Monday, August 1, 2016

Miyeok Guk






     Korean Seaweed Beef Soup!  
     Miyeok Guk is a traditional Korean soup that tastes much richer than what the ingredients would suggest.  A simple Miyeok Guk recipe needs no extra ingredients to be great tasting.  There is some kind of food chemistry involved when beef is cooked with seaweed, that creates a very rich flavor.  Seaweed seems to react with beef like no other meat.
     Miyeok Guk is renowned for its medicinal qualities.  Miyeok Guk increases mental awareness, memory and clarity.  In fact, many Korean college students rely on Miyeok Guk during final exam time.  Iodine from seaweed rids the body of heavy metal toxins and Iodine is effective for fighting cancer.  Miyeok Guk also naturally increases female fertility and it is a great source of micronutrients during pregnancy.  The minerals, electrolytes and Iodine that are contained in seaweed combine with high proteins to create one of the most nutritious medicinal soups that there is.
     The Korean technique of quickly sautéing the beef, then marinating the beef in the pot with soy sauce by means of rapid reduction, will dramatically increase the flavor.  Just adding soy sauce to the broth will not produce the same effect.
     Just like with many Korean recipes, a fair amount of sesame oil is used.  The better the sesame oil, the better the soup will taste.  Pure sesame oil that is not blended is best for today's recipe.
     Wakame Seaweed is needed for today's recipe.  The best choice is Salt Packed Dried Wakame.  The Salt Packed Dried Wakame actually is still alive.  The long thin rope strands of Wakame are still soft after being salt packed, just like seaweed that is partially dried from sunlight along the edge of the surf.  All it takes is water to bring it back to life.
     The sea salt needs to be rinsed off, then the Wakame is soaked in water till it is reconstituted.  A strand of dried Wakame that is a couple feet long will reconstitute to its original size of over four feet long after soaking.  For an individual portion, 1 or 2 tablespoons of Salt Packed Dried Wakame will reconstitute to nearly 1 cup in volume.

     Miyeok Guk:
     This recipe yields 1 large portion of soup.  (2 1/2 cups)
     Step 1:  Cut a strand of Salt Packed Dried Wakame Seaweed that equals the volume of about 2 tablespoons.
     Rinse the salt off of the Wakame under cold running water.
     Soak the Wakame seaweed in a container of water, till it becomes its original size.
     Cut the reconstituted Wakame Seaweed into wide strips.  (About 1 cup of reconstituted Wakame strips are needed.)
     Step 2:  Heat a large sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of pure sesame oil.
     Add 2 chopped garlic cloves.
     Briefly sauté for a few seconds, till the garlic becomes aromatic.
     Step 3:  Add 4 1/2 ounces of lean Beef Top Round that is cut into thin wide ribbon shapes.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt.
     Briefly sauté for a few seconds.  (The beef should only be cooked rare at this point.)
     Step 4:  Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce till the beef marinates and the soy sauce clings to the beef.
     Step 5:  Add 1 cup of rich beef broth.
     Add 2 cups of light vegetable broth.
     Add the reserved prepared Wakame Seaweed strips.
     Raise the temperature to medium high heat.
     Bring the soup to a boil.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer the soup for 20 minutes, so the beef is tender and the flavors meld.
     Step 7:  Pour the soup in a large soup bowl.
     Serve with sticky rice on the side.

     Feeling good, alert and healthy in a short time is the benefit of eating this great Korean soup!

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