Home BEEF Korean Beef Seaweed Soup (Miyeok-Guk)

Korean Beef Seaweed Soup (Miyeok-Guk)

by Yejiskitchenstories

A staple soup in the Korean household, also known as birthday soup! This soup is made with Korean seaweed and beef. It’s flavorful, savory, and so nutritious, the perfect cozy side to your meal.

Korean beef seaweed soup (미역국) is a staple in almost every Korean household. It’s made with Korean dried seaweed and beef but can also be made with mussels. I make this soup at least twice a month and like to make big batches for freezer meals.

In Korean culture, this beef seaweed soup is a staple meal for postpartum moms after giving birth because of its detoxifying functions and also helps with lactation/breastmilk production! This is also why this soup is called “birthday soup”, it is tradition to eat this soup on your birthday since new moms eat this after childbirth.

In my first month of postpartum after giving birth to my son, my mom would come over and make big pots of this seaweed soup for me to eat for every meal. You’d think I’d be sick of this soup by now, but I still love it and so does my family. It’s one of my toddler’s favorite soups to eat with rice. His other favorite soup has to be Korean beef radish soup, you can find the recipe for that one here.

what you’ll need:

  • Korean dried seaweed: this can be found in the dried foods section at all Korean grocery stores. There are so many great brands out there, any brand should be good!
  • Beef: Chuck roast or stew meat cut works best for this. I used chadolbaegi (thinly sliced brisket) since it was all I had, but I recommend chuck roast or stew meat. You can also substitute beef with mussels!
  • Sesame oil: used when searing the meat and adds a nice nuttiness to the soup.
  • Soup soy sauce: I mentioned this in my recipe for my Korean radish soup, but soup soy sauce is saltier than regular soy sauce and lighter in color. Regular soy sauce works but your soup might appear darker. You can also use less soy sauce and season the rest of the way with salt. This is my favorite brand of soup soy sauce.
  • Fish sauce: adds umami and depth to the soup without any fishy flavor, the key is to use only about 1-2 tablespoons! This 3 crab brand of fish sauce is a staple in our home.
  • Garlic: this ingredient probably goes in every Korean dish, we love our garlic!
  • Crushed perilla seeds (deul-kkae 들깨): this is sometimes called “wild sesame seeds”, it has a stronger flavor than sesame seeds and adds a nice punch of flavor. It can be harder to find at times, so this ingredient is optional! My mom adds it whenever she makes her version of seaweed soup, so I like to use it whenever I have some on hand.

all the details

Prepare your dried seaweed by rehydrating it in a bowl of water for about 15-20 minutes.

Start by searing your beef in a pot on high heat with some sesame oil. We don’t want to cook the beef all the way, but just enough so it starts browning. Strain the seaweed and cut any long pieces with scissors, we want them to bite sized pieces. Add the rehydrated seaweed to the pot and saute with the beef for about 30 seconds.

Add water to the pot and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Using a sieve, skim off any foam or impurities that come up to the surface. This will ensure a nice clear broth. Add your seasonings and aromatics— the garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, and crushed perilla seeds (optional). Continue to cook the soup on a low simmer for about 30 minutes, the longer you simmer the more tender the beef will get.

This Korean beef seaweed soup is best served hot with a side of rice 🙂

If you have any leftovers, you can freeze the soup for a freezer meal!

more recipes you may like:

I hope you enjoy this recipe for this Korean beef seaweed soup! If you make this recipe, please leave me a 5-star rating and comment to let me know your thoughts! I love connecting with you all, don’t forget to tag me on the ‘gram too! Happy cooking, xoxo!!

Korean Beef Seaweed Soup (Miyeok-Guk)

Serves: 6-8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )



  1. Rehydrate the dried seaweed according to package instructions (about 15-20 minutes) or until the seaweed is fully rehydrated. Using scissors, cut any long pieces into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Cut the beef into thin bite-sized pieces, this will help the beef cook evenly.
  3. Heat a large pot on medium-high heat and saute the beef in sesame oil until slightly browned. You don't need to cook the beef completely.
  4. Add the seaweed to the pot. Add soup soy sauce and continue to cook for about 1 minute.
  5. Add 8 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam or impurities that float to the top to ensure a clear broth.
  6. Lower your heat to a low and add the garlic, fish sauce, and crushed perilla seeds (optional). Continue to cook the soup for 30 minutes, or until the beef is fork tender.
  7. Serve the soup while hot with a side of rice, enjoy!
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