure for about 20-30 minutes. Once the time is up, allow for natural pressure release for the best texture and flavor.

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can definitely use store-bought broth for convenience in making Korean-style Seaweed Soup, but homemade broth is often preferred for its depth of flavor and ability to control ingredients.

Store-Bought Broth

  • It’s a quick and easy option, saving time. Look for low-sodium versions so you can control the saltiness of your soup. Beef, chicken, or vegetable broths can all be used, but try to find a Korean-style anchovy or dashi broth for an authentic taste.

Homemade Broth

  • Making your own broth allows for more control over the flavor and ingredients. You can use beef bones, chicken bones, or a mix of seaweed, dried mushrooms, and anchovies for a flavorful Korean-style broth.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) is quite versatile, and you can use different ingredients to suit your personal taste or dietary needs. Here are some ideas:


  • Chicken: Chicken can be a delicious alternative to beef, offering a lighter flavor.
  • Shellfish: Clams or mussels can give the soup an oceanic flavor. Ensure the shellfish is thoroughly cleaned before adding it.
  • Fish: A firm white fish can be used, but remember it may break apart during cooking, affecting the soup’s texture.


  • While pasta is not traditionally included in Miyeok Guk, you could add some Korean glass noodles (dangmyeon) if you desire extra heartiness. Remember to soak them in warm water until softened before adding.


  • Mushrooms: Shiitake or oyster mushrooms can provide an umami punch and a meaty texture.
  • Spinach: For added nutrition, consider adding spinach towards the end of cooking so it retains its bright green color.
  • Zucchini: Thinly sliced zucchini can provide additional flavor and texture.
Korean style Seaweed Soup recipe

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making Soup

Making soup can be quite simple, but a few tips and tricks can elevate your soup-making game to the next level. Here are some general soup-making tips, as well as some specific to Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk):

Success Tips

  • Select High-Quality Seaweed (Miyeok): Choose fresh, high-quality seaweed for the best flavor and texture. Look for dried seaweed that is clean, without impurities or excessive salt.
  • Rehydrate Seaweed Properly: If using dried seaweed, rehydrate it according to the package instructions. Typically, soaking it in water for about 20-30 minutes is sufficient.
  • Homemade Anchovy Broth: Prepare a flavorful anchovy broth as the base for the soup. Simmer dried anchovies and dried kelp in water to create a rich and umami-filled broth.
  • Sauté Aromatics: Begin by sautéing garlic and ginger in sesame oil. This forms a fragrant base for the soup, enhancing its overall depth of flavor.
  • Add Vegetables: Include a variety of vegetables, such as julienned carrots and thinly sliced mushrooms, to add color, nutrients, and texture to the soup.
  • Balanced Seasoning: Use soy sauce for a savory base. Be mindful of the saltiness, especially if using store-bought broth. Adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Prepping Tips

  • Quality Ingredients: For the best flavor, use high-quality ingredients. This is particularly important for the broth and seaweed when making Miyeok Guk.
  • Soak the Seaweed: Properly soak and rinse the dried seaweed to remove any potential grittiness and rehydrate it.
  • Prep Ahead: If possible, chop all your ingredients ahead of time. Having everything ready before you start cooking can make the process much smoother.

Cooking Tips

  • Sautéing: For Miyeok Guk, don’t skip sautéing the seaweed with sesame oil. This step brings out a deeper flavor in the seaweed and forms the flavor base of the soup.
  • Temperature Control: Soups are usually better when cooked on low to medium heat for longer, allowing the flavors to meld together. Boiling too vigorously can cause ingredients to break down too much and lead to a loss of taste.
  • Taste as You Go: Always taste your soup throughout cooking and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Rest Time: If time allows, let your soup sit for a few hours or even overnight before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to blend and deepen.
  • Skim the Fat: If you’re using a meat-based broth, you might have some fat on the surface. Skimming off the fat can lead to a cleaner flavor.
Korean style Seaweed Soup recipe

Nutritional Values

Korean Style Seaweed Soup is a nutritious dish rich in essential nutrients. With only 250 calories per serving, it provides a balanced combination of protein (20g) and healthy fats (10g). 

