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Traditional Korean Seaweed Soup Recipe

Koreans have long enjoyed the health benefits of seaweed soup, called mi-yuk gook.

In Korean culture, seaweed soup is considered a must for pregnant and nursing women, as eating seaweed is an effective way of stimulating healthy breast milk production.

Seaweed is also given to students, usually without fail on the night before an important exam, as seaweed is believed to support optimal brain function.

If you have access to a local Korean market and can find the variety of seaweed used to make mi-yuk gook, give the following traditional Korean seaweed soup recipe a try - it's an acquired taste for some people, but once it sticks, don't be surprised if it becomes a staple in your kitchen.


1 package of dried seaweed (1 ounce is fine for four servings), available in all Korean food markets - ask for the kind used to make seaweed soup, or mi-yuk gook (you don't want the thin kind used to make sushi rolls.)
6 cups of vegetable broth or organic chicken broth
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
Naturally brewed soy sauce or sea salt, to taste
1 teaspoon of minced garlic (optional)


Soak seaweed in water for two hours or until soft. Drain and rinse really well, as dried seaweed can come with a lot of dirt, just like spinach does.

Put all ingredients, including seaweed, into a large pot and bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes to allow all the flavours to come together.

Koreans traditionally enjoy this seaweed soup with a bowl of white or brown rice, sometimes together in the same bowl.


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I presently live in S. Korea and Dr. Kim is so right, it is very good for you. It also has helped me with weight loss and I have seen increased energy. I make mi-yuk guk, with just a little twist. Since I am in Korea it is easy to get delicious bean paste, I use it in place of chicken broth. ALso, I throw a little tubu or tofu for folks back home in it. It is a wonderful meal year round. Thanks Dr. Kim for your wonderful website. I will be coming to your place when I get back home.

It makes perfect sense that this is recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers. It's the iodine content of seaweed that helps infant brain development - in fact, iodine deficiency is the leading cause of irreversible mental retardation in the world! Even in adults, lack of sufficient iodine can cause a feeling of "brain fog", so it would be good for students, too. The Linus Pauling institute has a good article on iodine, and iodine rich foods. I found this site because I was looking for a recipe for seaweed, since it is the best food source of iodine, and I will definitely be making this yummy soup!

Good to know & helpful for me since I have a hypoThyroid & am currently on meds. Thank you so much can't wait to get started.

I haven't cooked yet..but I'm so thankful for the recipe...