Vegan Korean seaweed soup, or “Miyeokguk,” is a traditional Korean soup made primarily with seaweed (also called sea mustard, or Wakame in Japanese) or “miyeok”. This vegan soup is very easy to make in 25 mins.
In Korea, it’s tradition to eat this soup on your birthday or after giving birth; but really, you can eat this any day of the year. The reason this soup is served postpartum is because of the health benefits, mostly from seaweed, the main ingredient. Seaweed has a number of nutritional benefits and is high in calcium and iodine, which can be helpful for breastfeeding. This soup is often referred to as “Birthday Soup” as well, because it’s often enjoyed on one’s birthday to honour our mothers for going through the difficult task of giving birth to us!
In this vegan seaweed soup recipe, we substitute some of the animal products typically used in a traditional seaweed soup with a flavourful broth, keeping the essential umami with ingredients like dried shiitake mushrooms, kombu and a secret special ingredient.
Recipe for Vegan Korean Seaweed Soup
You’ll love this Vegan Korean seaweed soup if you’re looking for an easy, comforting and healthy meal. This dish is easy to prepare and delivers a taste of traditional Korean flavours in a vegan-friendly way.
To get started, you’ll need a few key ingredients. The show’s star is seaweed, which adds a unique oceanic essence to the soup. Look for dried seaweed, often labelled “miyeok,” in Korean markets or online stores.
First, soak the dried seaweed and shiitake mushrooms in water for 20-30 minutes, allowing them to rehydrate. Once rehydrated, separate the liquid from the solids. In a pot, add roasted sesame oil over medium heat, avoiding burning. If needed, cut large pieces. Add the seaweed and mushrooms to the pot, marinating it in sesame oil. Pour the broth back into the pot. Adjust saltiness with guk ganjang (Korean soup soy sauce or use regular soy sauce) to taste. Add two tablespoons (or according to your preference) of Perilla seed flour for rich, savoury flavour and healthy fats. Let the soup simmer for around 20 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld, and then enjoy.
The result is a delightful vegan Korean Seaweed Soup that captures the essence of the traditional dish while staying true to plant-based principles. With its salty seaweed and savoury broth, this recipe offers a taste of Korean cuisine in a compassionate and easy-to-make manner. Enjoy this heartwarming soup alone or as part of a larger Korean-inspired meal. It’s perfect for those seeking a taste of Korea without compromising their vegan lifestyle.
Note: If you use the cooking methods described in this recipe and the highest-quality seaweed available, you can omit the mushrooms and still make flavorful miyeokguk.
This Korean vegan soup recipe boasts a savoury, umami-rich profile with deep and comforting flavours that mimic the essence of the sea, creating a satisfying and fishy taste without using animal products.
This Korean seaweed soup vegan recipe can be made gluten-free. Simply use regular gluten-free soy sauce to keep this recipe free of gluten.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for Vegan Korean seaweed soup:
- Dry shiitake mushrooms
- Dry seaweed (miyuk)
- Toasted sesame oil
- Korean soup soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
- Perilla seed flour (deulkkae garu)
- Salt to taste
How to Make Korean Seaweed Soup (Vegan)
To prepare Vegan Korean seaweed soup (Miyeokguk), begin by soaking dried shiitake mushrooms and dry seaweed in water for around 20-30 minutes. This soaking process melds the flavours while softening the seaweed and mushrooms. Afterwards, strain the mixture, preserving the infused liquid, which forms the base of this flavourful broth.
Next, heat toasted sesame oil in a pot over medium heat, ensuring it doesn’t overheat. Add the strained seaweed and shiitake mushrooms, optionally cutting the seaweed into smaller pieces. Saute these ingredients in the fragrant sesame oil for a few minutes to enrich them with flavour.
Reintroduce the strained liquid to the pot, creating the soup base. Taste the soup and fine-tune the seasoning with soup soy sauce (or regular or gluten-free soy sauce) for extra depth and salt to match your preference.
A unique element in this recipe is perilla seed flour (deulkkae garu), adding about two tablespoons or adjusting to your liking. This ingredient imparts richness and healthy fats to the soup.
Let the seaweed soup come to a gentle boil, then simmer on medium heat for roughly 20 minutes, harmonizing the flavours into a delightful broth.
Your vegan Korean seaweed soup (Miyeokguk) is ready to enjoy. Serve it with a rice bowl, and pair it with complementary dishes such as kimchi or pan-fried tofu.
Vegan Korean Seaweed Soup
- 6 Cups of water
- 15 g of dried shiitake mushrooms
- 25 g of dried seaweed (miyuk)
- 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of authentic Korean soup soy sauce (or regular soy sauce) – adjust to your taste
- 3 tablespoons of perilla seed flour (deulkkae garu)
- Salt to enhance flavours
- Begin by soaking the dried shiitake mushroom and dry seaweed in water for at least 20-30 minutes. This allows the flavours to infuse into the water and softens the seaweed and mushrooms.
- After soaking, strain the mixture, separating the liquid from the solid ingredients. Be sure to save the liquid as it forms the flavorful broth.
- Heat toasted sesame oil in a pot over medium heat. Don't let the oil get too hot.
- Add the strained seaweed and shiitake mushrooms to the pot. You can cut the seaweed into smaller pieces if desired.
- Saute the ingredients in the sesame oil to infuse them with the flavour. This will take a few minutes.
- Once sauteed, pour the strained liquid back into the pot, which forms the soup base.
- Add soup soy sauce (or regular or gluten-free soy sauce) and adjust the amount according to your preference.
- The secret ingredient is perilla seed flour (deulkkae garu). Add approximately 2 tablespoons or adjust to your liking. This ingredient adds a rich, savoury flavour and healthy fats.
- Let the soup boil, then simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes. This allows the flavours to meld together and creates a delicious broth.
- The soup is now prepared to be enjoyed. Serve it with a bowl of rice, and you can also complement it with side dishes like vegan kimchi.
- Enjoy your homemade Vegan Korean Seaweed Soup (Miyeokguk)!
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