Packed with dietary fiber (2g) and low in sugars (1g), it promotes digestive health. Additionally, it contains Vitamin A (500IU), Vitamin C (10mg), and Calcium (50mg), supporting immunity and bone health. Enjoy this flavorful soup as part of a well-rounded meal.

What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?

The total calories in Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) can vary depending on the exact amounts and types of ingredients used. However, a general estimate for serving this soup would be around 200-300 calories per serving.

This calculation considers a basic recipe with seaweed, a small amount of beef, sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic. Variations or additions such as extra meat, tofu, or added vegetables will alter the calorie count.

Dietary Restrictions Of Korean Style Seaweed Soup

Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) can accommodate various dietary restrictions with minor adjustments. Here are a few key considerations:

  • Gluten-Free: Miyeok Guk is typically gluten-free as long as the soy sauce is gluten-free. Be sure to check all other ingredient labels to ensure they don’t contain hidden gluten.
  • Dairy-Free: This soup is naturally dairy-free as it doesn’t contain any dairy products.
  • Nut-Free: Miyeok Guk is typically nut-free, but always check ingredient labels if you have a severe allergy.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: The traditional recipe contains beef, but it can easily be made vegetarian or vegan by omitting the beef and using vegetable broth. You can add tofu or mushrooms for extra protein and texture.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: While the soup is quite low in carbs, those strictly following a keto diet should ensure the carb count fits within their daily limit.
  • Halal/Kosher: The soup can be made Halal or Kosher by using certified Halal or Kosher ingredients and by substituting the beef with a permitted meat or omitting it entirely.
  • Shellfish Allergy: Traditional Korean soup stock may use dried anchovies or shellfish. If you’re making this at home, you can use a store that fits your dietary needs.

Health Benefits Of Korean Style Seaweed Soup

Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) is not only flavorful, but it’s also packed with several health benefits due to its primary ingredient, seaweed. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Rich in Nutrients: Seaweed is known to be a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s rich in iodine, which is necessary for proper thyroid function. Additionally, it contains good amounts of vitamins A, C, E, and K and several B vitamins.
  • High in Antioxidants: Seaweed contains antioxidants that can help protect your body from cell damage.
  • Good for Digestion: Seaweed is high in fiber, which aids in digestion and helps to keep you feeling full.
  • Heart Health: Some studies suggest that seaweed can help lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Bone Health: Seaweed contains calcium and magnesium, important for maintaining strong bones.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Seaweed has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Weight Control: Due to its high fiber and low-calorie content, seaweed can contribute to weight management by promoting a feeling of fullness.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

How Can I Make Korean Style Seaweed Soup Lower In Sodium? 

Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) can be high in sodium due to the use of soy sauce and, in some cases, the addition of salt or salted broth. If you’re looking to reduce the sodium content, here are some strategies:

  • Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: Use a low-sodium soy sauce or tamari. These alternatives can provide a similar flavor with significantly less sodium.
  • Reduce Salt: If the recipe calls for added salt, try reducing the amount or omit it altogether. The natural flavors of the seaweed, beef, and garlic, and sesame oil can provide ample flavor without extra salt.
  • Homemade Broth: If using a broth, opt for homemade versions where you can control the salt content. Store-bought broths can be quite high in sodium.
  • Rinse Seaweed Thoroughly: If your seaweed is pre-salted, make sure to rinse it well before use.
  • Flavor Enhancers: Boost flavor with ingredients like garlic, ginger, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. These can add depth and complexity to the soup without adding extra sodium.

How Can I Make Korean-Style Seaweed Soup Lower In Sugar?

Traditional Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) is generally very low in sugar, as it doesn’t typically contain any added sugars or sweeteners. The main ingredients are seaweed, beef, garlic, sesame oil, and soy sauce, none of which are significant sources of sugar.

However, if you’re watching your sugar intake, be mindful of any variations or additions to the soup. For example, some store-bought broths can contain added sugars, so always check the labels. Similarly, if you choose to add any sauces or condiments to the soup, be aware that they might contain hidden sugars.

korean soup

How To Serve The Korean Style Seaweed Soup At Its Best?

Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) is traditionally served hot. Due to its high nutritional value, it is often a staple dish for breakfast in Korea, especially on birthdays and postpartum periods.

Here’s how to serve Miyeok Guk for the best experience:

  • Serving Bowl: Serve the soup in a deep bowl to keep it hot for longer and allow for easy consumption of broth and ingredients.
  • Accompaniments: Miyeok Guk is usually enjoyed with a bowl of steamed rice on the side. You can spoon the soup over the rice or eat them separately.
  • Side Dishes: In a traditional Korean meal, it’s common to have several banchan (side dishes) along with the soup. These can include kimchi, stir-fried vegetables, fermented soybean paste (doenjang), and more.
  • Garnish: Before serving, you can garnish the soup with sliced green onions or a sesame oil drizzle for an added flavor layer.
  • Serving Utensils: Provide a soup spoon for the broth and chopsticks for picking up the seaweed and meat pieces.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Korean Style Seaweed Soup Recipe

A traditional Korean meal often includes a variety of side dishes known as “banchan” to complement and balance out the main dish. Here are a few side dishes that pair well with Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk):

  • Kimchi: As a staple in Korean cuisine, kimchi provides a spicy, tangy contrast to the mild flavors of seaweed soup.
  • Gyeranjjim (Steamed Eggs): This soft, custardy dish contrasts the soup with a nice textural contrast.
  • Japchae (Glass Noodles Stir Fry): Japchae’s sweet and savory flavors can complement the more savory soup.
  • Jeon (Korean Pancakes): Whether they’re made with vegetables, seafood, or meat, Korean pancakes provide a delightful crispy counterpoint to the soup.
  • Bibimbap: A dish of warm rice topped with sautéed and seasoned vegetables, chili pepper paste, and a bit of sliced meat or an egg. It can be mixed together just before eating.
  • Dubu Jorim (Braised Tofu): This spicy braised tofu dish can add a bit more protein to the meal, especially if you opt for a vegetarian version of the soup.
  • Oi Muchim (Spicy Cucumber Salad): This refreshing salad can cleanse the palate and balance the soup’s richness.
korean soup

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) can typically be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days. Ensure it’s stored in a tightly sealed container to maintain its freshness and prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the fridge.

If you’d like to store it for a longer period, you can also freeze Miyeok Guk. Once cooled, pour the soup into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

When ready to eat, if refrigerated, reheat on the stove or in the microwave until piping hot. If frozen, you can thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat, or reheat it directly from frozen. Just ensure that the soup is heated thoroughly before consuming.

Can I Make The Soup In Advance?

You can prepare Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) in advance. In fact, like many soups and stews, Miyeok Guk often tastes even better the next day, as the flavors have more time to meld together.

To make the soup in advance, follow the recipe as directed and allow the soup to cool before storing. Once cooled, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate if you plan to use it within a few days. If you want to store it for longer, you can freeze it.

When you’re ready to serve the soup, reheat it gently on the stovetop until it’s hot. If you’ve frozen the soup, you can either thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating or reheat it directly from its frozen state. Just ensure the soup is piping hot all the way through before serving.

What Can We Do With The Leftovers? 

Leftover Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) is a treasure trove of culinary possibilities! Its versatile flavor profile makes it adaptable to numerous dishes. For instance, add it to a bowl of cooked rice for a comforting porridge-like meal. 

This simple blend offers a healthy, easy-to-digest option, particularly beneficial on colder days. Alternatively, consider using your leftover soup as a base for a noodle dish. Add cooked udon or soba noodles for a new take on your seaweed soup. 

