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Joey’s Favorite Miyeok Guk (Korean Seaweed Soup)

5 August 2017 / 41 Comments

If you’ve been watching our Instagram Stories, you might’ve caught me feeding Joey some Miyeok Guk for lunch or dinner. It’s her absolutely favorite food. It’s so easy to make and is something she eats pretty often.

Miyeok Guk is a Korean seaweed soup which mothers eat postpartum for at least the first few weeks after giving birth because of its amazing health benefits. It helps with lactation/breastmilk supply and is known to be the best thing for mothers in recovery, at least in Korea. I ate this soup with rice for about 2 weeks straight along with a very simple no-salt/no fried diet (for a month) and I have to say it did make me feel like I was recovering quicker than I expected, I didn’t feel lethargic or tired like I thought I would be and I had a pretty good breastmilk supply by the end of the first week. It was tough being on a strict no-salt diet and eating this soup 3-4x a day for two weeks but I have friends who have done it for a month! The fish sauce has sodium in it so it was the only amount of sodium I had. Everything else I ate, for example, salmon, I had to only season with lemon. I will admit though that I feel strongly that it did help me with postpartum recovery, especially in the area of breast milk production. The Koreans started this postpartum tradition after they noticed centuries ago that whales would eat massive amounts of seaweed after giving birth to nurse their calves. I don’t know how much of that is true but that’s how the tradition started! Miyeok Guk is also known as Korean Birthday Soup and is commonly eaten during birthdays because of this tradition. 

Miyeok/seaweed is actually a super food as it contains a great source of calcium, iodine, fibre, omega acids, vitamin B1 & B3, while low in calorie. It helps with metabolism, blood circulation and purification, constipation relief, detoxification, anti-carcinogen, anti-aging etc. No wonder the Koreans love this stuff!

There are many different variations of Miyeok Guk but since so many of you asked for my specific recipe that I use for Joey, here it is. 

Ingredients: Yields 2-3 “Joey-servings”

  • Dried seaweed (You can find them at most Asian grocery stores) *Please note that this is not the same as the dried seaweed snacks. Those are already cooked, salted and ready to eat. The dried seaweed you want to get for this recipe is the one that is dried in its original state and it usually comes in a long packet like the one pictured below.
  • 2.5 ounces of thinly sliced beef brisket or ground beef
  • 4 cups of cold water for the soup / Extra water to soak dried seaweed in
  • 1/2 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce

I like to use my Korean Stone Pot instead of my other cooking pots because it doesn’t leave a stain where the top of the soup is and it retains the heat longer than my stainless steel pots. In general I like to cook simple things like pasta and boiling water in my stainless steel pots as soups tend to leave odors behind. You can find a Korean Stone Pot here. You can cook Bibimbap in there as well, which is a fav Korean dish of mine.


  • Use your scissors to cut a handful of seaweed. FYI, a little bit dried seaweed goes a long way.

  • Soak the dried seaweed in cold water for at least 30 minutes. An hour is ideal. After 30 minutes, you’ll see the seaweed take its original shape.

  • When it’s ready, rinse the seaweed twice and drain. Squeeze to remove excess salt that was used in the drying process. Cut into bite sized pieces for your little one. You can always cut again after the soup is made.
  • Sauté the meat in your pot with a tiny bit of sesame oil. Again, a little bit of sesame oil goes a long way so use a very small amount. You can always a tiny bit more later if needed. Add the seaweed, minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce. Sauté for 5 minutes. If it starts to stick to the bottom, you can add a bit more oil.

  • Add the water, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a medium low and let simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Skim off any foam or oil that floats on top and serve with rice.

For Joey, I like to use this Seven Grain organic rice which includes brown rice, barley, millet, flax seed, wheat, red quinoa, and wild rice. I got these at Costco. 

Sometimes I make a larger batch and keep several portions in the freezer so I can whip them out if I’m pressed for time for a meal prep. The regular version of this recipe is a little different as most people use soy sauce but I prefer the flavor of the fish sauce far more better. You can also substitute the beef with chicken, shiitake mushrooms, abalone or mussels. You can add tofu if you’d like as well! It’s a super healthy dish and hopefully your little ones will love it as much as Joey does!


41 responses to “Joey’s Favorite Miyeok Guk (Korean Seaweed Soup)”

  1. Ahanya says:

    Hi Laura, I like to make this soup for increasing my milk supply as I’m still breastfeeding my 4 month old son. Does it work even at this stage (4 months post partum) my supply is ok currently but as my growing boy’s demand is increasing I would like to produce more.
    Also what is a God substitute for fish sauce thats healthy?

    • lauraiz says:

      I’m not quite sure if it’ll work to increase your breast milk supply at this point but it wouldn’t hurt to try right? 🙂 You would probably have to eat it every meal for at least a couple weeks before you might see results. You can substitute the fish sauce with shittake mushroom broth that you can make at home. Some vegetarians use vegetarian broth as well. It’s more the seaweed that does the trick so as long as you can incorporate that into your soups, then it should be ok. Let me know how it turns out and if it increases your milk supply at this stage! 🙂

  2. Pamela says:

    So lovely! Oh my, the pics! You’re such a wonderful mom to Joey! Thank you for the recipy, will try! <3

  3. Esther says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I have a 15 month baby girl, that I can’t wait to make this for.. I’m also currently 28 weeks pregnant looking forward to making it for myself. Thank you again!

