Thursday, July 12, 2012

Food for the Soul: Soup from the Sea

Mermaids by Carlo Chiostri
via Melusina Mermaid

The year I lived in Korea, I ate seaweed soup (미역국; miyeokguk) many a morning. Returning to the states, breakfast cereals seemed so insubstantial by comparison, so from time to time I've made myself seaweed soup for dinner/breakfast. I recommend making it for dinner and then recycling it for breakfast one morning. You can always eat it with an egg if soup feels too much like dinner on its own.

Once you find the seaweed (usually packaged dry), the soup relatively easy to make. Grab a handful or two or seaweed and soak it covered with water in a mixing bowl  until it grows back into its luscious silky state (20 to 30 minutes), and then rinse. (This is important! I sometimes rush this step and end up with gritty soup; this is not a play of textures that you want.)

Boil water or beef broth or fish broth in a pot, and season with garlic and soy sauce or fish sauce. Add in the seaweed to cook, and maybe add some rib eye sliced into tiny chucks or add mussels or leave it plain. You don't have too cook it long, just 30 minutes or so.

Add sesame oil at the end, to further heighten the silky texture of the seaweed. Serve with rice.

Give thanks to the ocean heart for its nourishment.

"[The sea is] the blue heart of the planet—we should take care of our heart. It's what makes life possible for us."
    —Sylvia Earle

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