Lastly, you could even enhance the soup with additional protein, such as tofu or extra beef, and a variety of vegetables for a hearty, one-pot meal.

korean soup

Special Tools/Equipment Needed 

Cooking Korean-style Seaweed Soup (Miyeok Guk) doesn’t require any special tools beyond what’s commonly found in most kitchens. Here’s a list of the essential tools:

  • Cutting Board And Knife: You’ll need these to chop the seaweed (if it’s not pre-cut), garlic, and any additional ingredients you might want to include.
  • Large Saucepan Or Soup Pot: A good-sized pot is essential for making the soup, allowing enough space for all the ingredients and for the soup to simmer without spilling over.
  • Stirring Spoon: This is needed to mix the ingredients while cooking.
  • Measuring Cups And Spoons: These will help you measure out the correct amounts of water, soy sauce, sesame oil, and any other ingredients that require precise cuts.
  • Strainer (optional): If you’re using dried seaweed, you’ll need a strainer to rinse and drain it after soaking.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use Fresh Seaweed Instead Of Dried Seaweed In My Soup?

Yes, you can use fresh seaweed, but it’s less commonly available than dried seaweed. If you’re using fresh seaweed, make sure to clean it thoroughly to remove any sand or salt. You won’t need to soak it like dried seaweed, but you may want to blanch it quickly to soften it before adding it to the soup.

Why Does My Korean-Style Seaweed Soup Taste Bitter?

Overcooking the seaweed can sometimes result in a bitter flavor. To avoid this, ensure you only cook the seaweed for the recommended time and simmer gently. It’s also possible that your dried seaweed is old, which could also result in bitterness.

What Type Of Beef Works Best For This Recipe?

For Miyeok Guk, a cut of beef with a bit of fat, like brisket or chuck, works well as it adds depth to the soup’s flavor. However, depending on your preference, you can also use leaner cuts or even ground beef.

Can I Use Chicken Or Vegetable Broth Instead Of Water In This Recipe?

Traditionally, this soup is made with water, but you can use chicken or vegetable broth for extra flavor. Just be mindful that the soup’s taste will change, and it may become less authentic.

What’s The Best Way To Rehydrate Dried Seaweed?

To rehydrate dried seaweed, soak it in a bowl of water. It will expand significantly, so use a large enough bowl. It typically takes about 20-30 minutes to rehydrate fully, but this can vary depending on the specific type and cut of the seaweed. Once it’s soft, drain and rinse it before adding it to the soup.

Traditional Korean Style Seaweed Soup Recipe To Warm Your Soul

Traditional Korean Style Seaweed Soup Recipe To Warm Your Soul

5 from 7 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time





Korean Style Seaweed Soup is a traditional Korean dish known for its simplicity and nourishing qualities. Made with dried wakame seaweed, lean ground beef, and a flavorful combination of sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and salt, this soup offers a delightful umami taste.


  • 1 Ounce 1 Dried Wakame (Brown) Seaweed

  • 2 Teaspoons 2 Sesame Oil

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Extra Lean Ground Beef

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Salt

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons 1 1/2 Soy Sauce

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Minced Garlic

  • 7 Cups 7 Water

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Soak the seaweed in enough water to cover it. Once softened, drain and cut into 2-inch pieces.
  • Cooking
    Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the beef, sesame oil, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 1 minute.
    Stir in the seaweed and remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
    Pour in 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Blending
    Stir in the garlic and the remaining 4 cups of water. Bring it back to a boil.
  • Final Touches
    Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes.
    Taste and season with additional salt if needed.
  • Serving
    Serve the soup hot, ideally with rice, for a traditional Korean meal.
  • Additional Options
    You can add tofu or shellfish to the soup for extra protein. Use vegetable broth and tofu instead of beef for a vegan version. For a gluten-free option, ensure to use gluten-free soy sauce.


  • Dried wakame seaweed can be found in most Asian grocery stores or online. Soak it in water for a few minutes before using, as it will rehydrate and expand.
  • For a healthier option, use extra lean ground beef or substitute it with lean ground turkey or chicken.
  • Adjust the amount of salt and soy sauce according to your taste preferences. Start with the recommended measurements and add more if needed.
  • Feel free to customize the soup by adding vegetables like sliced onions, carrots, or mushrooms for extra flavor and nutrients.
  • Be mindful of the sodium content, as both soy sauce and seaweed can be salty. Consider using reduced-sodium soy sauce if desired.
  • Garnish the soup with chopped green onions or toasted sesame seeds for added freshness and texture.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
  • This soup pairs well with steamed rice and other Korean side dishes like kimchi or pickled vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal.
Hanna Barnes

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