  4. Christina says:

    Even if it didn’t seem yummy from the ingredients, I would of still wanted to try it from joey’s face alone while eating it haha! Can’t wait to make this myself!

  5. Millette Que says:

    Hi Laura. I together with my daughter (who is already an adult 😅are big fans of Miyeok guk). I remember making this soup for my daughter when she was studying. Knowing that it has a great deal of iron, I made it for her to boost her brain power 😂. Proud to say she always did well in school.😊It also became my mom’s fave soup. It was the last meal she had before she died in Feb2015.
    I’m glad Joey loves Miyoek Guk. I pray she’ll grow up to be smart and healthy 😍

  6. Christie says:

    This looks great! I might try it! My baby loves greens of all kinds. I have to know- what bib js that she is using ? I want to get some of those. Love your Instagram and daily videos !

  7. Carol says:

    Is the ‘adult’ version of the recipe similar to this one you make for Joey? Could you share that recipe please? Thanks!

  8. StephMae says:

    Thank you!!! 💕🙏🏼💕

  9. Tiff says:

    Joey is the absolute cutest!! I want to eat this now (not pregnant lol)! I’m a vegetarian; is there something else you could suggest to replace the beef? Thanks!

  10. Tammi says:

    Hi Laura! Big fan here! I follow your story everyday. It’s so much fun watching Joey grow up! I don’t have kids of my own but that soup looks delicious. Can I make it for myself?

    • lauraiz says:

      Hi Tammi! Of course you can definitely make it for yourself! I usually help myself to a serving when I’m also feeding Joey this! 🙂

  11. Jenny says:

    Hello Laura, thank you for sharing this recipe and explaining in great detail. I would make this soup for my super picky toddler. I’d like to know where do you usually get the thinly sliced beef brisket? For the most part, I have to blend all meats for my toodler because she just doesn’t like to chew, lol! But super soft meat, she would dare to try. It seems to me that thin sliced brisket could be a winner. What kind of markets do you go to buy thin sliced brisket?

    • lauraiz says:

      Hi Jenny! I usually get the “good” grade beef at HMart which is a Korean grocery store here. Sometimes I’ll get a very soft cut and slice them even smaller and freeze them into portions so I can use them for future soups. What I used to do with Joey was I would take a long piece of the brisket and hand feed her but make her bite it off. It introduced her to biting and chewing!

  12. Maggie says:

    How old is your little cutie? My daughter is 10months + but she doesnt really like to eat solid. I had try mny substitute but still she doesnt really eat as much as other baby. I will try your recipe & see if my daughter love seaweed🙂

  13. Maggie says:

    How old is your little cutie? My daughter is 10months + but she doesnt really like to eat solid. I had try mny substitute but still she doesnt really eat as much as other baby. I will try your recipe & see if my daughter love seaweed🙂

  14. Cindy says:

    Hi Laura! I’ve been waiting for you to post this recipe – I Love Korean food!!!!! And I’ve always wanted to make seaweed soup for my daughter Olive. I can see Joey’s got plenty of teeth to chow down on these.. my girl only has 4. I still hope the soups soft enough for her to eat! Thanks for posting!

    • lauraiz says:

      Hi Cindy! Aw I love the name Olive! If you feel it is too early for her to chew on this you can try blending it and feeding her the liquid soup separately. I did that for Joey in the beginning when I started feeding her solids. 🙂

  15. Mae Belle Galarosa says:

    Hello laura. When did you start giving this to joey? My georgia is almost 7month old and just started solids. Looks yummy and would love to make this for me and my husband😍

    • lauraiz says:

      Hi Mae! I started giving it to her at 10 months old! I would blend the rice and seaweed in an immersion blender so it was more of a liquid paste and then I fed her the liquid soup separately.

  16. Hanlyn says:

    Hi laura. Just wondering. How long can we keep the soup for when we freeze it?

    • lauraiz says:

      I’m not sure but I wouldn’t keep it in there for longer than a few weeks unless you have a deep freezer which in case maybe a couple months? Don’t quote me on that though. I usually don’t keep it in the freezer longer than 3 weeks. Hope that helps!

  17. Lily says:

    She’s so darn cute! Would love to see more yummy recipes from you guys.

  18. I LOVE THAT YOU showed A picture of her say Grace 😍🤗🙏

  19. SARAH says:

    What is the brand of your high chair? Is that Guzzie and Guss?

  20. Jaehee Lim says:

    I had Miyeok Guk for three months straight! (Although I was slowly starting to incorporate other foods at 2-3 months) But I definitely do think it helped with my recovery + milk supply. I definitely need to try the Seven Grain rice though, I’ve been looking for something similar. Thanks much!

  21. Jaehee Lim says:

    I had seaweed soup for three months straight after giving birth. (incorporating other foods by the end of the first month but still) And I think it definitely helped with my milk supply. I’ll have to try the Seven Grain organic rice, I’ve been searching for something similar. Thanks for sharing mama!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Just fed my daughter this and she was demanding more! Love it.

  23. Tammi says:

    Hi Laura and Joey!
    I am not breastfeeding. I just want to try this soup. Thanks for the recipe!😊

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