the birthday soup
my husband celebrated his birthday on march 30, a thursday… he celebrates his birthday on a different date every year… that is because his parents used the lunar calendar (aka Chinese calendar) for his birth date… based on this calendar, he was born on the 2nd of march… and the 2nd of march happen to fall on the 30th… most koreans’ birthdays are based on the lunar calendar… but it is a growing trend among couples nowadays to use the solar calendar for their kids’ birthdays…
my husband turned 36 this year… but that is his “korean age”… his “western” or biological age is 35… in korea, an infant is automatically a year old once he/she is born… the time that the baby spends inside the mother’s womb is not counted prenatally…
as is customary here in korea, i served him “miyeok guk” or seaweed soup in the morning… this is a reminder for his mother’s hard work and labor… after giving birth, a mother is given “miyeok guk” to help stop the bleeding and uterine contraction…
“miyeok guk” can be prepared with beef, seashells or plain… i prefer to cook it with mussels or seashells, whichever is available… my mother-in-law cooks it with beef, though…
“miyeok” is easily available in dried form but can also be found in the market fresh… the best “miyeok guk” i had was made from fresh seaweeds… it was really delicious!
seaweed soup is so easy to make…
1 cup rehydrated miyeok or seaweed
1 T minced garlic
1 t soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
1 pack seashells (about 12 pieces) or mussels
3 cups water
1. Wash seashells thoroughly and steam in 3 cups water. Remove the meat from the shells. Save the water for later.
2. In a pot, saute the seaweeds in sesame oil. Add garlic.
3. Pour water (from the steamed seashells) and add soy sauce. Boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4. Add salt and pepper as desired.
5. Serve with lots of pride!
easy, isn’t it? why not try to serve “miyeok guk” or seaweed soup in the morning to celebrate somebody’s birthday?…